Monday’s trip to the village of Kicuucu (pronounced Ki choo choo) to begin the construction of a well started off normal enough. Upon arriving at Kicuucu Primary School, we were greeted by hundreds of children that were amazed to see a group of 8 muzungu’s (white folk) show up at their school. After meeting a few of the teachers and talking with the kids, we headed down to where the well was to be constructed.
As we were walking, we came to where the materials were dropped off. So, we, along with many of the students started grabbing bricks and rocks and carrying them to the site. This process took us about an hour and a half – making numerous trips up and down the hill.
About an hour into this task, one of the men who had begun digging the hole for the well took me through some very thick brush to see the site. At this point, everything was still going according to plan. As the last of the bricks and rocks were making their way down the hill, a Ugandan man picked up his panga (machete) and began to clear out a lot of the brush and overgrowth in the surrounding area. As he was clearing the jungle, he came across a large cement structure. What was it? Well… it was a well! Apparently 15 years ago, the local Catholic diocese began digging a well for this community, and for reasons unknown, the project was abandoned without being completed. The hole was dug and blocked all the way up inside it, and a large cement base was laid around it. But, for some reason, they never capped it off or attached a pump.
After getting over the inital shock of our discovery, George, the local water engineer asked me if we should continue digging a new well or just complete this one. We both agreed that this well was in great shape and the hard part was already done, so we would just finisht the work that was started in 1997.
You never know what you will find around here. Community members have been coming to a contaminated water source over and over again for more than a decade while fifteen feet away, buried in a forest was a nearly completed well. How does that happen?
We nearly finished the project on Monday and headed back out on Tuesday to wrap this project up, and will be sharing the completion photos with you in the next post!