Water Harvesting & Filtration Project


More than 8 million Ugandans don’t have access to clean water.

Kamwokya Primary School, with its 2,000 students, uses large quantities of water on a daily basis. Many of the students do not have a shower or running water at their residences; some families share toilets with multiple families. When the school was constructed, an in-ground water tank was built to harvest rainwater in the hopes of securing access to clean water for the students. Unfortunately, break-ins at the school led to the water pump being damaged. A chemical analysis of the wastewater was undertaken, and the presence of fecal matter was found. As a result, the water tank sat dormant.

As far back as 2009, we were looking into how we could repair and improve on this system. MCF Past-President Kish Modha is also a proud Rotarian, and knew that providing clean water was one of the Rotary Clubs’ six areas of focus. He approached his local Rotary Club (Winnipeg West), as well as Rotary Clubs in Whitby & Eglinton (Ontario); all of the clubs agreed to support this project. With the three Rotary Clubs on board, MCF was able to apply to Rotary International for partial funding.

rotary club eglinton
rotary winnipeg west

An ambitious plan was developed. Through the collection of rainwater, harvested water would be stored in the underground tank, which would connect to a reliable pump to transfer the water into overhead tanks to store and supply the water. The tank would be able to provide enough water for the entire school, saving the school valuable money on water bills and ensuring that every child has clean water.

Given the weighty investment of this project— and the school’s previous record with break-ins— it was agreed that a fence needed to be included as a necessary component of this project. In addition to increasing security for this project, this fence would serve as a safeguard for future investments.

Uganda water tank Kamwokya

The costs of building a fence, however, were quite high.  A significant amount of the project’s funds would have to be redirected towards building the fence before the water project could begin. As Rotary Club’s focus was on water and sanitation, they were unable to contribute funding towards this component of the project.

MCF turned to a new partner to help construct a fence: Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). On a visit to Uganda in 2015, Kish scheduled a meeting with KCCA Executive Director Ms. Jennifer Musisi.  At this meeting, he reminded Ms. Musisi of all the good work MCF had done at Kamwokya Primary School. He told her of his hopes to bring clean water to the school, and his difficulties with the school’s lack of security. Ms. Musisi agreed that ensuring the schools’ security with a fence was a paramount concern. She promised to look into the matter personally.

By that Fall, the fence had been proposed, approved and built!

With this fence in place, MCF was able to re-submit an application to Rotary International to secure funding for this long-awaited project.

We expect this project to be complete by the Fall of 2017.

kamwokya primary water bucket student
kamwokya primary water tank student

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