When we arrived in Boboya we were given the warmest welcome I have ever received. Grace was singing and when we met her she gave us a big hug, thanked us for visiting and called me her daughter. Grace lives with her husband Augustine, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They have eight children, seven have left home and their youngest is at boarding school. We helped them with their daily jobs. We had a go at smearing using fresh cow dung and water, which we smeared this around their house to keep the house clean and prevent dust getting in.
We went with Augustine to get the water. It’s a short walk away, he took his bike with two 20 litre jerry cans. It was a wonderful sight to see the fresh water flowing from the borehole. The village is so proud of their new water source. They helped with the construction, and laying the cement around the pump. They pay 1000 Ugandan shillings (about 25p) for the maintenance of the borehole each month. This goes towards the maintenance of the pump.
Augustine compared this new borehole to the old water source, telling me how he used to drink water with worms in and often got ill. It also used to make their animals ill. They rely so heavily on their livestock, selling them in order to buy clothes, soap, jerry cans and medicine. They have worked so hard to send their children to private school and give them the best chance in life.
The whole village was inspiring. Some of the other supporters spent the day with Augustine’s cousin Margaret. Margaret was born with a disability and has never been able to walk but this doesn’t stop her. She uses a specially adapted wheelchair and does everything for herself. We watched in admiration as she climbed out of her wheelchair to fill her jerry can with the water from the borehole. Without the work of WaterAid she wouldn’t have been able to do this. It made me think about how hard the residents of Boboya work. They do everything for themselves. Having a day off ill means there will be no-one to fetch the food for the day, no-one to collect water, no-one to tend to the animals which they need to sell to buy life-saving medicine.
In the afternoon we visited Wera primary school. They performed some poems for us and then a dance. Gillian – one of the supporters – joined in the dance, and there was so much laughter that we all eventually joined in, one by one. I was able to thank the school for their hospitality and told them about the school we saw yesterday. We then had a tour of the latrines and they told us how they clean them with ash to get rid of the smell.
After that we then met a group of girls who were making some reusable sanitary pads. Seeing how much effort they have to go to in order to keep themselves healthy whilst on their periods made me think of everything we take for granted, especially water and access to a safe toilet.