Kanisa Village
Water Project

Project Completed

November 4, 2019

“I can breathe easy.” - Hellen

Kanisa, Uganda, Africa

GPS: 0.3469, 33.526

304 people

  • Story
  • Updates 6
  • Plan
  • FAQ's


Clean Water, New Life: Hellen’s Story

March 2020


For the 22 years that Hellen has lived in Kanisa village, her family relied on water from a lake and a swamp. On the 23rd year, she filled her container with safe water from her community’s very own safe water well.

She burst into a tearful laughter as she told us this. Hellen now looks at her children with incredible hope; according to her, they’ll be able to go far now. They’ll go to school, get jobs, and become whatever they want to become. Unsafe water no longer stands in their way.

Hellen lives in Kanisa village with her husband and seven children.

“Although I have always wished I was educated, the circumstances of my upbringing never permitted me,” she said. “So, I started praying for my children to be educated… and that almost failed until now.”

“I can breathe easy knowing that it’s all in our hands now to make it happen,” she said.

Before, children were too sick to go to school. Families struggled to afford tuition payments amidst costly medication for waterborne illnesses. Many children dropped out to spend their days gathering water for their families.

Today, children in Kanisa village go to school. They run, play, and they are healthy! And, parents have begun saving money. Hellen is saving, and she dreams of opening a grocery store in her community.

“For the decades that I have lived here, it never occurred to me that things would change enough for me to pursue my lifelong dream at 40,” she said. “I’ve now learned that a year can change everything.”

“I started saving for my shop, and now I’m very close,” she added. “Who would have imagined that happening?”

According to Hellen, every parent in Kanisa village is now saving money to invest in economic ventures. Most parents are investing in education, and others are invested in stores and businesses of their own.

With safe water and sanitation practices, families like Hellen’s are transformed. You can be a part of a transformation story. Sponsor a water project today, and follow along to see your impact.


Life in Kanisa: Harriet’s Story

February 2019



At 15 years old, Harriet Nabwire was attacked while gathering water, and she became pregnant. Her family disowned her for her premarital pregnancy, and she soon found herself alone with a newborn baby.

She was terrified, as she describes it, but determined to give a better life to her child. Setting aside her dreams of becoming a doctor, she learned how to farm green peppers and made a living selling them in markets.

Today, she and her husband Richard have six children of their own and a farm. Together, they are working to send each of their children through school.

But in Kanisa village, unsafe water causes many problems outside of Harriet’s control. Every morning after working in the garden, Harriet must walk over an hour to fill her plastic container with pond water.

There is a well in another village, but the lines are so long, people to wait in line until 1 a.m. just for one container of water. Sometimes, when the family is very ill from the contaminated pond water, Harriet will send a child to gather from the well.

She is full of fear each time they go.

“Many of the parents in this village live in constant fear whenever their daughters go to fetch water either at the pond or the well,” she said. With safe water, “the children wouldn’t have to leave the water point late.”

Harriet dreams of expanding her business.

“With healthy living that eliminates diseases that take a lot of income from us, I would save and take care of my family better,” she said.

Just when Harriet begins to save money, the children fall ill and need medication.

“The money I have spent treating water-related diseases would be a small fortune now when put together,” she said. “Getting a well would save us in many ways! I cannot wait!”

You can help Harriet’s family and others in Kanisa village today. Your gift will provide health training for each household, plus a new, safe water source near their village.

Sponsor Kanisa village today.

November 04, 2019: Construction complete

The new safe water source is now complete in Kanisa!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community.

September 02, 2019: Construction started

Work is officially underway to build a safe water source for Kanisa. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

July 4, 2019: Water Committee formed

Good news! Kanisa has selected water committee members to manage the new village water source.

Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

June 28, 2019: Village Certified ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

February 11, 2019: CLTS Complete

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

February 2019: Project Ready

Kanisa is in a very remote region of Uganda

View Interactive Map

This village is on its way to becoming a Healthy Village. The process takes approximately 24 months from start to finish. You can follow along with the progress below.

Here’s the Plan for Kanisa:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means Kanisa has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

ready

Project Ready

Villages are carefully selected by Lifewater staff and wait for program work to begin in their area.

CLTS

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

clts
healthy-homes-registered

Healthy Homes Registered

A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

odf
wc_schoolmc_formed

Water Committee Selected

Kanisa has selected water committee members to manage the safe village water source. Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

Construction Started

Work is officially underway to build a new water source for Kanisa village. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

construction_start
construction_complete

Village Has Safe Water Source

The new safe water source is now complete!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community. 

Healthy Village

Great news! Kanisa is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy. That is a new future for 304 children and families.

healthy_village_achieved

Village Water Project FAQs

What is included in the cost of a water project?

When you sponsor a village water project, you are helping bring lasting change. Your gift provides:

  • House-to-house hygiene and sanitation education
  • Custom engineered water source
  • Construction of a safe water source
  • Community engagement by Lifewater field staff to ensure change lasts

Lifewater also provides:

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Local church partnerships that equip the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability (funded by beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis)
Is this a real village? Am I impacting this actual village?

Yes! The village you are helping is a real village. All families photographed or shared from the project page have given their permission to have their information shared with you.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization. 

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 40 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

  • Charity Navigator (four stars)
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Guidestar (Platinum)
  • Great Nonprofits (five star)
  • Excellence in Giving

Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. 

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Story


Clean Water, New Life: Hellen’s Story

March 2020


For the 22 years that Hellen has lived in Kanisa village, her family relied on water from a lake and a swamp. On the 23rd year, she filled her container with safe water from her community’s very own safe water well.

She burst into a tearful laughter as she told us this. Hellen now looks at her children with incredible hope; according to her, they’ll be able to go far now. They’ll go to school, get jobs, and become whatever they want to become. Unsafe water no longer stands in their way.

Hellen lives in Kanisa village with her husband and seven children.

“Although I have always wished I was educated, the circumstances of my upbringing never permitted me,” she said. “So, I started praying for my children to be educated… and that almost failed until now.”

“I can breathe easy knowing that it’s all in our hands now to make it happen,” she said.

Before, children were too sick to go to school. Families struggled to afford tuition payments amidst costly medication for waterborne illnesses. Many children dropped out to spend their days gathering water for their families.

Today, children in Kanisa village go to school. They run, play, and they are healthy! And, parents have begun saving money. Hellen is saving, and she dreams of opening a grocery store in her community.

“For the decades that I have lived here, it never occurred to me that things would change enough for me to pursue my lifelong dream at 40,” she said. “I’ve now learned that a year can change everything.”

“I started saving for my shop, and now I’m very close,” she added. “Who would have imagined that happening?”

According to Hellen, every parent in Kanisa village is now saving money to invest in economic ventures. Most parents are investing in education, and others are invested in stores and businesses of their own.

With safe water and sanitation practices, families like Hellen’s are transformed. You can be a part of a transformation story. Sponsor a water project today, and follow along to see your impact.


Life in Kanisa: Harriet’s Story

February 2019



At 15 years old, Harriet Nabwire was attacked while gathering water, and she became pregnant. Her family disowned her for her premarital pregnancy, and she soon found herself alone with a newborn baby.

She was terrified, as she describes it, but determined to give a better life to her child. Setting aside her dreams of becoming a doctor, she learned how to farm green peppers and made a living selling them in markets.

Today, she and her husband Richard have six children of their own and a farm. Together, they are working to send each of their children through school.

But in Kanisa village, unsafe water causes many problems outside of Harriet’s control. Every morning after working in the garden, Harriet must walk over an hour to fill her plastic container with pond water.

There is a well in another village, but the lines are so long, people to wait in line until 1 a.m. just for one container of water. Sometimes, when the family is very ill from the contaminated pond water, Harriet will send a child to gather from the well.

She is full of fear each time they go.

“Many of the parents in this village live in constant fear whenever their daughters go to fetch water either at the pond or the well,” she said. With safe water, “the children wouldn’t have to leave the water point late.”

Harriet dreams of expanding her business.

“With healthy living that eliminates diseases that take a lot of income from us, I would save and take care of my family better,” she said.

Just when Harriet begins to save money, the children fall ill and need medication.

“The money I have spent treating water-related diseases would be a small fortune now when put together,” she said. “Getting a well would save us in many ways! I cannot wait!”

You can help Harriet’s family and others in Kanisa village today. Your gift will provide health training for each household, plus a new, safe water source near their village.

Sponsor Kanisa village today.

Updates

November 04, 2019: Construction complete

The new safe water source is now complete in Kanisa!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community.

September 02, 2019: Construction started

Work is officially underway to build a safe water source for Kanisa. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

July 4, 2019: Water Committee formed

Good news! Kanisa has selected water committee members to manage the new village water source.

Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

June 28, 2019: Village Certified ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

February 11, 2019: CLTS Complete

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

February 2019: Project Ready

Plan

Kanisa is in a very remote region of Uganda

View Interactive Map

This village is on its way to becoming a Healthy Village. The process takes approximately 24 months from start to finish. You can follow along with the progress below.

Here’s the Plan for Kanisa:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means Kanisa has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

ready

Project Ready

Villages are carefully selected by Lifewater staff and wait for program work to begin in their area.

CLTS

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

clts
healthy-homes-registered

Healthy Homes Registered

A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

odf
wc_schoolmc_formed

Water Committee Selected

Kanisa has selected water committee members to manage the safe village water source. Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

Construction Started

Work is officially underway to build a new water source for Kanisa village. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

construction_start
construction_complete

Village Has Safe Water Source

The new safe water source is now complete!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community. 

Healthy Village

Great news! Kanisa is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy. That is a new future for 304 children and families.

healthy_village_achieved

FAQ's

Village Water Project FAQs

What is included in the cost of a water project?

When you sponsor a village water project, you are helping bring lasting change. Your gift provides:

  • House-to-house hygiene and sanitation education
  • Custom engineered water source
  • Construction of a safe water source
  • Community engagement by Lifewater field staff to ensure change lasts

Lifewater also provides:

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Local church partnerships that equip the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability (funded by beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis)
Is this a real village? Am I impacting this actual village?

Yes! The village you are helping is a real village. All families photographed or shared from the project page have given their permission to have their information shared with you.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization. 

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 40 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

  • Charity Navigator (four stars)
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Guidestar (Platinum)
  • Great Nonprofits (five star)
  • Excellence in Giving

Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. 

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Your donation is restricted for use within the program region for which the water project is located. Project cost estimates are established from program averages across all Lifewater programs and are based on the population size of the village. Community contributions are included in the program costs but not in the program funding goals. Real-time results are provided from the actual project sponsored. Occasionally Lifewater will receive more contributions for a given project than can be wisely applied to that project. When that happens, we use these funds to meet a similar pressing need in the same program region.

All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that Lifewater has complete control over the use of all donated funds. Board-approved policy establishes that all gifts restricted for a specific project be applied to the restricted program, with up to ten percent used for administrative and fundraising purposes.