Three weeks in East Africa!

Our Africa Director, Roger London, has just returned from a three-week trip to Uganda and Rwanda where he accompanied the Ugandan Lifewater team to both Rhino and Kyaka II Refugee Settlements for Water Works distributions. Roger also had the opportunity to spend a few days visiting the Rwandan Watchmen team.

The first week was spent in Rhino Refugee Settlement in Northwest Uganda where around 300 Lifewater systems, sponsored by our Australian sponsor, Matt Henricks of Water Works, were distributed to refugee families.

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The days were long with the addition of daily two hour trips each way from Arua, where the team were staying, to Rhino Camp, along pretty rough roads. But it was worth it, knowing that another 300 families now have access to clean and safe drinking water.

At the beginning of week two, Roger travelled with one of our Lifewater team members, Stephen Kapipa, to Rwanda. The plan was to engage in some Spiritual Transformation training followed by a graduation, and then to spend a day with the Rwandan Watchmen team. However, as they often do in Africa, plans changed! Two mornings were spent sharing some teaching with groups of leaders who had already completed the Spiritual Transformation training. A third day was spent doing some Lifewater spot-check monitoring of a school and homes in Kayonza District, helped by members of the local Africa Youth Award group. It was very impressive observing just how well the local villagers were using the Lifewater systems that had been sponsored by the Aall Foundation up to 18 months previously.

Next month the team will be back in this area conducting another Lifewater distribution sponsored by the Aall Foundation. One notable testimony was from an elderly gentleman called Saidi – he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and advised to drink plenty of clean water. However, this had been impossible until he received his own Lifewater system. Now he carries Lifewater around with him every day and is enjoying better health

Uganda  Rwanda Trip Report July19_Page2_Image4Saidi, and his bottle of Lifewater!

The final day in Rwanda was spent with the Rwandan Watchmen team. Earlier this year the team had been unable to attend a Watchmen Retreat in Entebbe, Uganda, due to border issues between Ugandan and Rwanda. So this was an ideal opportunity to have a ‘catch-up’ with them – updating them on happenings at the Retreat and talking through the coming Lifewater distribution, which will be followed by Africa Youth Award training for Rwanda and Burundi.

Week three was spent accompanying the Lifewater team to Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in Western Uganda. Over the last year or so, the population of this Refugee Camp has mushroomed from 30,000 to around 100,000 refugees. Most of the incoming refugees have fled from neighbouring rebel-held Eastern DR Congo at a rate of 700- 800 per week! The Lifewater team were able to distribute 200 Water Works systems to refugee families in Bwiriza Zone, which has the poorest access to clean water sources in the whole Settlement.

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Our presence and work in the Camp is now recognized and appreciated by major organisations such as UNHCR and Oxfam.