Kelly Davis is Pipeline Worldwide’s Project Manager and this is his third trip to Uganda.
Agugwe Water Flows Like Salvation for Hundreds of Blessed Innocents: The first stop of the day was the village of Agugwe. This is a village that had never had ready access to water. Villagers, mostly women and their kids, had to walk about 1 mile down a steep road to collect water in 6-gallon jerry cans (weighting over 40 lbs. each), sometimes twice a day, and then carry these full cans back up the hill to their homes. Not only is this arduous work for these women but it takes them away from family, eliminates any chance that they would continue their education and essentially ensures a quality of life that is unhealthy and unfulfilling. Pipeline began planning a project to supply water to the village about 18 months ago and completed it in early January of this year. The project entailed installing a solar powered pump at an existing water tank at the bottom of the slope and pumping the water about one mile uphill to a new water collection tank. The tank feeds 3 spigots from which the villagers collect water, within a few hundred feet from their homes. To say that the villagers were very happy to have clean, local water would be a massive understatement. I did not think that we would see a celebration that would top the one we were treated to yesterday in Aya but now I have. The entire village of about 250 came out to greet us. They were led by a group of dancers and singers accompanied by drums and a horn, the likes of which I have never seen. This festivity continued unabated for about an hour. Team members were drawn into the melee at various points, dancing with wild abandon to the delight of the villagers. Next came the speakers. Many local leaders and invited dignitaries got up to praise Pipeline for our work, many with suggestions for the next project. This was eventually followed by Pipeline team members handing out shorts, tops and dresses to the children. This clothing was handmade and donated by Threads of Hope. The children and mothers were very happy to receive new clothing. It is hard to find words to express how honored and humbled we all were to be the objects of such an outpouring of affection and gratitude. These villagers are truly the salt of the earth, good and humble people. I hope we can return.
Friends of Bamboo: Our next stop was at a local business that grows, harvests and prepares bamboo for use in building construction and furniture fabrication. The firm is called “Friends of Bamboo” and we used them on the Battle of Boxes project which we completed in April of 2021. We received a quick course in how to grow and treat bamboo. Bamboo is such a renewable resource; 5 years to grow initially and then a crop every 3 years thereafter. Bamboo will be a major component in all of our building projects in Uganda and we want to explore the possibility of growing our own bamboo.
Moyo Polytechnical Institute: The Moyo Polytechnical Institute is a school that offers classes in hair dressing, garment making, woodworking, masonry, small engine repair and others. They offer short term degrees with a curriculum that is geared toward getting their students out into the workforce and earning a paycheck. Pipeline’s interest in this school is that we would like to employ the students on our building projects, sponsoring apprenticeships, having them work alongside and learn from local crafts men and women. A few of our team members sampled the hair dressing skills of the young women enrolled. Results were mixed. I will let the readers be the judge.
Moyo Babies Home: Moyo Babies Home takes in young children, from new borns up to age 5, that have lost their mothers and have no other immediate family to take them in. it is run by Catholic nuns. This is always voted “Favorite Activity” on our Moyo visits and I’m sure this visit will receive that honor as well. Who doesn’t like playing with babies!! It is not a fair competition.
Dinner and Negotiations: During our visit to Moyo we inspected a parcel of land. Tonight we met with the owners of the land and the Moyo Province Chairman. We have been having a very frustrating time in our efforts to procure land up to this point. Although the negotiations went well I don’t want to jinx it by claiming success just yet. It looks very promising and we shall see…