For almost five years, Michael Masso and his wife Karen have been working in Uganda's Bundibugyo District.
Working through World Harvest Mission, the group's main goal is to share the Gospel, but this is done through a variety of projects. Michael's project, which has been supported by Bread & Water for AfricaŽ is to focus on the development of clean water supply for the area.
Michael and his team are just finishing their second gravity flow pipeline in the district. This project was co-sponsored by UNICEF and generous contributions from Bread and Water for AfricaŽ and other donors. The pipeline begins in the Rwenzori Mountains on the Ngite River near the base of a beautiful 400- foot waterfall. There are no homes in the area, so the spring fed stream is very pure. From the source, a 12-mile
network of pipes supplies water to a permanent population of over 10,000 people. Over the past two years, rebel attacks have caused many people to flee their homes, so there are
currently over 20,000 displaced people using the water.
Before the pipeline was installed, people would walk long distances to rivers, which were
likely to carry water born disease, Cholera, typhoid, and other gastrointestinal diseases were endemic. The pipeline was able to supply much needed water to those displaced by
the fighting and should cause a dramatic improvement in the health of the population for years to come.
Bundibugyo district continues to be harassed by ADF rebels. In recent months, the level of
the violence has decreased somewhat, but not to the point where people feet free to return to their homes in the villages. The entire population is still crowded into protected towns /
camps for Internally Displaced People. This presents a huge water and sanitation challenge.
Michael and his team of local volunteers and locally trained workers are nearing the end of
a process to expand and improve the existing Ngite-Nyahuka pipeline. Work included burying the entire line to the proper depth (this had not yet been done due to the insecurity
in the area), building a new intake to replace the one destroyed in a flood in October 1998 (In the meantime they were using a temporary intake structure), building of additional
storage tanks, additional taps, and added pipes in some sections to increase the flow rate. Even though the system was originally designed for about 7,000 people, it is now supplying
sufficient water to the 25,000 - 30,000 people in the Nyahuka IDP camp.