Generating credible evidence for UPGro: start of Survey 2 in Uganda – by Gloria Berochan, WaterAid, Uganda

The Survey II of unlocking the potential of Ground water for the poor (UPGro) research project has kicked off in Uganda. The research aims at building a robust, credible body on groundwater supply failure, build knowledge and use this knowledge to influence the delivery of a step-change in future functionality.

The Survey 2 – is a detailed survey of 50 boreholes  equipped with hand pumps, aimed at providing detailed physical and social science datasets to better understand the underlying causes of poor functionality of rural water supplies.

The team is undertaking detailed fieldwork on the multiple factors governing water point failure –  collating social sciences, natural science and engineering data. The survey methods include:

  • detailed community discussions and transect walks with key attention to financing, management and governance arrangements
  • examination of the construction standard of the water point and the groundwater resource properties, including water chemistry.

This involves dismantling of the hand pumps, visual inspection of the components to quantify evidence of wear, corrosion and structural defects, galvanizing thickness of the pipes and rods for cross-country comparisons to standard pump components sourced from a reputable manufacturer in India.

So far, seven boreholes have been competed in Luwero district…43 more to go!
The Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) are strongly supportive and engaged in the work in Uganda:

We appreciate the efforts and progress so far made in unveiling the potential of ground water….because we need answers to reverse the high failures as a nation. Uganda therefore, waits eagerly for this ingenuity” said MWE officials.

Some field highlights

Uganda 1&2
From L-R: Uganda team researchers (Makerere University & WaterAid) and Donald John (BGS) at the MWE for an entry meeting prior to survey 2 field investigations; Discussing the material science of the hand pump parts after visual inspection.

Uganda 4

(Above) The team conducting Groundwater quality field measurements to;

  • Examine the reasons for HPB corrosion and assess the corrosiveness of aquifer water.
  • Assess the general groundwater chemistry and microbiology within the aquifer.
  • Determine the residence time of groundwater which will allow investigation of recharge dynamics for each individual HPB.

Uganda 5

(Above) The team used borehole CCTV camera to assess the construction details for comparisons with the original construction logs. This also allows assessing the current condition of the borehole. Key details being captured are;

  • Condition, type and interval of the casings
  • Well designs
  • Open-hole sections of the borehole
  • Any visible inflows, such as fractures and  evidence of bubbles and their origin, if it is possible and identifiable
Uganda 6&7
From L-R: The dynamics of dismantling uPVC pipes; Community mapping session.

One thought on “Generating credible evidence for UPGro: start of Survey 2 in Uganda – by Gloria Berochan, WaterAid, Uganda

  1. Avery important undertaking for proposing solutions to sustainability and ensuring industry standards are met


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