Household Adoption and Drinking Water Initiative
Bugulumbya Sub-County, Kamuli District, Uganda
Based in Uganda, Whave works with rural communities to identify sustainable solutions for reliable clean water, sanitation and hygiene. The organization introduces WASH services through proof-of-concept, consensus building and practical demonstrations. Working directly with designated community development officers, Whave transforms WASH practices in individual communities and has been implementing sustainable WASH services in Kamuli since 2013.
The Kumali District is located in southeastern Uganda with a population of almost 13,000, many of whom draw their drinking water from boreholes, shallow wells and protected springs. In Uganda, rural water sources often do not work for extended periods due to breakdowns and prolonged repair delays. As a result, the risk of exposure to waterborne illnesses, especially bacterial diarrhea, is rated as very high.
Representatives from MadiDrop PBC and Whave met at the 2015 University of North Carolina Water and Health Conference, a gathering of leading WASH experts and practitioners. Given the safe water needs of rural communities served by Whave, the organizations agreed to test community acceptance of the MadiDrop approach in four communities: Nakibungulya, Nawanende, Busuwa and Bukubembe Kirangira.
Whave staff noted these communities are suspicious of new technologies based on past failed experiences, notably with chlorine and other additives. As a result, Whave introduced M-Drops to community members through “community sensitization meetings”. The first round of meetings was conducted in September 2016. Many community members revealed they do not regularly boil or filter their water due to lack of time or firewood and they rarely use chlorine due to smell.
In general, community members were excited to learn the M-Drop doesn’t have a chlorine taste or smell, and it remains in the container without needing any additional attention. Most agreed they would be willing to pay for an M-Drop.
The next stage of the MadiDrop implementation was to return to the communities and perform water quality testing to assure the community members that the technology is effective at killing the pathogens that make them sick. Overnight testing in all four communities confirmed the M-Drop worked as expected and fully reduced waterborne pathogen levels.
Stage three of the project involved pilot testing the M-Drop in individual homes. Households were advised that Whave would return in one month for follow-up questions and to discuss water quality testing results. Water samples would continue to be drawn and tested every month for six months. Overall, results showed water quality was much better for M-Drop treated water.
In October, meetings were held in each community to gather feedback about using the M-Drop. Whave reported participants were positive about their experience, enthusiastic about the taste and believe M-Drops contributed to improvements in their family’s health.
MadiDrop PBC and Whave are in the process of making 1000 M-Drops available to all interested households in the Kumali District.
"The water is so good - I can really see a difference between the ‘old water’ and the ‘new water’. The ‘new water’ brings appetite so you want to drink more water. I just can’t stop taking this water!"
– Water User Committee Treasurer
"It is clear that there is a demand to purchase MadiDrops. Community members are saving their money so that they can purchase by the end of the year."
– Whave One-Month Field Report
"I have two water containers and want to buy another MadiDrop so I can use one in each.”
"I have had no problems with the MadiDrop. I drink more now because the water tastes so good and there is no smell.”
"I no longer boil my water. I just drink MadiDrop water and my family is all ok."
"The water is good and you can tell the difference between the MadiDrop water and untreated water."