The Busoga Trust’s ‘Magical’ Borehole Sustainability Program, the PBR Revives Thousands of Boreholes

Written by Moses Waibi and Namukose Winnie


A "result oriented" approach is at the centre of the six (6) core values of Busoga Trust; being driven by our vision of creating healthy and prosperous communities, we strive towards achieving positive results.


Deep wells (boreholes) are the most appreciated and accepted source of safe, clean water in the rural areas of Uganda. Rarely affected by adverse climatic changes which may contribute to water scarcity such as drought, they are very resilient and adaptable to extreme weather events. This therefore makes them the most reliable, safe and easily accessible source of water for the communities in the country. Not forgetting sanitation and hygiene the key in maintaining a safe-water-chain. These two resources are very essential to humanity and central to all development.


However, borehole maintenance has for decades been the major cause of water scarcity and woes in Uganda. Thousands of boreholes both government and private donated all over the country have been left non-functional, abandoned/deserted for years by their respective communities due to the poor management frame works, the use of poor quality parts originally installed, and poverty, causing havoc for these communities as they could not afford to cope with frequent borehole break-downs.


In order to combat this, Busoga Trust decided to intervene with the most effective, convenient and sustainable resolution; the Pay by Results (PBR) programme.


The PBR programme is the Busoga Trust’s flagship borehole maintenance resolution and it’s regarded as the ‘pulse’ of the organization. The programme requires every community where a water source rehabilitation is to be done to enroll into the programme. For a community to be enrolled it means signing a one year contract which requires each household to contribute 1000 Ugandan shillings (£0.22) monthly savings towards the operation and maintenance (O&M) of their borehole, and elect or revive a Water User Committee (WUC) who enact by-laws governing the water source with the guidance of the Trust and ensuring that the water users adhere to them.


This programme also engages the Local Hand Pump Mechanics (HPMs) to be on the alert in case of any malfunctions of the borehole, this in turn ensures full-time functionality of the water source serving people with safe, clean water thereby ensuring efficient, quality and timely service delivery which is the leading objective of the Trust.


Below is a PBR success story in one of the communities!


Meet Bintubizibu Christopher the chairperson of the Water User Committee (WUC) of the Kakiika Lutheran borehole and a senior citizen of Kakiika village located in Nakyessanja parish, Kayonza sub-county in Kayunga district.


Chairperson Kalungi Community village in Kalungi sub-county, Nakasongola District displaying a receipt after paying water user fees under PBR program


For 3 dreadful years we struggled with water scarcity following the breakdown of our borehole due to extremely corroded pipes and rods, wasted cylinder, water tank and pump head; my community could hardly afford the cost of all these parts. We lost hope of ever repairing our borehole and resorted to fetching water from valley dams and unprotected springs. The borehole in the neighborhood was quite distant and it could take one 3 hours to fetch water due to the congestion at the borehole. It was very risky to send our children to the valley dams to fetch water but we had no option, life seemed to lose meaning each passing day.
Then came Busoga Trust, it seemed like a ray of light had shown amidst darkness! All my community members gathered to listen to their words which were so clear and full of life! They revived the Water User Committee, empowered them us with good records keeping skills and proper planning. In May 2021, our borehole was rehabilitated by Busoga Trust and that marked the end of our suffering!
For one full year now, Busoga Trust has been the kinsman of our borehole ensuring full-time functionality as we save the monthly user fees for the maintenance of our borehole. And as I speak now my community has asked Busoga Trust to renew our contract in the best interest of our community.
Thank you Busoga Trust for the integrity and effectiveness in your work!” Christopher spoke with gratitude!