Bonny Odongo – a life of service

Today I followed Sunday and Mr. Peter Elak – veteran handpump mechanic – to Anamoringo community to witness the borehole repair. Anamoringo is an active EverFlow Africa customer with all fees up to March paid up (the COVID19 relief service is free of charge since April). While the team did the repair, I talked with the person who called the toll free hotline to report the breakdown. 

Mr. Bonny Odongo retired after a 41-year career as a military teacher to work on agriculture, fish farming and beekeeping. He got to be the caretaker because he decided to pay for the repair of the borehole when he returned home and found the pump had been broken for a long time. He’s adamant that communities must be responsible for paying for the upkeep of the borehole. As such, he’s trusted by his community to collect household contributions towards the monthly fees. He can be seen in this video comparing notes from his daily pump checks with Mr. Elak.

The borehole at Anamoringo was originally commissioned in 1984 and there are obvious signs of corrosion and silting. In the last 4 years, all boreholes commissioned by Lifeline are installed using 304 Stainless Steel components that ensure better water quality and significantly higher service life. Unfortunately, many communities are still using vintage galvanized pipes that corrode within months. These pipe materials cannot be combined for gradual replacement and the cost of upgrading the entire system is around $2,000. A community with the leadership of Mr. Odongo deserves an upgrade.

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Written by Igor Markov (0)

Igor is a free-spirit who left his home Caracas too long ago and (after bouncing around 4 continents) made Kampala his home (at least he's still trying). He has too many interests to name, but one unifying passion: people. He devotes a lot of his heart (if not his time) to the dream of creating kinship between Africans and Latinos through a group/page/channel called Gente Depinga.

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