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Davis Journal

Local companies pool resources to help village in Uganda

Mar 16, 2023 01:08PM ● By Becky Ginos

Bricks being stacked for the latrine. The people living on the remote island of Bufumira in Uganda helped carry the bricks brought in by boat. Courtesy photo

CENTERVILLE—On the remote island of Bufumira in Uganda villagers don’t have running water, electricity or latrines. They walk a mile and a half carrying water on their heads to bring it back to their mud shacks. In an effort to help out, three local companies, Green Collective, Salmon Electric and Salmon HVAC, combined resources to drill two wells and build a latrine on the island at their own expense. 

“My wife and I served an LDS mission in Zambia,” said Salmon HVAC founder Craig Salmon. “We met another missionary Joseph Snengooba who was going home to Uganda. He was in a rotary type organization that tries to assess different needs in different areas. He called me and asked if there was any way we could help them on a remote island on Lake Victoria.”

He told us they had no water and no latrine, said Salmon. “They have a little school and they were using water out of the lake and people were getting sick. They needed a well at the school for the kids but they also needed one for the village.”

When they learned about what needed to be done, Salmon said he approached the other two companies to see if they’d like to help. “When we told them what we were doing they said ‘we’d love to help.’ Honestly it was a great experience to see them step up and provide money for people they don’t even know.”

Salmon said they got a bid from a company to do the drilling for two wells and the latrine. “We hired them. The first day they drilled they got down so far then hit rock. They tried another spot and hit another rock. They were determined to get them water so they drilled a third time and it worked.”

Everything had to be done by boat, he said. “People were carrying bricks for the latrine. When we were setting up the drill for the well the village people broke into song and dance, they were so excited to have a well.”

Salmon said he received letters from some of the children. “They said ‘thanks for giving us a way to wash our hands and to get a drink of water.’ It was a heartwarming experience.” 

The group went in February for two weeks to work on the project, said Salmon. “They’re just finishing the wells and now they’re working on the latrine. They’re in the process of getting supplies there.”

The people there are so poor it’s heartbreaking, he said. ‘They’re celebrating water when we take it for granted. We have water and electricity and when we turn on the tap we get water. This is life changing for those people.”