Giving the Gift of Clean Water

Clean water for school children

Clean water for school children

AWWOA members have first-hand knowledge of the importance of safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Therefore, they support charitable organizations that directly tackle community problems related to bad water. Monies collected through member fund raising are donated to The Water School, a global, non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe water and sanitation solutions in developing nations. 

Charitable Donations 2022

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Bert E. Miller. I served on the Board back in the 90’s and have now returned to the Executive in the position of Charitable Donations Chair.

We would like to thank our members, suppliers, and guests for your attendance at the Annual Operators Seminar. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, it was delightful to see so many familiar faces. Thank you to everyone who participated in the charitable donation activities, from the 50/50, mulligan and raffle draws at the 2021 Golf Tournament in September to the Seminar 50/50 draws, the guess jar and silent auction. Your participation makes our charitable donations successful. The total amount of donations received in 2022 amounted to $23,509. Thank you everyone!

In 2022, the AWWOA has selected two Water School projects in Uganda. The first is the Busabira Primary School in the Kayunga District with 703 children and teachers. These children and teachers suffer from typhoid, diarrhea, worms and stomach aches. One can only imagine how difficult it must be to function with such issues. In Uganda, 33 children die daily from diarrhea alone. The Water School will not only provide clean safe drinking water, but tippy taps for hand washing, rainwater collection, teaching in health and sanitation and how to build safe latrines. When you consider every child can have all the bottled water they can carry, the number of people who benefit is tripled.

The second project chosen is to partner with other charitable donation groups to construct a solar powered bore hole. The clean safe drinking water will supply a minimum of three user communities as well as three new tap stands. I honour all of you who have donated to our Water School projects. As Calvin Coolidge said, “No person was ever honoured for what they received, honour has been the reward for those who give.”

Best Regards,
Bert E. Miller, Charitable Donations Chair
Doug Thorson, Charitable Donations Committee Member


Simple solar disinfection process

Simple solar disinfection process

Solar Disinfection

The Water School program integrates sanitation education programs with Solar Disinfection (SODIS) technique which effectively and simply improves the quality of drinking water. Contaminated water is collected and placed in clear plastic pop bottles which are left in direct sunlight on a hard surface for one full sunny or two full days, if cloudy. The sun’s UV rays kill the micro-organisms in the water making it safe for human consumption.

The Joy of Clean Water

Solar-Powered Borehole

Solar-Powered Borehole

Over the years, you have supported WaterSchool to teach rural Ugandans how to make their drinking water safe using the power of the sun with the SODIS (solar disinfection) method. Thank you for your support — particularly for your generosity last year. 

Together, we have reached over a million people with this simple life changing technology.

SODIS has worked well in most places across Uganda where there is plentiful, but contaminated, surface water. But what about the places where it seldom rains? What happens to communities where surface water is scarce?

With your generous support last year, we started tackling this challenge by tapping into deep underground aquifers and bringing this water to the surface of communities in Uganda's dry corridors using solar-powered pumps. 

This past November, I travelled to Uganda and got to visit one of the communities where the solar-powered borehole that you helped to build was up and running - bringing clean, fresh water up to the surface. 

How does a solar-powered borehole work?

A pump powered by a large solar array draws water up from an underground spring and pumps it into a 10 meter high water tower for storage. From the tower, there is enough pressure to send the water by gravity to tap-stands in villages several kilometres away where community members can access it.  

The borehole I visited is producing more clean water than we had planned. Today, it pumps out 5,000 litres of water every hour – enough for all 5,000 people in the area's seven villages!

The community celebrated the grand opening of the system while I was there — choirs sang, bands played, and a play about clean water was presented. People were thrilled!

It can be hard to fully understand just how transformative this solar-powered borehole will be for the communities. The water families used to consume was not safe as it was often gathered from muddy ponds and stagnant streams shared with animals.  So people — especially young children — were regularly sick from diseases like typhoid and dysentery, and struggled with diarrhea and dehydration.  

With your help, this is no longer the case. With clean water at hand, there is no more wasted money on medicine for waterborne illnesses, no more missing school and work. There is plenty of water and best of all, it is clean.

Who will maintain the system?

One of the key parts of building the solar powered borehole has been establishing Water User Committees at each of the tap stands to manage the water points well and ensure longevity for the whole system. The committees have been trained on how to maintain the tap stands and the entire borehole system. Maintenance on the borehole system is funded by the small water-use fees each community member pays to the Committees.

Before I left, I headed to the tap stand and put my water bottle under the spigot, a beautiful stream of clean water gushed out — overflowing my bottle. 

As I took a sip of the cool, fresh water, I reflected on how grateful I am for you and your enduring support.

Doug and our friends at AWWOA, thank you for jumping in and supporting WaterSchool to build solar-powered boreholes alongside our continued work in SODIS training and hygiene/sanitation education. Thank you for your generosity.

You are helping to change the future for the people in Uganda we serve — I'm so grateful.

Tony Woodruff
Africa Program Director, WaterSchool

2019 Community Impact Report

In our 2019 Community Report, you'll read about how your generous donations helped us focus all of our resources and expertise on simple, replicable solutions.

Because of you, we can ensure that these solutions support the most vulnerable Ugandans in accessing clean water and basic sanitation and hygiene practices that are foundational to good health.

Richard Lau, Executive Director, WaterSchool

To view the full report, visit