United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Water, Water! - Programme Ideas

A Survival Still

Transpiration can save lives.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation without drinking water a thin plastic sheet could be the solution to your problem. Try this just for the sake of experimentation.

How it works: The soil and plant material in the hole give off water vapour- transpiration takes place. The moisture in the air under the plastic sheet condenses on the underside of the plastic. These drops of water roll down the plastic into the can.

Note: When the hole is no longer needed, be sure to replace the soil.

Download a full size diagram of how to make a still. Note this is an Adobe pdf document for which you will need Adobe Acrobat.

In Uganda, clean drinking water available straight from the tap is a luxury and is not available to most of the population. The Government has ensured that Kampala, the capital city has a supply of safe drinking water. In other towns, although there is a plumbing system and toilets and baths, a large plastic ferry can, a basin and a bottle of boiled water is the major water supply for tourists in hotels. But at least they have not had to walk for miles to collect their own water.


Water collection is a fact of life for most people in Uganda and some women may have to walk a few kilometres to their nearest water supply and this may not always be clean. Children too help to collect water.

Scouts in Uganda help villages make the water supplies safer by fencing off water holes to prevent animals using them for drinking. Clean water would greatly improve the health of people living in villages as many diseases are spread if the water is contaminated.

Programme Ideas

  1. Ask the Scouts to write down when and why they use water. They can then identify ways of reducing how much water they use, but remind them that they have to stay healthy.
  2. Find out where the nearest standpipe is? If their water supply was cut off for any reason, how would the Scouts obtain water and from where?

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 6 January 2004


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