Mobilising support example:
Water source in Kutbwoho

Proudly presenting the refurbished water source
Clean water again from the rehabilitated borehole
OrganisationGulu NGO Forum
TopicWater and Sanitation


Gulu NGO Forum was established in 2001 as an umbrella organisation for civil society actors in Gulu district. As they are very much involved in policy advocacy and building its members' capacity, they decided to participate in a classroom course on Mobilising support offered by Change the Game Academy partner UNNGOF, in order to enhance their own knowledge and capacities on this subject. One of the new techniques they learned, the fireplace conversation to analyse a communities' problems and the possible solution of these issues, was successfully employed in this example.

Problem analysis

Due to the breakdown of the government dug borehole, the community members of Kutbwobo were accessing unclean water from the nearby river Unyama which exposed them to a lot of risks including water-borne diseases. This river was being shared by both the community and cattle.
Women were troubled to walk long distances in search of water and had to spend most of their time in this effort.
The fireplace conversation organised by the Gulu NGO Forum in the village of Kutbwobo was a stark reminder that the community could do more than it is doing now.

Solution analysis

Refurbishing of the water sources in the community; rehabilitating the boreholes.

Stakeholder analysis

Which stakeholders (NGO’s, government, private sector) did you identify as allies and how did you involve them?
a. Village Chief and local leadership LC1, Community Elders.
These were invited and engaged during the community dialogues held under the Philanthropy for Development programme.
b. NGOs.
Gulu NGO Forum organised the community dialogue to discuss the pertinent issues in the community.

Which stakeholders did you identify as neutral and how did you mobilise them?

Which stakeholders did you identify as opponents and why were they opposed?

How did you involve your beneficiaries in the stakeholder analysis/campaign?
Through fireplace conversations the community shared the issues affecting them. Various issues were presented and ranked.  The water issue emerged as the main problem affecting their welfare and therefore the most pressing issue.
Beneficiaries were also tasked by local leadership to contribute to the rehabilitation of the water source. With each household contributing 2000 UGX out of 100 households mobilised.

Short description of the organisation implementing the action/campaign

Founded in 2001 as an umbrella organisation for civil society actors in Gulu district, Gulu NGO Forum was eventually registered in 2004 as a forum that serves to coordinate the affairs of non-governmental organisations in Gulu district (now the area covering Gulu, Amuru, Omoro, Nwoya districts, and Gulu City). Its mandates are to spearhead policy advocacy, build its members' capacity and the capacity of its stakeholders, coordinate the affairs of non-governmental organisations in the greater Gulu area, and facilitate networking and information sharing. Over the years, the Gulu NGO Forum has served as the beacon of hope for civil society organisations in advancing their cause for participation in development including their mobilisation in planning with the local governments. Gulu NGO Forum has collaborated with national partners including the Uganda National NGO Forum which is the strategic partner with whom Gulu NGO Forum has enjoyed collaboration on many fronts such as strengthening regional advocacy networks (RANS) and now implementing the Philanthropy for Development Programme to change the rhetoric around development in ways that ensure bottom-up participation of citizens and communities to influence their own community development.

Action period
September - December 2021

1. Access to clean water.
2. Reduce distance to water source.
3. Reduce the rate of water-borne diseases.
4. Fence the water source to prevent contamination.

Action results
1. Unity and togetherness among the community members but also bridging the gap between community leaders and community members.
2. Access to clean water: with the borehole rehabilitated and fenced the community has access to clean and fresh water.
3. The youth are now using the water from the borehole to lay bricks which they aim to sell to enhance their livelihoods.
4.Women are now freed from the stress of strenuous journeys in search of water from a distant river.

Description of preparatory activities
1. Invitation to the local leadership.
2. Team meeting at the organisation.

Description of implementation
1. The action was held through a community dialogue where the water issue was presented to the community leadership as an issue that affected Kutbwobo village.
2. Through the fireplace conversation, the community leadership mobilised the community to contribute to the rehabilitation of the water source.
The community contributed in-kind, e.g. the labour for construction and clearing of the surrounding environment, provision of the locally available materials like construction poles, etc. required for the refurbishing of the borehole, digging of the drainage channel and pit, cutting and erecting poles for the perimeter of the borehole.
3. A water committee was formed to supervise the rehabilitation and maintenance of the boreholes.

Description of time investment
3 months

Transport costs and facilitation for the Village Chiefs and local Council Leadership: 300,000 UGX.
Refreshments during meeting: 500,000 UGX.

Follow up
Lead facilitator for the meeting, Okeny Charles, carried out a follow up site visit. He asked the community members for their consent to use their stories of change after the rehabilitation of the borehole, which they gave by filling in a consent form.

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