Busia, Uganda Swamp
James Okumu walks across a swamp near Busia, Uganda that separates his family from trading centers and neighbors. He’s been waiting for two decades for government to fulfill a promise to build a useful road across the swamp.


James Okumu near his home in Eastern Uganda

We walked across this swamp at night, passing over slime-covered logs over and over until we reached the home of James Okumu where we would sleep the night. We were a water well drilling team made up of Ugandans and me who had been working five days on a water well for a village called Buwembe. We were demonstrating a new hand-drilling method that allows a 6-inch bore hole to be drilled entirely without power tools. In addition to water, people like James Okumu also need roads through places like this swamp. People with road and bridge-building skills could coach this community through less-expensive ways to build bridges using mesh-rock methods and other levee methods employed here in the United States.

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