Emmaus and Clifton RC schools raise vital water supply funds for Ugandan Catholic primary school

A project among 34 schools and colleges in the Diocese of Clifton has raised enough money to provide vital water supply tanks to a Catholic primary school in Uganda.

Led by St Edward’s School, Hampshire, and Stephen Whelan (Mission & Ethos Lead, St Edward’s School) the Emmaus Water Project is a ground-breaking initiative designed to put water resources into 23 schools in South West Uganda. Working with 34 schools in the Diocese of Clifton Emmaus has recently raised enough money to install four water tanks in St Jude’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Masaka County.

Before this the children used to collect water from a community well in the nearest swamp that was 1.8km from the school. The well would frequently be contaminated with run off water from the upper part of the hill nearby. This has made a huge difference to the lives of the pupils, staff and the whole community.

One of the Clifton schools in the project – St Francis Catholic Primary School in Nailsea – have raised an outstanding £5,419!

The Pupils’ Head Prefect at St Jude’s, Masaka County, said, “We feel relived from the long distances we moved every morning and evening looking for water from the well in the swamp.  We are going to have enough water for drinking and washing. We are going to save more time and energy for our class time. Thank you.”

Mr Mark Lule the headmaster of St Jude’s said, “We want to appreciate all the people and organisations who have made it possible for us to have water tanks at our school. Water is one of the major basic needs of life. Indeed, water has been a big challenge at our school, and now it has been solved.

“You have given us water tanks and have solved a number of challenges that include sanitation, hygiene, waterborne disease and even the parents’ funds that would be spent on pupils’ sickness of those that might have contracted waterborne diseases. Therefore, your contribution is bigger than one may think. You have made our school more functional. Thank you so much.”

Project Lead Stephen Whelan told The Catholic Network that the Emmaus Project has set itself the task of providing water for the children of 23 schools in the Masaka district of South West Uganda to meet their WASH needs; for drinking, cleaning, cooking and the irrigation of their tree nurseries.

“We are doing this one school at a time and, with the help of family, friends and businesses we aim to break the cycle of poverty in Masaka,” said Stephen.

​”We are asking for your help, one school at a time. Our current project is to put 4 x 20,000 litre water harvesting tanks in the Lubanda Islamic school as a gesture of solidarity with Moslem brothers and sisters in a school where children must walk 2.3 kilometres to draw water from a muddy stream.We need to raise £12,000 to meet Lubanda’s water need.”

If you would like to know more, and to donate to the Emmaus Water Project:



Story by William Kelly, The Catholic Network

Pic: staff and pupils at St Jude’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Masaka County.