Meet Oroma Cathlyne: My contribution to my community as a pump mechanic has given a lot of pride

Cathlyne is 42 years, a single mother of 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls) she’s a Pump Mechanic from Lamogi Sub County trained by Amref Health Africa

Cathlyne is 42 years, a single mother of 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls) she’s a Pump Mechanic from Lamogi Sub County trained by Amref Health Africa and she’s the Chairperson Amuru district Association for Hand Pump Mechanics (HPM) and a subsistence farmer who grows Groundnuts, Cassava, maize, and beans. As the chairperson of Hand Pump Mechanics, she has managed to train over 22 pump mechanics from the local community on how to repair and maintain boreholes. Cathlyne started her career as a Hand Pump Mechanics in 2003 during the insurgency period  that lasted 20 years in Northern Uganda.  Cathlyne was a residence in the Internally Displaced Person Camp (IDP) it was during that time  that she was trained on promoting access to safe and clean water in the IDP Camp. Previously before attending the HPM capacity building training by Amref, our communities had problems with accessing to safe clean water, cases of sexual violence were on the increase especially rape cases due to long bushy distance to the spring wells which placed lives of our young daughters at risk. “By that time, I didn’t have enough money to support my children access education but after being trained and contracted by Amref to support in PIWA MALENG, now I can save some money to support my children to better education and health.” Added Oroma

Cathlyne fixing a bore hole in Lomogi sub county in Amuru District

I can afford all my basic need at the moment; I support my children to access education as well as my community to access safe and clean water. My dream was to see households enjoying their right to safe water, currently am happy that at least I have impacted on lives of many children, young people, and the elders on this village. Meanwhile, as Hand Pump Mechanics (HPMs) we’ve actively worked on the functionality of water sources which has made us new players in the Water and Sanitation sub-sector in Amuru District and our main role is to coordinate and regulate activities of HPMs and other local artisans involved in the operation and maintenance of rural water systems at all levels.

Working as a pump Mechanic has brought a smile on Cathelyn’s face she is able to maintain her self and her children

As HPMAs, we are always contracted by the District Local Governments to maintain and repair of water systems on its behalf and this has been the same case since a number of districts that grapple with water shortages. On the other hand, some of the HPMAs have not yet acquired the technical expertise to manage contracts and on this note I appreciate AMREF for the opportunity.

“The amount of work and money from routine maintenance and repair of water systems is often too low to sustain operations of the HPMA so, I call upon the government to allocate enough funds to support our work” she explained 

To ensure that community members can access safe water for years to come, I have trained almost 30 Water User Committees (WUCs) and I am also happy to see men trained by me playing their roles of supporting their communities to improve on their sanitation by extending clean water.  Cathlyne elaborated that, “she has been recognized by the cultural and religious for the great work of supporting communities to manage sanitation and clean water” and this has motivated her to stay focused on my work.