Josh & Anna Dickenson | The BundiWater Project
I recently met with Gerald in a dimly lit room in the front of a mud hut. His voice was strong and vibrant and there were plenty of smiles to go around as he talked about high school and home life. This meeting was certainly a far cry from the first time I met Gerald in the summer of 2012. Rumors of a cholera outbreak nearby were emerging as patients were being admitted to the previously closed cholera ward. I knew that as an engineer in water development, I needed to see the effects of this terrible disease first hand. As I approached the ward at the small health clinic, I found one of my Ugandan friends outside. He told me with tears that his son, Gerald, had just been admitted. And this is how I first met Gerald – in a dingy ward without light and minimal healthcare supplies. He was clinging to both life and dignity as his life poured out of him. I stood at the foot of his bed only able to pray that his life would be spared. This preventable disease is one of the reasons that I am here in Bundibugyo and continue the BundiWater Project.
– Joshua Dickenson –
– About the Dickensons –
The Dickensons have been missionaries in East Africa since 2009 (Anna) and 2011 (Josh). Anna taught at Rwenzori Mission School in Bundibugyo Uganda for two and a half years before teaching at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya for a year. Josh began working as an engineer in Bundibugyo in 2011 with SERGE (formerly known as World Harvest Mission) with a focus on using clean water projects as a vehicle for sharing the Gospel. Josh and Anna met in Bundibugyo in 2011, were engaged in 2012, and married in 2013.
Anna grew up in Salisbury, NC and attended college at High Point University. She graduated with a BA in Middle Grade Education with a concentration on math and sciences. Anna has a heart and vision for mentoring young, culturally marginalized women. Her vision includes equipping these young women with practical job skills and opportunities in the marketplace.
Josh grew up in Jacksonville, lived next to the Butensky family from the age of nine, and attended the University of Florida where he earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters and PhD in Environmental Engineering. Josh has a heart and vision for serving the poor through development of water supply infrastructure, water quality monitoring and treatment, technical education and system management, and community public health education.
– The BundiWater Project –
Bundibugyo, Uganda is a rural district located in western Uganda along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many household members in Bundibugyo walk significant distances to collect water in plastic containers from public tapstands, protected and unprotected springs, and local streams. This responsibility generally falls to women and children and exerts a significant time requirement on daily life. Due to lack of proximity to an improved water source women and children often will collect water from an unsafe location. Bundibugyo has a high infant mortality rate with one of the primary causes being unsafe water, and there continue to be outbreaks of significant waterborne illnesses due to lack of access to safe drinking water sources (Typhoid – Fall 2011, Cholera – Summer 2012).
Vision: To reduce infant mortality and increase public health in Bundibugyo through improved access to safe water.