Conclusion of Alim Protected Spring Project – Cameroon
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Stephen Cormier.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to build a protected spring in Alim.
The project was an overall success. We (the Water Management Committee (WMC), community and local NGO) set out to use the funding provided by Water Charity to complete a protected spring catchment to reinforce the existing water systems of two villages. We accomplished everything we set out to do by building the protected spring.
Once we received the funding I notified the WMC to being sensitizing the community for two things—the WMC/Community sensitization refresher course and the beginning of work. The community was very quick to respond to the news and we were able to hold a question/answers session as well as a WMC refresher course with many community members.
The meeting went well to explain the idea of the project—meaning that we’ve received a sum of money which will help us begin the project by building the spring catchment. We explained that shortly after we will continue looking for funds and investigate the best way to proceed because phase two will be connecting the spring to the tank and extending a line into Ameng Up. The community was incredibly please to see that, while we cannot complete all of the work at once, that we were able to begin.
We were very fortunate to have the materials locally sourced, which helped the project move swiftly along. Likewise, the community was very quick to respond to the call to excavate the spring. The entire spring was dug and cleaned within two working days. The community spent an entire working day carrying sand (mainly women) and collecting, carrying, and packing stones (mainly men/boys). Once this was complete we began covering the spring with cement to protect it.
As we were excavating the spring I was becoming a bit nervous we’d run slightly short of funds to fully complete the project. Luckily we were able to finish work (spring and small collection chamber) with a small amount of money remaining, which we used to order a few PVC pipes in order to begin to bring the water closer to the community.
Until additional funding is obtained, the water will flow openly where people may come to collect their new clean water. Everybody was incredibly excited about that and is willing/eager to continue working when the cash comes.
The community is working to obtain more funding before engaging in the next half of the project. The pipeline will become phase two—and we’ll continue expanding the project from there.
Presently we’re working on gathering support from several university groups in the US. We will see how our efforts turn out!
The project has been well received by the community. Repeatedly while working people would (in Pidgin English) exclaim in happiness that ‘Water is life and it’s coming so soon.’
We are grateful to Stephen for completing this excellent project.