Conclusion of Menka 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 Menka.
The project was a great success. We (the WMC, community and local NGO) set out to use the funding provided by Water Charity to complete a protected spring catchment to reinforce the village’s existing water system.
We accomplished everything we set out to do and more! By the end of the project, we were able to build the spring catchment and begin the foundation of the water storage tank.
After we received funding here in Cameroon I immediately phoned the WMC in Menka. They began planning work and sensitizing the community. Within a week’s time myself and Better Family Foundation (a local NGO I work with) arrived to Menka to begin the WMC training and work.
Seeing we will complete the project in phases we thought it best to also complete the training in phases. This also helped community members because this is an intense farming community—it supplies food to much of Cameroon and even other neighboring Central African countries.
The WMC had already arranged that the cement and sand be delivered to Menka from a nearby market town. This truly expedited the project. We were also very fortunate that the spring itself was not too large, making excavation relatively easy and allowing us to even have some left over cement.
With the remaining cement we found it best to not let it sit for months—putting it at risk for theft and/or to be wasted—we wanted to put it to use! After some discussion the community thought it best to begin building the 40 meter cubed water storage tank. We realized we would only be able to begin the very foundation of it but figured it the next best step seeing the balance of the project’s budget could only buy a few pipes.
This spring is one of maybe up to 4 phases of this project. The next phase (possibly two phases) will be to complete the water storage tank and then finally purchase the pipes to connect the addition to the existing line. It was decided to begin building the tank, even though there are no pipes connecting the spring and the tank. It was said that digging and laying the pipes (though 600+ meters) will take this village merely one single day of labor—while the tank will indeed take time. Nonetheless, we will also continue with training once the second wave of funding is received.
We are quite lucky that this is an incredibly serious and hardworking community. Their water management committee has been active for almost 30 years! It has been the most easy going project yet.
We are grateful to Stephen for completing this important project while maintaining the plan for the comprehensive program.