Dagma Borehole Project – Togo
Dagma, Tchamba District, Central Region, Togo
Dagma is a small village in the Central Region of Togo with a population of about 700. Including the outlying communities that share a health center, the population grows to 2,000. The village is completely Muslim. Although the village has a traditional way of life, they are extremely open to enacting behavior change to improve the quality of life.
The village health center, which serves both Dagma and the outlying villages, has a laboratory and maternity ward, along with a dedicated team of community health workers intent on improving health outcomes.
Dagma is home to one primary school and is located close to a secondary school. There are approximately 12 latrines and 15 hand-dug wells in the community.
The main source of water in Dagma is a 20-year-old pump, installed by a German NGO, which is located at the primary school and is often the epicenter of village conflicts.
There are two main needs for the village: a safer (better water quality) and more convenient water source, and health and hygiene training. These two needs are linked in the sense of keeping people healthy and free from the need for hospitalization by providing safer (cleaner) water that is not degraded by uncontrolled human and animal waste due to the lack of latrines or wellhead protection.
The existing well is in the northern part of the village and has a concrete casing that extends approximately 20 cm above a cement slab. The pump head, about a meter in diameter, is concrete sealed, and a hand pump lifts the water to the ground surface. This pump is used by the village of Dagma and other nearby villages, but only at certain hours of the day during certain times of the year. The restrictions placed on the usage of the pump cause long lines, and makes it extremely difficult to obtain potable water during the dry season, where wells run dry intermittently when overused.
Villagers who can’t use the pump are required to obtain water from one of the fifteen personal hand-dug shallow wells in village. The yield and water quality of all the wells in Dagma are seasonally variable. Some of the wells are muddy year-round, and some of the wells dry up for part of the year.
While there are approximately 10 personal latrines and two public latrines in Dagma, most of the households do not have latrines, thus resulting in the common practice of defecating wherever one chooses, increasing the spread of uncontrolled human waste.
Access to clean water is essential for a healthy population which in turn results in an improved standard of living. The community understands that without access to clean water, many aspects of their lives are changed, such as absences from school, work-time, and everyday activities, due to illness, which is why the water committee was formed.
This project is to provide potable water through the installation of a deep borehole well, a sealed electric pump, a water tower and tank, a filtration system, and 4 spigots for access.
An area around the well will be protected, known as a Wellhead Protection Zone, the hydro-logically sensitive area near the well. Typically for a borehole well, the groundwater flow paths leading to the well are delineated and the land surface area above this zone are cordoned off to prevent contamination of the groundwater through infiltration of surface-derived contaminants.
After the collection of the materials (sand, gravel, and water), the drilling technician will begin installation and construction of the well. The initial drilling has been planned to a depth of 60 meters with an additional provision to drill up to 120 meters if necessary, which is specified in the contract signed by the drilling company.
Following the installation of the submerged electric water pump, construction will begin on a 7-meter-high water tower that will support a new polyethylene tank water tank holding 3,000 liters, distributing water by gravity feed to four water spigots at the base of the tower for public use.
The well will be equipped with both a filtering and chlorine-based treatment system, so that the water coming from is clear and potable. The work will begin in April, 2018 and will take approximately 3 weeks to complete.
The members of the Dagma water committee had a week-long training conducted by the, the well technician, and the government hydro-geologist, on WASH behaviors, well maintenance, and the roles and responsibilities of the committee. The trained members of the committee will assist in doing the “Hygiene and Sanitation Series”. This series will be held in every neighborhood of the village as well as different mosques every Friday for four weeks, leading to the implementation of the borehole well and water tower. The focus of the community sessions will be to discuss the importance of having access to clean, safe drinking water and how to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases through improved hygiene and sanitation practices.
2,000 people will benefit from the project.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
The water committee is a key component to the sustainability of this project, with each member having specific roles and responsibilities that outline their work during and after pump installation. One of the main roles of the water committee is to monitor the pump’s function and attend to repairs. Technical training will be given to those responsible for repairs, by the borehole well technician and the government hydrogeologist, as well as contact information for nearby experts who will be better equipped to handle more difficult technical issues.
With the assistance of the Dagma water committee, the village of Dagma has already raised 100,000 cfa for future pump repairs, but will collect 50 cfa from each community member every 2 months to ensure the sustained maintenance of the pump. The committee will also conduct home visits, surveying the village every 6 months for two years following the installation of the pump. These surveys cover a variety of topics from the efficiency of the water committee in village to the health of the family.
The PCV will work with the community health workers of the Dagma clinic to evaluate the behaviors and practices of the village using our WASH surveys. At the end of each survey the community health worker will assess the behaviors of the respondent and give an informal presentation based on the assessment.
The drilling technician, who is from the village, has given a year warranty, agreeing that he will come to repair any problems with the pump for the first year.
Although the funds to get this project underway have been provided by an anonymous donor, we continue to accept donations so that we will have funds on hand for the next project in Togo. Please use this Donate button, and your donation will be attributed to this project and the Peace Corps Volunteer will be notified.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.