Djelibakoro Well Project – Guinea
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Djelibakoro is a village of 12,000, situated where the Niger River and the Sansando River meet. It experienced rapid growth during the past decade after the construction of a major bridge over the Niger, and now hosts the largest weekly market between the major Guinean cities of Kankan and Siguiri.
The citizens of Djelibakoro have prospered from this growth, but it has also been a source of pressure on the area’s natural resources, including groundwater. The two great rivers dominate life in Djelibakoro, which partners annually with neighboring villages to host of one of Guinea’s oldest and largest fete de mars or lake festivals. Still, Djelibakoro sits at the edge of the Sahel, and it knows thirst every year.
During the wet season, Djelibakoro’s location is optimal for easy access to groundwater, and the majority of families have access to shallow hand dug wells. Unfortunately, this situation changes dramatically during the 4-6-month dry season. Hand-dug wells dry up and villagers are left to rely on potentially contaminated surface waters (classified as “unimproved” by the U.N Millennium Development Goals), or on the 5 functioning machine-dug tubewells.
For 12,000 residents, 5 tubewells is clearly insufficient. Women closest to the tubewells wait in line for hours to access water while the majority of villagers walk long distances (some more than a kilometer) to access surface water. Families drinking from surface waters are at particular risk from diarrheal diseases, which account for an estimated 10% of deaths in children under 5 worldwide.
Action Terrestre International will drill a deep borehole (estimated to be about 50 meters deep), and will install a manual hand pump of Indian manufacture. Piping will be installed and the well will be sealed. Surface improvements will include a concrete slab, drainage indentation, and soak pit.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Shreyan Sen will work closely with Mr. Fofana, a local school teacher and former Peace Corps counterpart, and the Djelibakoro water committee to ensure successful completion of construction. Mr. Fofana or a water committee member will visit the construction site at least four times per week.
Project implementation will also be monitored by local Peace Corps Volunteer partners. Two current Peace Corps Volunteers, Kathryn Boyle and John Leaderman, will physically visit the site and confirm construction progress.
The project is expected to take 10 days to complete. The well will be managed by the Djelibakoro Water Committee after completion.
12,000 people will benefit from this project.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Shreyan Sen, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Djelibakoro from 2012 to 2014, will administer the project.
Monitoring and Maintenance
After completion of the well, Shreyan and Mr. Fofana will continue to monitor the project for one year. Mr. Fofana will check in with the community water committee on a biweekly basis, in person or via telephone. If any significant maintenance issues are reported, then the well construction company will be consulted.
If a problem requires significant expense for remediation, then the construction company will be required to return to Djelibakoro and perform repairs as per their one year performance guarantee.
There is a gender discrepancy among Guinean students–over 80% of the junior high school students in Djelibakoro are male. The water burden is a contributor to this disparity. Young women may be withdrawn from school to compensate for the long wait times or long distances required to access water during the dry season. Water scarcity causes women to lose time that could be spent studying or engaging in after school clubs.
Water Charity has designated this project with a LGL+ tag, as it is in the spirit of the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn program. Improved health facilities, especially for adolescent girls and pregnant women, will improve the ability of girls to remain in school.
This project is being funded by an anonymous donor. To allow us to pay for more great projects like this one, please donate to our Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program by clicking the Donate button below.
This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.