Rural Water System Project – Lesotho
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Ha Mahlomola, Likhakeng, Leribe District, Lesotho
Ha, Mohlomola is a rural Lesotho village located in the Leribe District, consisting of 159 households, totaling 782 people.
People of neighboring villages come to Ha Mohlomola because of the clinic and primary school located there. Because primary school is free, most community members have completed their primary education. Unfortunately, because of a lack of funds, education for many ends there. Boys in particular start early career herding cattle. Farming and cattle raising are the primary occupations for community members.
Despite struggling with employment and poverty, community members are well known for their generosity and hospitality. Like many areas of Lesotho, Ha Mohlomola is highly impacted by the HIV epidemic. AIDS-related diseases have left many children in the community with one or no parents. Neighbors and extended family members ensure that all children are provided and cared for.
The biggest challenge for daily life is accessing water. While the water is there, its distance creates struggle.
Currently, women, men, girls, and boys in the Ha Mahlomola community fetch water from one spring catchment. Luckily, the spring doesn’t run dry in droughts. However, it is an unclean water source for community members because it is shared with small animals such as crabs and frogs, as well as stray livestock. Because the spring is uncovered it is also exposed to dirt and similar contamination that finds its way in during heavy rains. Additionally, the location of the well is far for many community members. Those who are elderly have difficulty reaching the well and students are taken from their studies for long periods of time in order to fetch water for in-school use.
The government organization Rural Water Supply had a few years back set up a water pipeline system that filtered the water from the spring and brought it to taps closer to homes and the school. Unfortunately, due to lack of knowledge about how the system ran, and poor maintenance, the system only worked a short while.
This project is to rebuild and expand the water supply pipeline and purification system in the Ha Mohlomola village.
Broken piping will be repaired and replaced as needed. Access points will be built, and a purification system established.
Rural Water Supply will share its expertise through the most qualified construction workers. The chief of the community and the water committee, along with the PCV and her counterpart, will select the best technician for the repairs.
Rural Water Supply will train members of the water committee. They will teach committee members how the system works and what needs to be done to keep it sustainable. The self-chosen water committee members will continuously volunteer their time to see that the system is running. They will fix maintenance issues that arise or report issues to Rural Water Supply when needed.
1,082 people will benefit from the project, comprised of 782 people in 159 households plus 300 students at the school.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
The community has a full understanding that the support for this project is only intended to get the system up and running. Community members have agreed to pay a monthly fee of 3 Maloti (the local currency) required to pay electricity costs. Because of the location of the spring, electricity is needed to move water through the system. The chief will pay the monthly fees for households who are unable to.
In addition to community cash contributions, water committee members will volunteer their time to monitor the system and make any reports of failure to Rural Water Supply. Rural Water Supply is located throughout the country and receives funding from the Lesotho government. They will budget for the replacement of parts in the system.
This project will make it easier for students to remain in school. When the project is complete, water will be available by a tap located close to the local primary school. Instead of missing school up to an hour each day to travel for water, students will be able to use an accessible water tap. The tap will be located not more than a few minutes’ walks from the school. Girls and boys share the burden of water collection, and thus will equally benefit.
The funds for this project have been provided by an anonymous donor. If you like our work, please give a general donation to Water Charity to be used for our next project.