Sabaringade Clinic Borehole System Project – Togo
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
The village of Sabaringade is located roughly between Sokode, the capital of the Centrale Region, and the town of Tchamba, west of the Benin border. Similar to other villages in this region, the population is primarily Muslim and of Kotikoli, Lamba, Kabyé, and Fulani ethnic make-up.
The village population of 2,000 inhabitants is governed by two different chiefs as a result of a territorial dispute some years back, with the main road serving as the dividing line. However, both chiefs and their respective communities collaborate on community projects where participation is required.
The main livelihood is the cultivation of maize, manioc, yams and tomatoes. The community is food secure most years, particularly in the staple grains. There is no large-scale livestock production except that offered by the nomadic Fulani herders, though most households augment their diet and income with some animal husbandry of chickens and other fowl, sheep albeit on a small-scale.
Sabaringade experiences water shortages during the dry season, and depending on the strength of the prior rainy season, depletion of well water can begin as early as January and will last until the onset of rains the following June. There are several shallow, open wells in both individual households and in communal locations however for a more permanent water source, the needs are satisfied by two deep borehole well, though only one well, constructed in 2017 by a Muslim NGO, appears to function well.
The health clinic at Sabaringade was constructed in 2006 by an international NGO and serves a population of 3,800 people which includes neighboring villages. The clinic is a standard 6-room cement block structure, equipped with indoor plumbing, faucets and drains, and due to its proximity to the main east-west road, has electric power. The staff consists of a head nurse, a mid-wife, a pharmacist. Births average 5 a month suggesting many women continue to give birth at home. The clinic as in other areas holds trainings in family planning and birth control, STD’s, HIV prevention and maternal-childhood nutrition.
The water source at the Sabaringade clinic is a 10-meter well equipped with a hand pump, a metal water tower and polyethylene tank. This shallow well produces water of very poor quality due to both leaky, rusty pipes leading from the water tower to the intake at the clinic, and to the general poor quality of water common in shallow wells which tap a transient source often contaminated in this region a heavy use of by agricultural chemicals.
The well typically runs dry by January. Currently the system is mostly nonfunctional and when working provides just enough water for general cleaning. Given the depth of water in the well particularly during the onset of the dry season, the time required to manually pump water to the 4.5 m water tank is prohibitive for the staff and often is of insufficient quantity.
The lack of water at the clinic is particularly onerous for women giving birth. The relatives of patients are required to haul water during and post-birth for cleaning of the maternity room, utensils and birthing cloth. Potable water for staff and patients is brought to the clinic from a borehole well 5km away in plastic containers and treated with bleach.
This project is to build a borehole well for the clinic. Under the guidance of the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation’s regional office in Sokode and with support from the Ministry of Health regional director, who identified clinics with the most critical need, and a local drilling company, this project proposes to drill a 60- to 100-meter borehole well at the clinic, equipped with the following:
• An electric submersible pump,
• a 4-meter high cement block water tower,
• a polyethylene tank, 2,000 liters in volume, and
• indoor plumbing (water basin and faucet) to the one room with a subsurface drain.
The submersible pump will be run using a gas-powered generator as there is currently no electric power in the community. The local drilling company selected, Plomberie Génerale de Réalisation de Forage, in operation since 1998 and based in Tchamba, has extensive experience drilling deep borehole wells throughout Togo and regionally in Burkina Faso, Benin and Nigeria.
This project will be managed by Anne Jeton, hydrologist and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), Burkina Faso (’82-’85) and Returned Peace Corps Response Volunteer (RPCRV), Togo (’16 -’17).
Anne was sent to Togo on behalf of Water Charity to develop and administer new projects, and to coordinate with Peace Corps.
Monitoring and Maintenance
Along with staff from the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation who will monitor the well “indefinitely” (the well data becomes part of the official borehole well database, and as such is included in periodic field monitoring by technicians based in each Prefecture), the contract for well drilling states a one-year guarantee provided by the drilling company. Problems with pump and borehole functioning are typically resolved in the first month of use.
Proper screening of the borehole and submersible pump placement relative to the static water table often mitigate most common problems. However, any mechanical problems surfacing in the first year will be the responsibility of the drilling company.
The clinic staff will be responsible for maintaining a well repair account which will be funded from the sale of medicines. The clinic will decide a nominal fee for water use should the water account be insufficient, or the community will be asked to contribute directly to the costs.
This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.