Shisong Water System & Tank Project – Cameroon

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Shisong, Northwest Region, Cameroon

Community Description
A farming community in a multi-ethnic region of Cameroon not too far from the border of Nigeria There is a private hospital specializing in cardiac surgery nearby that shares the name of the village.

Problem Addressed
Simply put, there is a serious lack of clean potable water, especially in the dry season. RPCV Patrick McCarville was a Peace Corps volunteer in this area from 2009-2011 and began working with community leaders in Shisong to identify solutions.  The village leaders made it clear that the issue of clean water availability during the dry season was an immense problem, and work was done to lay the foundations for this project back as early as 2010, including the formation of the Shisong Water Association.

Project Description
A safe water source has been pinpointed 7 km from the town, and this project involves tapping this source to bring water to the community.

Lenjo James Lukong,  the project’s technician determined that the best way to get the water to the community would be to build three spring catchments to collect the water, followed by 8.4 km of piping to get the water to a large storage tank in the town.  From there, 24 standpipes will be used to distribute the water throughout the village.

Patrick returned to Cameroon in the summer of 2014 to follow up on the work he had done as a PCV and found the project still moving forward but in need of a storage tank. Without the tank, the community can only build 6 of the 24 standpipes due to a lack of water pressure. The tank is also needed to store water to guarantee a constant supply of water throughout the dry season. The community has laid most of the piping required to connect the catchments to the storage tank and has excavated the site for the storage tank.  They have done their best to move forward with the project, clearing land, moving stones and digging the foundation for the storage tank.  However, the community lacks the resources to complete the storage tank and finalize the piping to distribute the much-needed water.

The projected financial need to complete the storage tank and water system is itemized below.

Stones – 12 truckloads – $960

River sand –4 truckloads- $640

Cement –150 bags- $1650

Iron Rods 14 mm- 3-$57

Iron Rods 12 mm-3 -$35

Iron Rods 10 mm- 4- $30

Iron Rods 8 mm- 10-$55

Iron Rods 6 mm – 5-$17

All labor is to be done by community volunteers who donate their time during “country Sundays” (holiday from the farm) every month for this project. Over 50 people come out each country Sunday to help with labor. People who are not able to work making food and provide refreshments for all of the laborers.

The Shisong Water Association has already hired a skilled local technician, Lenjo James Lukong, who will handle the technical construction of the storage tank. His fees have already been worked out with the Association. He is very experienced and skilled; he has built spring catchments as well as similar storage tanks for the hospital and the local church.

Project Impact
7,500 people

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Patrick McCarville

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Shisong Water Association will be responsible for monitoring and maintenance of the system to be installed by this project.

During his service, the water committee contacted Patrick for assistance in the development of their project.  He facilitated the drafting of a constitution to formalize a Shisong Water Association and then worked on community education and outreach which resulted in expanding the water committee to include additional elected members of the community. Yearly elections were established for the executive committee of the Shisong Water Association. To ensure the participation of community members with diverse perspectives, the committee established three positions to be held by women, and the executive committee includes members from every quarter.

This project is done under the auspices of our Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date
$3,800, including donations from Southern Maine Community College and friends of PCV Patrick McCarville

Dollar Amount Needed

$0 – This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of the Robert Victor Sager and Beatrice Mintz Sager Foundation.

Donations in excess of the project amount will go to our Cameroon Country Fund.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.