Taworeda Clinic Borehole Project – Togo
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Taworeda is located approximately 30 km southeast of Sokede, the regional capital of the Centrale Region. The population is around 3,800 inhabitants and comprised of several different ethnic groups: Kotokoli, Kabyé, Losso, Moba and Lamba though predominantly Kotokoli and Kabyé, the dominant groups in the Centrale region. History has it the first inhabitants were hunters from the north, arriving to this relatively verdant forested tropical savannah.
The religious make-up is similar to most of the villages in this region, predominantly Muslim with several smaller Christian congregations of various denominations. The people of Taworeda are primarily subsistence farmers cultivating manioc, some rice, yams, soy and maize during the one rainy season a year.
Annual food security is at about 50 %, indicating half of the population lacks sufficient post-harvest storage of essential staple grains; 80 % of the local diet. Households with a scarcity of food stores rely on the generosity of family and neighbors. Animal husbandry exists, although not on a developed scale. Most households have free range chickens and perhaps a few sheep or goats, the latter consumed almost exclusively during religious holidays.
A large community of nomadic Fulani herders settle annually near low-lying shallows during the dry season or for the duration water is present, prior to migrating with their herds southward. Conflicts between pastoralists and sedentary farmers has abated over the years as the Fulani are no longer free ranging their cattle during the growing season, which would otherwise result in damaged crops.
While there are several shallow wells scattered throughout the village, most run dry by April. There are two perennial borehole wells that serve as the main source of water for all 3,800 inhabitants during this period of water scarcity. One is at a communal site managed by a water committee which requires a nominal payment. The other is in the Chief’s compound, and access is free of charge, although limited.
Description of the Clinic
The health clinic in Taworeda serves a larger population of 4,450 people from the neighboring villages. An international NGO built the 6-room cement block clinic in 2009, and equipped the center with indoor plumbing. However, the sole water source was of both poor water quality and of insufficient supply, as water was depleted typically by late November – earlier than most of the village wells.
There is no electric power in Taworeda and only recently has the clinic had access to power for lights and a refrigerator, through a 2017 UNICEF solar panel project. The clinic pays for power with funds from the sale of medicines.
The clinic is staff by a head nurse, a licensed mid-wife, and a pharmacist. The most common illnesses treated at the health clinic include malaria, gastro-intestinal diseases, a variety of infections from surface cuts to respiratory complications, and births, which average 9 per month. Though most of the women attending the clinic for maternity services cannot pay the clinic fees, pregnant women still receive care and are encouraged to attend the family planning and child-maternal nutrition classes offered at the clinic.
The water supply infrastructure presently at the Taworeda clinic consist of a 9 m deep, closed well equipped with a manual hand pump, a 4.5 m metal water tower and a 1 m3 polyethylene tank. According to the clinic staff, the well and pump ceased functioning effectively several years ago and today what little is pumped is used by the neighboring households, as the water quality is considered too poor for clinic use.
The Red Cross evaluated the well in 2015 and decided the system could not be rehabilitated – requiring the relatives of patients to haul water, particularly onerous for those patients giving birth, as water needs must also be provided post-birth for cleaning of the maternity room, utensils and birthing cloth.
Water brought to the clinic from neighboring wells is poor and requires the addition of bleach. Potable water for staff and patients is brought to the clinic in plastic containers from the borehole well 0.5 km away and subsequently sanitized with bleach.
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 2 meter**3 polyethylene tank , and
• indoor plumbing (water basin and faucet) to the one room with a subsurface drain (mentioned above).
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.
4,450 people will benefit from the project.
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.
The PCV near the site will monitor construction and do periodic evaluations.
This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.