Well Improvement Project – Mali
This project is to line, cover, and reinforce five wells in a rural village in Mali. In addition to preventing further erosion and cave-ins at the mouths of the well, this will prevent contaminated surface water (and chickens!) from falling in the wells. Pulley systems will be added to make drawing water easier.
This level of infrastructure will be a new step for the poor farmers who live in the village. Some of the villagers currently take their drinking water from wide-mouthed uncovered wells without any treatment.
The project is being carried out under the direction of Pilar Lyons, a civil engineer serving as a Water Sanitation Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Mali. The village in which she lives has no running water, electricity, or roads (access is via a rutted dirt track, mostly traveled by foot, bike, and donkey cart).
Her job is to find out what sanitation improvements her community feels they need the most and help them make whatever practical changes they see as necessary. In addition to physical projects like improving wells, this includes behavior change work on things like using soap for hand-washing.
The five wells selected for this initial project belong to respected community leaders. Improving the wells of prestigious people converts a household utility item into a status symbol and increases general interest in sanitation.
Four of the wells are topped by a slab of timbers and packed earth, with an old donkey cart tire forming the mouth. Only two are lidded even occasionally. The fifth well has suffered extensive erosion at the mouth, and gapes to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) in diameter at the surface.
Large puddles of churned muck are a feature of several of the wells, because clothes washing and dishwashing take place next to the wells so that women don’t need to carry water a long distance before doing their work. Animals are watered at the well for the same reason. The addition of a concrete wash-area with associated infiltration pit will greatly ameliorate this problem.
The community will provide all of the labor for the project and a percentage of the materials. Project funds will go toward purchasing cement and tools to complete the work.
Once the project is complete, the standing Water and Sanitation Committee will continue to utilize the skills and knowledge of sanitary water supply gained during the project to improve other wells in the village.
$0.00 – The Water Charity participation in this project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Pilar of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or other projects in the country of service.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.