Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Summary of FINAL ROUND 3)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Summary of FINAL ROUND 3)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Summary of FINAL ROUND 3)

This project has been completed. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE. To read the SUMMARY OF ROUND 2, CLICK HERE.


Five additional clinic and community access borehole wells were completed during this final phase, all in the Sotouboua district of the Centrale Region, for a total of (13) clinics in 2022 and (15) in 2018.  As with all the prior phases, clinic sites were selected from a list provided by the regional Ministry of Health (and modified by field assessment), implemented by the same local Togolese hydraulic firm (Multi-Ingénieurs Conseil) and supported by the regional Department of Hydraulics (Ministry of Rural Water and Sanitation). Assuming all households in the vicinity utilize the potable water source at the clinic, on average 3,500 more community members will benefit from the potable water provided at the new borehole wells, in addition to several thousand more benefiting as patients, particularly pregnant and birthing women and their relatives. Each of the (13) new sites are now equipped with lab-verified potable water from deep borehole wells ranging in depth from 52 to 145 meters, gravity-fed systems providing running water into the buildings, replacement/repair of indoor plumbing as needed, functioning faucets, water lines to some of the staff housing (paid by the clinic), a faucet outside the clinic for patient relative use and in all sites but one, community faucets on the water tower. The borehole water yields range from 2,150-7,200 liters/hr (with several in Rounds 1 and 2 exceeding 10,000 l/hr) indicating there is ample groundwater to supply all of these villages well into the future. The importance of deep borehole wells cannot be overstated as the majority of water sources in Togo in general are either unfiltered surface water or shallow 3-6 meter deep hand-dug wells where water infiltrates from the surface thereby collecting all of the waste and bacterial content from the land surface or moves laterally in the shallow subsurface from polluted streams or from latrines, buried waste dumps into these household water sources. All of the Water Charity borehole data from the 2018 to the current projects, have been incorporated into the national groundwater database, allowing for the communities served through this rural water project to be supplied with ample potable water well into the future if there are funds allocated to extend the current plumbing infrastructure. Most NGO well installations are implemented without the knowledge or participation of the regional government water agencies thus resulting in poor installation, a lack of follow-up and missed opportunities for augmenting local water supply.  Each clinic was provided with a site-specific operation and maintenance manual during the official opening. As with the two earlier phases and those from 2018, the after-birth systems (delineated below with an “*”) includes a simple bucket-flush (except for those clinics with pre-existing flush basin) vessel for after-birth discharge, a dedicated cement-lined septic tank, floor and birthing table drains and functioning indoor plumbing. This may be one of the most important contributions to the clinics themselves, as hygienic disposal of blood and tissue protects the staff and patients against blood-borne diseases, like Ebola. Not to mention, the privacy and hygienic conditions for both the midwife, patient, and relatives. Indoor plumbing of potable water allows the clinic staff and the patient community to benefit from microbial-free water and proper cleaning, anti-septic handwashing and cleaning of surfaces and laboratory equipment. The benefits of bacteria-free water are known the world over. Each borehole well was sampled once drilling was completed and analyzed at the regional government laboratory for microbial and inorganic constituents and the results compare to WHO standards. All (28) borehole wells completed in 2018 and 2022 meet or exceed the WHO standards. The original copies of the lab reports were given to each clinic head. Copies have been provided in all reports submitted by the program lead to Water Charity along with geologic borehole cross sections. While the world, in general, appears eager to “go solar”, the reality in Togo is there is a lack of trained technicians coupled to the very poor quality of imported solar panels.  With the exception of very simple arrays designed to light a few light bulbs in the clinics, non-functioning solar panels and by extension malfunctioning solar-powered water pumps are in evidence throughout the region.

SITE NAME OF RURAL CLINIC : Sotouboua Prefecture

To see related videos to this project. Click Here.


Balanka is situated in the district of Tchamba near the Benin border. Its 10,700 inhabitants are predominantly Muslim of the Anii ethnic group. While a trading center, those not involved directly in commerce are subsistence farmers. The government installed a municipal water system in 2017, which was to provide the clinic with running water however the poor quality infrastructure (broken pipes, poor water pressure and quality) left the clinic and maternity building without running water.  The original clinic is of the same manner as most of the project sites; two buildings were built in 1994 of banco brick with an unpotable, open-well water source. In 2017, a new modern maternity building was built by a Togolese member of the community living in France, financed by both his association and his in-laws. Completed in 2018, this modern birthing center is equipped with an ultra-sound machine and several flush toilets and showers, but lacked running water. The only water source was the open well situated between the two buildings. The clinic at Balanka was not on the Ministry of Health list as a center needing water, rather the head midwife who had benefitted from Water Charity’s borehole program in 2018, mentioned the lack of water and the need for a borehole water system, as the sole water source for both the maternity center and clinic was the open well. Given the substantial resources already allocated to build the maternity center (which sees on average 40 births per month), Water Charity added Balanka to the project list with some assistance from the donors in France. There is electric power in Balanka. The borehole yielded 3,200 liters/hr at a depth of 90 meters, sufficient for equipping the two buildings and for the needs of the neighboring households. The cement water tower is higher than at the other sites given the extensive plumbing needed in the maternity center. Given the rather complex plumbing in the maternity building (i.e. numerous toilets and showers), there will be a need for frequent maintenance and upkeep.


After the initial meeting in March, 2022 with members of the hydraulic team (in front holding notebooks), clinic staff and members of the community

Affossala, located in the Tchamba prefecture, is a large village of 10,500 inhabitants comprised of Bagué, the original inhabitants, Kabyé, Losso, Kotikoli, Moba and Peuhl (Fulani), both nomadic and sedentary. All major religions are present, including “les hommes libres” i.e. free men! According to the head nurse!  Affossala is divided into (10) neighborhoods, each with their own head. Currently, the village has 4/6 functioning manual borehole wells. The clinic was built in 2005 by Plan International, a typical six-room cement-brick building with plumbing and no water source outside of the non-potable open well. Several years later the well was retrofitted with a metal water tower, a metal water tank, and a manual pump though with the same intermittent open water source. Prior to the current project, the clinic staff utilized a neighboring water source. Affossala has a municipal water project in development and was initially not slated to be included in the present project. However, after several weeks of bantering about with various village and government officials on why the village’s only health center was not prioritized for access to this “public” water system, the clinic head and the regional hydraulic director made a successful push for an independent water source. Municipal water systems in Togo are known for frequent malfunctions, sometimes for months at a time. At the time of drilling, a municipal waterline was in place in front of the clinic implying the neighborhood would receive community water. Early meetings with the community indicated there was little interest in assisting the clinic with the purchase of petrol for the generator or repairs. Given this and the presence of borehole wells nearby, the Affossala clinic was not equipped with community faucets on the water tower. Drilling down to a depth of 92 meters with a water yield of 2,150 liters/hr assures both potability and a long-lasting water source. The water system is the sole use of and responsibility of the clinic staff and patients. The pump is operated by a gas-powered generator. Affossala may be electrified in the coming year at which time the water pump can be converted to run-on electricity.

Opening day


The seat of the Canton, Kazaboua is comprised of (8) villages. The clinic was built in 2009 by an Arab NGO with the usual open-well water source. At the time of the initial visit, there were no borehole wells in the village of 6,500 inhabitants. As with the other villages, the population if of mixed ethnicity and religion, and subsistence farming (maize, yam, peanuts, soya and sorghum) the primary occupation with household livestock. The household are both dispersed i.e. homes adjacent to fields or grouped together. During the cultivation season (May-September) the number of people accessing the clinic well increases. There are few latrines in the village and none at the clinic. The clinic, with the assistance of the village, in 2019, installed a submersible pump to install running water into the building in addition to an after-birth discharge system. The clinic was listed as having water and was omitted from the list of planned projects until a visit indicated the source of water inside the clinic was from the non-potable open source well. There is electric power in the village. The borehole pump test yielded a high volume of water (6,700 l/hr) at a depth of 60 meters, sufficient to allow for an expansion of community access points in the future.


Fazao clinic with head nurse and pharmacist

Fazao, one of the most scenic villages, is situated next to a large natural reserve along the foothills of the Fazao mountains. The original settlement in this region of Sotouboua, Fazao is a Muslim community of cultivators and herders. Predominantly members of the Kotokoli and Tem ethnic groups (unusual in an area comprised mostly of Christian and animist Kabyé), the village has benefited from assistance from some of its members in Europe, part of the so-called “ Diaspora”. However, once again, the lack of oversight and poorly trained personnel resulted in failed water projects throughout the village. The clinic was built in 1992 and remodeled in 2017 with funds from the diaspora. There are (6) borehole wells in Fazao though currently, only three are working. Until very recently, there were no residential clinic staff in Fazao. As a result, the patient attendance is very low compared to other clinics however with the installment of a full-time nurse and midwife assistant, the number of patients seen at the clinic are rising. The community and its leaders are more motivated than many other project sites in addition to the community members willing to pay for water, an important element for the clinic as there is currently no electric power in Fazao thus requiring the purchase of diesel to run the pump generator. There are newly installed power poles in Fazao implying the village will be connected to the power grid sometime soon.  There are no lights in the clinic as the existing solar panels are no longer functioning. Nighttime Patient care and births are illuminated with cell phones. The borehole well yielded 5,300 liters/hr at a depth of 90 meters, far above the current clinic needs, however, the water shortage in the surrounding households and in the village, in general, will be adequately met now and into the foreseeable future as the population of Fazao increases.


Melamboua is on the road to Fazao, one of the project sites in the district of Sotoubou. Another old clinic was built in 1990 by the NGO Plan International. A typical 6-room brick building without electricity or potable water, serving a population of 5,500 inhabitants scattered about (14) villages. The existing water source is the standard shallow open well used by the nearby households. In 2016, according to a plaque on the metal tower, the Red Cross added the water tower, a hand crank pump, and plumbing into the building however no changes in the water source, which remained non-potable. The entire apparatus ceased functioning within the year. The village is comprised predominantly of Kabyé ethnic group however there are both nomadic and sedentary Fulani. A high water yield of 7,200 liters/hr was reached at 60 meters, sufficient to supply the community with potable water for several years to come assuming the water system is well maintained. While the clinic did not have electric power at the start of the project, the regional Ministry of Health director accelerated the positioning of an electric meter and within a few weeks of the center had electricity and the water pump was hooked up accordingly.

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Round 2)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Round 2)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Round 2)

April 30-July 8, 2022 : May 1 contract signed with the contracting firm, Multi-Inginéurs Conseils). The official opening was July 6-8. Due to a delay in receiving the funding for Round 3 (June 17) the team was occupied with starting the geophysics and drilling for Round 3 in addition to other non-WC work to which MCI was obliged. In addition, one of the clinics, Sessaro, whose center was recently electrified, was waiting for the power company to increase the wattage to accommodate the submersible pump and water distribution demands (rectified June 25). To read about the SUMMARY OF ROUND 1, CLICK HERE. This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

SITE NAME OF RURAL CLINIC : Sotouboua Prefecture

To see related videos to this project. Click Here.

SOTOUBOUA , one of five prefectures (districts) in the Centrale Region, is situated south of Sokodé along the National Highway (the N1). A verdant region with good soil, abundant rain and dispersed subsistence farming communities (households living adjacent to their lands rather than congregated in the village center). The health centers (USP) are usually located outside of the village center hence limiting the number of households directly benefitting from the clinic well. The dominant ethnic group is the Kabye, originally from the Kara region to the north and after the political turmoil of 1992, were forced from Plateau Region to the south. Most are animists with some Christians and lesser Muslims however most appears to be a blend of animist-flavored Christianity. All of these sites are remote though several have been since serviced with electric power and let us not forget the cell towers which seem to have sprouted since 2018. So while there is little potable water, along with a plethora of other problems including the constant absence of pump repair, everyone has a phone and money for mobile data!! While the work follows the need outlined by the regional ministry of Health, most of the project sites were in fact not the list and those that were did not have potable water. The regional heads has been advised to update the list to conform to reality on the ground, for whoever follows Water Charity.


Clinic head (known as the “major”) and the midwife. This is a very small clinic compared to the others, without any indoor plumbing. No ceiling, just a metal roof. One step up from what is known as a health “hut” which is the lowest rung of community health care. Hence the reason for equipping this center with a solar system which normally would have been too expensive however a borehole well was drilled in 2015 by the government hydraulic department thus allowing the project to forego  another borehole (see video of functioning borehole with manual pump)

Population of 3,000 with an additional 2,000 people living within the area serviced by the clinic. Mixed ethnic groups, muslims and animists. The clinic is very small, built-in 1999 without potable water. No ceiling, simply a metal roof and no prior plumbing. A borehole well was drilled in 2015 though most of the community water needs ae met at the nearby Mono river. Only two borehole wells exist in the village. Situated about 20 km from the district seat at Sessaro. No electricity in the village. Decided on a solar power system as a trial site given the remoteness of the village to access to generator parts and fuel. Village remote. We installed our first solar pump system as we did not have to drill a new borehole as the existing well produces a sufficient yield 0f 12,000 l/hr for both community use and the clinic. Manual pump was left in place to serve the community and a submersible pump added at depth for supplying water to the water tower for clinic and patient use.


Work Completed: May 09th, 2022



A district seat, Sessaro has a population of approximately 5,500, though the population served by the clinic is 12,500 comprised of (17) villages at a distance up to 5 km from the clinic. The USP clinic is the only official health center in Sessaro. The village is made up of mainly Kabye, Kotokoli, Lamba and Losso with the majority practicing animism and to a lesser extent, Islam. The clinic is situated in a less dense part of the village with roughly 60 neighboring households and a school nearby, both groups accessing the borehole clinic well which was drilled by the government hydraulic agency. Built-in 1998, a new maternity building was added in 2003 and later the clinic was renovated in 2021 with clinic funds, including housing for the head nurse and a covered waiting area for community vaccinations and meetings. Usually, the community is required to finance any repairs or renovations. However, at Sessaro, community participation has been negligible. There are only (4) borehole wells with manual pumps in the village (one nonfunctional). The other water sources are the typical shallow, nonpotable open wells found in many households and at community points. The clinic received electric power in 2016.


Work Completed: May 07, 2022

KAZA Prefecture OF Sotouboua

The clinic serves an outlying population of 6,000. Built in 1992 by the state, the water source was a rain-catchment cistern followed by an open well. A borehole well was drilled in 2005 and outfitted with a hand pump (intermittently operational). No electric power. A community of subsistence farmers, mainly Kabye, Kotokoli with seasonal Fulani. One of the more motivated communities insofar as providing the financial means to repair the building (2005), staff housing (2017 and currently a new storage room. This involvement indicates the community will most probably assist in maintaining the new well and water system in proper working order.


Work Completed: May 07, 2022

TEMBIO CLINIC Prefecture OF Sotouboua

Built-in 1999 and scarcely touched since. The population of 3,500 and as with all of the villages save a few, the density of households near the clinic is sparse. Power in the village. Same water source as previously described. Predominantly animists. Subsistence cultivators. Probably the worst clinic insofar as the condition of the building. Rotting ceilings with bat poop and urine odors. Leaky metal roof, lacking screens on windows. Obviously little motivation on the part of the community at least since its construction in 1999, but a helluva high producing borehole (12,000 l/hr)! A meeting with the head Chief while full of promises for their share of labor, sand, and gravel, amounted to nothing.


Work Completed: May 06, 2022



Finished in 2018 as part of the initial (15) rural community and clinic water projects. As part of a continuing follow-up, the clinic was visited 4/26/2022. Solao has made significant improvements since 2018, using its funds to repair doors and windows, patch and paint walls, new beds, and a new veranda. The diesel generators purchased in 2018 were of poor quality.

Solao was a worthy candidate to receive a new European-made generator in addition to borehole wellhead protection as the borehole well was inadequately sealed in 2018.

To see related videos, Click Here.


Finished in 2018 as part of the initial (15) rural community and clinic water projects. As part of a continuing follow-up, the clinic was visited on 4/11/2022. Visibly a problem with the borehole well as seen by the presence of red mud on the water tank and the head of the clinic describing sedimentation in tank (since 12/2019). As this appeared to be a problem with the borehole itself, the borehole was flushed on 6/4/2022. In addition, the water filter was moved to a lower position on the water tower for ease of access, and the borehole opening was properly closed and encased in a cement box (the latter not done in 2018 leading to debris inside the open borehole).

To see related videos, Click Here.


Finished in 2018 as part of the initial (15) rural community and clinic water projects. As part of a continuing follow-up, the clinic was visited on 4/28/2022. Samai clinic never received the benefit of an official closing as the Director of Hydraulics and Rural Water ( a government agency, part of the Ministry of Water) never visited the site nor was there any of the promised follow-up. As a result, Samai, the last clinic (and the most remote from Sokodé) was poorly completed. Problems with the indoor plumbing and the community participation was evident during the informal 2019 visit (not part of a funded program). The 2022 project rectified the (ancient) plumbing problems on 6/6/22  (which would have been a part of the overall water system work) by replacing corroded pipes and faucets, in addition to the same well-head protection as Solao and Kemeni clinics.

To see related videos, Click Here.

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

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program,  Centrale region, TOGO (Round 1)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program,  Centrale region, TOGO (Round 1)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program,  Centrale region, TOGO (Round 1)

April 4 – May 13, 2022 Funding for Round 1 was received on 3/29/22. Site visits began shortly after arriving in Sokode – on 3/22. April 4 was the signing of the contract with the contracting firm, Multi-Ingineurs Conseils. To read about the SUMMARY OF ROUND 2, CLICK HERE. This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

SITE NAME OF RURAL CLINIC : Tchouadjo Prefecture

To see related videos to this project. Click Here.


The village of Sada II is another predominantly farming community of several ethnic groups (Kabye, Lossi, Moba) comprising Muslims, Christians and Animists. The farming households are scattered often a km or so from each other adjacent to the family fields.  The clinic, built in 1991,  serves a population of some 4,500 people. This is a relatively remote area (although there is a new cell phone tower!) without electricity. The clinic powers a few lightbulbs and a refrigerator with solar panels. Prior to this project, the water source for the clinic was a manual borehole well a km from the clinic. The village overall lacks year-round water as most of the supply comes from the shallow open wells found in households and some communal locations. This is clearly one of those villages off of the NGO radar as there appears to have been no assistance of any form. The regional Ministry of Health in Sokodé in 2011 registered Sada as a public health clinic though attendance is relatively low given the population. The borehole drilled by Water Charity yielded a very high yield, far beyond the current or even near-future needs of the community. Were the households closer, the project might have considered running water lines out into the community however the low density of households did not warrant the expense. Borehole wells of this productivity are highlighted by the government department of Hydraulics to be later exploited once the need warrants.

Work accomplished: geophysics; a 73 m borehole with a 15,000 l /hr yield and equipped with a submersible pump; a 6 m water tower, plumbing into the clinic; replacement of non-functioning indoor plumbing, a new tiled birthing bed, an afterbirth discharge system and cement-lined septic tank.

Work Completed: May 2, 2022


Midwife and child, taken in 2018, during the first site visit

The clinic was built in 2005 by Plan International in the manner typical to most of the project clinics (6-room cement-block building without potable or yearlong water (rather equipped with an open shallow well with a hand crank pump to a metal water tank). Indoor plumbing was installed at the time of construction however the pump ceased to function within the first year. The source of potable water was a borehole well several kilometers from the center. Prior to 2022, the clinic operated without power, the all too common, birth by flashlight method.  In 2020 solar panels installed for two light bulbs and a refrigerator. The current project hooked the clinic to a recently installed power line. The clinic is located outside of a village in an administrative area next to a cluster of schools. Most of the households numbering several thousand do not live within close proximity of the clinic so public use of the clinic well will be minimal with the exception of the nearby schools. The region is known for water scarcity where deep borehole drilling has often resulted in dry holes. The current project drilled to a depth of 145 meters and yielded enough water for the clinic’s needs. The population of Bowounda are predominantly Muslim subsistence cultivators of the Kotokoli ethnic group.

Work accomplished: geophysics; a 145m borehole with a 1,200 l /hr yield and equipped with a submersible pump; a reinforced pre-existing 4.5 m metal water tower with a 2,000-liter polytank, plumbing into the clinic; replacement of non-functioning indoor plumbing, an afterbirth discharge system and cement-lined septic tank.

Work completed: May 5, 2022.

The head midwife in the newly renovated birthing room. She gave a heartfelt testimony recorded on video as to the how the presence of running water, an afterbirth disposal system and drains has allowed both the staff and the birthing woman to give birth in both privacy and hygienic conditions. Pre-project, the midwife (here as well as at all clinics without these improvements) had to manually collect the waste in a basin and dispose of the afterbirth in a pit out-of-doors (thus exposing the midwife to the risk of blood-borne disease). In the absence of indoor plumbing, the woman’s relatives were responsible for bringing water (unpotable open well water) for both consumption and bathing.


New clinic (U.S.P) built in 2018 with government funding, and without a potable water source! The existing source was an open well. An earlier borehole failed (in 2021) due to driller negligence. In contrast, Water Charity drilled at the same location and found a good yield (3,200 l /hr), enough to equip both the clinic and neighbors. Pays to have a competent and honest contractor! The population of Agbandaoude numbers around 2,000 of mainly subsistence farmers however the clinic serves a larger population of over 4,000 which includes outlying households within 5 kms of the clinic. The community is predominantly Muslim with a large sedentary Fulani (herdsmen) settlement on the outskirts. The village households as most in Centrale are scattered some distance from the clinic however there are roughly 100 people living near enough to use the clinic well.

Work accomplished: Geophysics; drilled a productive deep borehole with laboratory-verified potable water (see water quality results in table); installed plumbing from well to water tower into the building. All faucets functioning. An additional outside faucet next to the clinic was also installed primarily for cleaning and use by patients.

Work Completed: May 10, 2022


AGOULOU is a large village of roughly 8,000 people of predominantly Kotokoli muslims though there are other ethnic groups present. Agoulou is seat of a Canton (or district) administrated by what is known as a “Chef de Canton” who has jurisdiction over 8 other villages, each presided by a local village head or Chef. The health center was built at the same period as most of the project sites, around 1999 by Plan International, an NGO. In 2008, funds from a European government source built a maternity clinic – also without water and plumbing. The water source until this project consisted of an open shallow well that was often dry during the 4-5 month dry season. Agoulou was on the list in 2017 to receive a partial municipal water system given its population however was rejected by the government hydraulic department for unknown reasons.. The clinic staff either purchased potable water or chlorinated well water though not always. This site was first visited by Water Charity in 2018 however we were told they would receive a municipal water system. Agoulou reappeared on the Ministry of Health list of clinics  for 2022. Agoulou is one of the few sites with a dense population close to the clinic. The current goal of the Caton head is to find funding (mainly from the Diaspora in Europe) to equip each of the neighborhoods with a manually driven borehole well. One such well was established about 100 meters from the clinic. With the approval of the Chef de Canton, after determining the water yield was adequate to supply both clinic buildings and the neighborhood, we revamped the borehole well into a dual pumping system, i.e. inserting an immersible pump at depth and leaving the manual pump at the surface. The clinic also had a 5 m high metal water tower which was also functional with some reinforcement to accommodate a 2,000-liter polytank. Given the distance from the borehole well to the water tower, more piping was needed here than at other sites, in addition to plumbing two buildings. We added cement markers to delineate the buried pipes knowing in the future what is now open space could be cultivated or the site of a new building, as some erosion control work. As with all the sites, Agolou also lacked a disposal system in the birthing room.

Work Accomplished: retrofitting a newly drilled community borehole well to accommodate an immersible pump while maintaining the hand pump for community access; reinforcing the existing 5m metal tower, removing the metal tank and replacing it with a polytank; plumbing from the water tower to the main clinic and the maternity center; installing cement line markers for the buried pipes; afterbirth discharge system; replacement of old faucets and sinks and plumbing where needed; mitigating erosion near the buried septic tank from roof-top drainage.

Work Completed: May 9, 2022

Vo District 5 New Hand-dug Wells Project – Togo

Vo District 5 New Hand-dug Wells Project – Togo

Vo District 5 New Hand-dug Wells Project – Togo