Completed

Minova Water Filter & Training Project - Democratic Republic of Congo

Women's Center - Congo

Our 1st Water Filter Training Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

 

Village of MinovaLocation
Minova, DRC

50 km west of Goma, on the northwest shore of Lake Kivu, in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo

Community Description
The village has about 30,000 inhabitants, plus 5,200 internally displaced people in camps (refugees). There are another 30,000 or so in three surrounding villages.

The surrounding area is mountainous, with numerous volcanoes. The volcanic soil is fertile, but does not hold water well.

     War Torn Area

  • For the past 20 years, war has raged throughout the area, mostly over control of natural resources, including coltan.
  • In 2012, Congolese government forces, backed by United Nations troops, fought and lost a major battle with M23 (and perhaps other) militia forces in Goma.
  • Congolese troops retreated to Minova, where besides other destruction and killings, they raped at least 139 women and young girls as young as nine years old.
  • Following an international outcry, a trial of 37 low-ranking soldiers was held in Goma, Dozens of survivors testified.
  • Only two were found guilty of rape.
  • The events and the trial are depicted in the 2015 Academy Awards shortlisted short film The Testimony. http://www.thetestimonyfilm.com/  (It can be seen on Netflix.) Photos from the trial can be seen here: http://www.dianazeynebalhindawi.com/the-minova-rape-trials-congo-2014/

  Woman With Baby   Women Coming Together

  • Almost all the women had been farmers.
  • Most of the husbands of the women who had been raped deserted them, leaving them without funds to send their children to school, or enough labor to tend their fields effectively. Food became scarce, and hunger common.
  • HIV had been relatively uncommon in Minova. However, the war – and rape – brought HIV to the community.
  • A community leader named Masika Katsuva, who was among those raped, stepped forward to help organize a group of the women in agriculture (180 in all), to give them a voice, and to help them come forward at the rape trial. She also set up a center for women and children abandoned by their families.
  • Masika’s story is told in the 2014 feature-length documentary film Seeds of Hope. http://www.seedsofhopefilm.co.uk/ Watch the trailer on the website.
  • Masika’s organization APDUD received significant international support before and during the trial.
  • International support of APDUD fell off significantly after the trial.

In February 2016, Masika died, leaving APDUD in some disarray. Her daughter Desanges hopes to revitalize the organization, and at only 23 years of age, has already done a lot to promote the organization and organize local women.

It is through Masika's women's center organization APDUD, and working with Desanges Kamate Kabua, Congolese NGO leader Herman Chirahambali, and our friends at Friendly Water For The World, that Water Charity will be conducting this support and training in much needed water filters. Herman met Dr. Kambale who does training and work for Friendly Water, and recognized the need for this project immediately.

Problem Addressed
The area is prone to large amounts of waterborne illnesses.  Cholera, dysentery, and a host of other pathogenic microbes pollute all the available water sources, and sickness due to these microbes is a huge problem.  Children under 5 are especially vulnerable to such illnesses. Worldwide it is the 2nd leading cause of death for children, and in the DRC, Diarrheal Diseases are the #1 cause of death (according to the CDC and the WHO)! 

Desanges and kids!Project Description
Water Charity will fund a biosand filter workshop led by trainers Dr. Kambale Musubao and Aristote Lubao Mbairwe (who work with our friends at Friendly Water Congo), for the women of Minova.  At least 35 women will be provided with a 5-6 day training on how to construct, use, and care for their own biosand filters. These filters, when used correctly, can basically last forever... especially the cement mold types we will train them to make. 

We will provide them with a few molds, and materials enough for all of the women to make their own filter.  Manuals and printed training materials will be given out in Swahili, English, French, Kinyarwanda. Furthermore, they will receive business training by which they will build filters, and sell them (as well as water) to the people of the Minova area.  

There will be an office established at the Women's Center whereby the women of the program can advertise and sell their product... and in time, they can even begin to conduct their own trainings to spread the technology.

Funds raised by selling water and filters will go towards purchasing more molds, more materials and more tools.  Filters and water are in high demand, so there is every reason to believe that this effort will be sustainable, effective and successful.  We expect that more women will come wanting to learn how to make these lifesaving devices, and the Women's Center will be happy to share this with them.  Thus, in a short time, the ability to make effective water filters will spread across the region.

All in all, a very sustainable effort with a great deal of positive "ripple effect!"

Project Impact
The project has the potential to help and impact all of the 65,000 plus people in the Minova area (Minova town, refugees, and the 3 neighboring villages).  The direct, immediate beneficiaries include all the families and friends of the women of the Women's center, as well as everyone who purchases a filter or water from them.  This number is hard to pinpoint, but it should amount to 5,000 or more people in the first year alone.

Volunteers Directing Project
Herman and Desanges will be running the project on the ground, and management of the project will be under the direction of David Albert, Board Chairman of Friendly Water for the World, with Water Charity overseeing. 

Herman Chirahambali

  • ​Herman is a former school principal. His career came to his end when soldiers came and occupied his school, destroying all desks and burning all books. His mother was killed when rebels pillaged his village. His sister died of AIDS, the result of war-related rape. His wife died giving birth to his second child, who also died.
  • Today, Herman is a volunteer for a non-profit that teaches environmental stewardship through language. They teach female farmers native literacy classes and also run an after-school English language program for children. They reach hundreds of women and children, yet still struggle to raise the $6.00/month they need to rent their classroom while operating with no computer and only a few books.

Minova Farmer Woman

Desanges Kamate Kabua

  • Daughter of Women's Center founder and current organizer and leader of APDUD.
  • It was her drive to help the families of Minova that led to FW and WC becoming involved in this wonderful project.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Eliphaz Bashilwango (FW representative) will be tasked with reporting, in concert with Herman and Desanges, who will be there on the ground to make sure the project achieves its goals.  Should further training and assistance become necessary, any of these individuals will be able to contact WC & FW and request such aid.

Comments
This noteworthy project is part of our Training and Support Initiative, and is a sister project to our even larger and more comprehensive DRC filter project in Nyiragongo, which is being started promptly. It is our desire to have a continuing and substantial effect on these communities, so expect even more projects of this nature there, including training the women to build rainwater catchments and fero-cement water tanks!

This project has been fully funded by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  If you would like to see us expand, scale up and do more projects like this one, use the DONATE button below, and your donation will go to more training projects like this one.  Use the comments if you wish your donation to be used for DRC projects specifically.

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

 

Rape victims group

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Wondo Genet Well Rehab Program - Ethiopia

Fetching water in Wondo Genet

Phase 2 of our Ethiopia Well Rehab ProgramPromoting Transformation and Hope among the Most Marginalized in EthiopiaNPCA & WC LOGOS

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Non functioning wellLocation
Five villages in the Wondo Genet region of Ethiopia, spread across three Kebeles (counties).  Kube, Wuchale 1, Lomicha, Wuchale 2, and Abosa.

Community Description
Wondo Genet is in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia, about a four-hour drive south of Addis Ababa. It also is part of the Sidama Zone located in the Great Rift Valley.  Wondo Genet is bordered on the south by Malga, on the west by Awasa Zuria, and on the north and east by the Oromia Region. Based on the 2007 Census, this woreda has a total population of 155,715, of whom 79,664 are men and 76,051 women; 23,125 or 14.85% of its population are urban dwellers.

This region has been suffering from an interminable drought, as well as intractable poverty.  As such, they desperately need assistance to meet their basic living requirements.  The people of these 5 villages have wells which have fallen into disrepair, and are currently unusable... thus making their hard lives even harder.

Problem Addressed
A WaSH survey conducted by the district water office shows that there are 60 existing wells that are not functioning and need repair to provide water to the respective communities. To meet demand, 81 new wells need to be constructed.  Studies have shown that operation and maintenance of water supplies fail after a short period of time because of poor operation and lack of effective maintenance. The district water office has no budget for maintenance and cannot effectively provide technical support. Delay or negligence in operation and maintenance of water facilities negatively impacts the wellbeing of the population, forcing them to travel long distances and wait in lengthy queues for potable water.  Many people resort to dangerous undeveloped water sources, most of which amount to nothing more than a muddy pit.  Naturally, this causes severe, and often deadly, health concerns with a high incidence of waterborne illness.

Project Description
This project is to rebuild 5 wells, one in each of 5 villages. 

Gathering water with donkeyWater Charity has initiated the repairs by partnering with local NGOs to drill the wells deeper, replace handpumps, and otherwise enact repairs that will bring water back to the people of these villages.

Our friends at Water is Life International have people on the ground and a substantial infrastructure for doing WaSH work in the region, including a number of well-drilling rigs donated by our partners at Wine to Water.  By partnering with these groups, WC is able to do these projects at a fraction of their normal cost, without having to have our own personnel waste valuable funds in transit.

Before the repair work begins, an intentional process to engage the community and the government is followed in order to avoid a handout-mentality that can create dependency.  After receiving government permission, a Water Use Committee (WUC) has been elected in each community to take responsibility for the use and maintenance of the repaired well.  The WUC is comprised of four women and three men, which ensures that women will have a strong voice and position to manage the well.  The management of the well by the WUC usually includes charging a nominal fee to the users, in order to maintain a fund for repairs.  This fund is then used for maintenance and repairs to keep the pump operational. In this way our repaired wells are unlikely to meet the fate of many such wells in the region, and should be functional far into the foreseeable future.

Gathering water from a streamA productive and functioning well brings joy to the community as it promotes a healthier life, eases the physical burden of the community, and returns time to women (as the duty of fetching and carrying water traditionally falls to them).  It is vital to the sustainability of the well that the community is involved in the project throughout the entire process for design, planning, and implementation of the project.  WaSH training is provided to the WUC so they can become permanent trainers in the community. The idea is improved sanitation and hygiene behaviors within the community, such as Open Defecation Free areas and consistent handwashing, through the hygiene and sanitation training.

Hydrogeological conditions on site indicate that groundwater is in accessible depth (20 to 30 meter below the ground), has adequate hydraulic conductivity and storage volume and good quality.

Project Impact
Approximately 1,500 people will directly benefit from these repairs... as well as anyone who visits these villages.

Project Management
Josh Elliott, of Wine to Water, is providing administrative oversight for these projects.  And Water is Life technicians are managing the implementation and training aspects.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The WUC set up in each village will be responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of their well.  This will be overseen by WiLI personel who will continue to work with the villagers and train their SLT's.

Undeveloped Water SourceComments
As we have more funding for this program, and its parent programs, Water Charity is committed to continuing this work, and hopes to be able to fix all of the broken wells of Wondo Genet eventually.  As such, we ask you to donate generously.  Every dollar raised in excess of the cost of these rehabs will be spent on further rehabs in the region. 

In this program, as with all WC projects, we have used existing funds to start this project immediately. We only ask for donations once projects are already underway. In this way we can be extremely responsive and speedy in delivering aid where it is needed. Even a short delay in implementation can be costly when dealing with waterborne illness. Other charities reverse this, but we feel time is of the essence. In this way, donating to this program is actually reimbursing us for funds we have already allocated.  The more money we have on hand, the more projects like this we can start.

Dollar Amount of Project
$11,000

This project has been fully funded by an anonymous U.S. donor.  To help us provide more programs like this one, please Donate to our Ethiopia Well Rehab Program.

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


Waiting for water

 
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Bakong High School Water Project - Cambodia

Bakong High School Water Project - Cambodia

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

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

Hun Sen Prasat Bakong High School, Siem Reap Province, CambodiaLocation
Hun Sen Prasat Bakong High School, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Community Description
Caring for Cambodia partners with the Cambodian government to provide preschool and K-12 education to over 6,600 children in Siem Reap Province. This project impacts the students, faculty, and community at one of the target high schools, Hun Sen Prasat Bakong High School, reaching more than 1,700 people, including the 930 female students from Grades 7-12 who currently attend the school. Many of these individuals and families live in homes without water, and must either purchase or carry in and filter their own drinking, tooth brushing, cooking and handwashing water supply.

Problem Addressed
There is an immediate need for water filtration and other WASH infrastructure at Bakong High School as the old filter has expired. In addition, there is a shortage of bathroom facilities, for the students, especially to serve the needs of the females.

Project Description
This project is to build a potable water system throughout the school, build 3 new toilets, repair the existing toilets, provide a water filtration system, and renovate the handwashing systems at Bakong High School.

Three new toilets will be built and designated for use by female students, ensuring that they will support menstrual health management. A few repairs will be made to existing toilets and the drainage system as they have worn down over the years.

The old water filtration system will be refurbished, and a new, more sustainable filtration system added, consisting of a biosand filter and a UV filter. Local expertise and supplies will be used, with the work being done by a Cambodian biosand-filter provider.

PVC will be laid where needed to connect the filtered water to the handwashing stations. The unfiltered water will be directed from the well to the toilets.

Old Filtration SystemThe handwashing stations, previously supplied by USAID, will be refurbished and connected to the campus-wide potable water drinking system. Soap will be maintained at each of the handwashing stations to aid in the prevention of diarrhea and other diseases.

The school has already made a financial commitment to this project and has spent $250 to connect their new well to the old filtration system which helps distribute the water across the campus. They will also raise another $75 to show their strong commitment to the health of their students. The filtration company will make another in kind donation of $200 by discounting their product and the hired labor is also contributing by discounting their regular cost by $47.

Project Impact
1,700 students, in addition to their families, will benefit from the project. The potable water will be made available to the broader community, allowing families who need it to come and access potable water for their families.

Project Administration
Christin Spoolstra, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), now Deputy Country Director, Caring for Cambodia.  To read about the 4 prior projects Christin did with Water Charity, CLICK HERE.

Monitoring and Maintenance
CFC will teach school staff to conduct weekly maintenance and water filter flushing, to ensure that all water on the campuses is clean and healthy. Technicians from Water for Cambodia will test the water quarterly.

Comments
The potable water system is an affordable and sustainable solution to the water and sanitation needs of the school.

Clean, potable water on the campus has a strong and direct impact on the health of the students, directly correlating with their attendance and achievement. Access to clean water and toilets helps stop the spread of transmissible diseases which weaken students over time and can cause them to miss school, fall behind, and eventually make the choice that school is not for them.

Funding
This project has been funded through the generosity of the International Foundation.

If you like this project, and wish to contribute to our next project in Cambodia, please donate.

Student CouncilStudent Council at BHS

 

StudyingStudents in Bakong Village

 
 
Conclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - CambodiaConclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - Cambodia
This project has been completed under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Christin Spoolstra, Deputy Country Director, Caring for Cambodia. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was designed to build a potable water system throughout the school, build 3 new toilets, repair the existing toilets, provide a water filtration system, and renovate the handwashing systems at Bakong High School.

Christin reports:

Conclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - CambodiaCaring for Cambodia was able to work alongside Hun Sen Prasat Bakong High School and the surrounding community to complete the needed WASH infrastructure at the school.

We switched to a more sustainable filtration system, using local expertise and supplies, and refurbished existing handwashing stations and toilets. We also built a new block of three toilets, exclusively for female students.

Caring for Cambodia will continue to care for the upkeep of these projects, including paying for quarterly water testing at Water for Cambodia and providing soap at the toilets and handwashing stations to aid in the prevention of diarrhea and other diseases.

This project directly improved the lives of all 1,645 students from Grades 7-12 as well as their families and the wider community as the newly potable water is accessible to community members.

During construction, the workers revised their estimate and the new toilets cost $45 less than our projected cost. The construction worker for the new toilets also decided to discount $40 from his normal price to help with the project which was an unanticipated community contribution. As such, with Water Charity’s approval, $85 in funds from Water Charity will be applied to maintenance of the filtration system, including quarterly water testing.  

We extend our thanks to Christin for completing this important project.

Conclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - CambodiaConclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - Cambodia

Conclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - CambodiaConclusion of Bakong High School Water Project - Cambodia

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Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

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

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Barrio Xxx Xxxxx, Maria Auxiliadora, Arquitecto Tomás Romero Pereira District, Department of Itapúa, Paraguay

Community Description
Xxx Xxxxx is a small agricultural community in the southern department of Itapúa, nestled within what remains of the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest. 2017 unofficial census data reports that 36 families and over 200 people live in the community, with many more children that commute from surrounding communities to attend the school which offers primary and an accelerated high school program.

Most families are subsistence farmers, with their primary source of income based around the production of soy, wheat, corn, beets and carrots cultivated for exportation. The community’s small producers and women’s committee also produce a variety of animal products and artisanal items that they sell locally and in the nearby pueblo of Maria Auxiliadora. Much of social life revolves around the church and school events, community organizational group meetings, and soccer games that are held most Sundays.

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayProblem Addressed
While most highly populated areas in Paraguay have access to running water, there are still many interior communities that lack access to potable water, resulting in higher rates of illness, inappropriate waste management, and poor sanitation practices.

Many families in Xxx Xxxxx have a shallow common well on their property or are within walking distance of one, but recurring dry summers have made it so that a reliable water source is not always available for drinking, animal care, or crop production. Intensively farmed soy and unsustainable farming practices have resulted in substantial water contamination. Disease from waterborne illness is a consistent issue for many families.

The community school has been without running water for much of its existence, affecting more than 200 children. While the students often bring their own water by bottle, they tend to commute to the school by foot and often exhaust their water rations before class starts, with no way to refill their bottle for the rest of the day. This is the main concern of the community, which affects families living inside and around the proposed water system.

For the past decade, the community had been working with the national organization SENASA to establish a well, tower, and water line system that would reach community houses, a church, and school. Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, the community had been left with an unfinished system attached to a dry well at the end of the government project in 2004. That project left more than 6 kilometers of connected and installed water lines off the main road in the community. The neighborhood has since completed another well with the help of the municipality, but funding has been stretched thin, considering the neighborhood is one of many that have the same problem in the district.

Project Description
This project is to complete the water system, including installing a pump on the well, building a water tower and tank, and installing water lines to the remaining houses in the community.

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayThe well and tower site are on the properties of community members that have agreed to donate the use of their land to house the well-system, lines, and tower.

The well was excavated in 2016 at a depth of 120 meters with water pressure at 12,000 liters/hour (as of testing date 07/05/2017).

The primary components of the project will be to:

(1) Coordinate with the water commission leaders, the local municipality, and the well company’s engineer to equip the well with a motor and transformer

(2) Erect and connect the 15,000-liter steel water tower to the well system

(3) Utilize a government-donated backhoe to excavate and install short distance water lines to the remaining 16 of 36 community properties that are not already connected to the system

(4) Work with community leadership to establish water system management techniques, and water hygiene and quality standards

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayMaria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

Water Charity funding will be allocated to cost of the electric submersible 3 HP/220 Monofasico motor with a 1.25 inch, 10 kg pressure internal pipe, a 10 Kva transformer with concrete post and electric meter, 280 meters of 16 mm copper cable, 7 hardwood posts, and necessary electrical installation/ documentation with national electric company

The construction of the 15,000-liter steel tank, tower, grounding rods, beacon, transportations fees and subsequent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) water lines will be the responsibility of the community and municipality who have agreed to contribute this financial and labor intensive support to the project.

A series of workshops on effective leadership and organization will be conducted, facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), covering topics related to water system management, organizational transparency, and accountability standards. Through these workshops, the commission and community members have the opportunity to develop and implement a long-term management plan for the water system, resulting in a stronger relationship of respect and trust among the community members that will ensure the longevity of the water system.

Project Impact
400 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteers Directing ProjectConclusion of Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay
R. Rasmussen and R. Martinez

Monitoring and Maintenance
Currently serving PCVs will continue to monitor the project through the end of their services (December 2017), but the main focus is placed on the community’s water commission to conduct long term management of the water system and its continued maintenance.

Long term sustainability will be achieved through the following steps:

(1) The establishment of a sustainable long-term water system maintenance plan and payment schedule, agreed upon by community members

(2) Commission leadership participation in and co-facilitation of educational workshops with PCVs and community members on the workings of the water system and its long-term management

(3) Conducted workshops (facilitated through the current PCVs) with commission leaders on effective organizational leadership, focusing on the importance of accountability, communication, and transparency

(4) Collaborative teachings (facilitated by community leadership and current PCVs) at the school that focuses on water quality, hygiene, and the prevention of water borne illness.

The water system will be installed by an engineer from a reputable company and will provide the community with a 1-year system guarantee and continuous on-call maintenance support.

This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

Conclusion of Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay Conclusion of Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Rachel Rasmussen. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayThe project was designed to complete the water system, including installing a pump on the well, building a water tower and tank, and installing water lines to the remaining houses in the community.

Rachel reports:

This project retrofitted a 120-meter well with the necessary equipment that will supply over 40 families, a church, and school with potable water.

Project Scope and Completed Activities
The serving PCVs in collaboration with community leadership aimed to outfit a 120-meter well dug by the municipality with the equipment needed to establish a water system for community households, a school, and church with potable water.

This system was designed and implemented with long term sustainability in mind, in-part to combat reducing water borne illness in the community. The project included a capacitation component that trained the community water commission on successful community organization tactics to insure project’s proper administration and maintenance.

The project was conducted over an 11-month period, with community meetings and workshops held bi-monthly and the construction of the water system reached completion in August, 2017.

The activities set up to meet the project goals and additional personal comments by the lead Peace Corps volunteers are as follows:

(1) PCVs and Water Commission conducted and facilitated educational workshops with community members and future water system users to discuss effective organizational leadership, focusing on the importance of accountability, communication, and transparency (December, 2016 through November, 2017).

We saw a lot of development over the course of these meetings. There was a clear progression of the community members understanding of the project and importance of participation. The meetings served as an opportunity for community members to voice their doubts and hopes for the system. It also gave the commission leaders the opportunity to converse with the users of the water system and better establish a relationship of respect and authority.

We were amazed to see the growth in participation from the first meeting to the last. It was really something to witness more women and young people contributing and exercising their voice in this atmosphere. With more community sharing in these meetings, the more traction we could see in project advancement. Families felt involved in the project, and took ownership of their responsibility to the system they were trying to construct.

Conclusion of Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay(2) PCVs and Community leadership attended productive meeting with local municipality leadership to secure funding for project water tower and use of municipality backhoe to dig water lines (February, 2017 through June, 2017).

Over the course of these meetings, we worked to establish a working relationship between the leadership of our commission and the local government leadership. We tried our best to make our project not about politics, but rather about the service that was to be done for the people. We cultivated a positive connection with the mayor and an empowered voice for our commission leaders, who now better understand their own agency and ability to work within their own system for continued development.

(3) PCVs coordinated with the water commission leaders, the local municipality, and the well company’s engineer to establish a plan to equip the well with a motor and transformer (June, 2017).

The majority of our interactions with the Well Company were positive ones. We are grateful that the commission leadership has established a positive working relationship with the engineer of this company, who has provided consistent support to the commission leadership in all phases of this system. The one-year guarantee included in the work of the project helps to insure the long-term sustainability, and we are confident that the engineer is invested in the future of this project.

Conclusion of Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay(4) PCVs and Water Commission Leadership conducted workshops to draft and establish sustainable long-term water system maintenance plan and payment schedule, as agreed upon by community members (June, 2017 through November, 2017).

These community wide meeting have been an easy transition for community members, whom already feel confident in expressing their opinions in regards to the system. Participation for these discussions has been excellent and we are confident in the ability of the commission and community members to maintain the water system.

Once the system was turned on the community felt that much more confident in the program and enthusiasm is high. After all, by this point we all have been involved in this project together, and are invested in its continued success.

(5) Well company arrived at the project site to install the motor and transformer to the existing well system, as well as to erect and connect the 15,000-liter steel water tower to the well system (August, 2017).

The entirety of the system construction occurred over a three-week period, as concrete was poured and dried, community members and future users of the system volunteered their time to dig water lines and secure the well’s perimeter with community-donated fencing and posts. The construction site became a popular place to hang out during this time, and many people simply showed up to watch the construction.

(6) Local government donated the use of a backhoe to excavate and install short distance water lines to the remaining 16 of 36 community properties not already connected to the system (August, 2017).

Major lines were done by the municipality (lines that crossed the main road) and others were completed by community members by hand. Some were nervous about the resolve of the government participation, but we were all pleasantly relieved to see the fruits of our cultivated relationship with the municipality.

Now there seems to be a more present relationship with the community’s organizational leadership, and have continued presence at many commissions meeting as of late. There was a great feeling of togetherness during this period, as the prospect of running water was all community members talked about.

(7) PCVs Worked with community leadership to establish more detailed water system management techniques, and water hygiene and quality standards (September, 2017).

This, we believe, will be an on-going process. As the system settles into itself and commission leaders gain hands-on experience, the community will develop trust based understanding of the quotidian necessities of the system. We are very optimistic about the long-term sustainability, and believe that the commission and community members are more than ready for the task of maintaining this system.

Project Sustainability
From the capacity-building component of our grant, to consultations with the well company, the sustainability and longevity of the project has always been the priority. By working with community leadership to best establish trustful relationships and a working user contract with community members, we feel they are better prepared for the responsible and consistent management of the water system.

As a part of the contract, the one-year guarantee will allow for temporary professional maintenance and integrity of the well system, and community members feel comfortable and empowered to exercise this resource. The commission leadership is aware of ephemeral nature of that agreement, which is why the commission leadership designated a community member with plumbing experience as a local technician.

Most importantly, by securing the full funding of this potable water system, the community can have a fresh start in fund raising for future maintenance costs, and do not have to fear a large debt that may have taken decades to pay off.

Goals Achieved and Community Feeling
In alignment with our three goals, a water system has been established and lines connected for 36 community families, as well as the church and school. With an on-going series of workshops that will continue until the close of volunteers’ service, the water commission has worked to formulate a system frame work and user contract that best serves the community.

Throughout the entirety of the project, community members and leadership have worked to strengthen community organization by conducting open-forum type meetings that have allowed for free expression of opinion and a generation of solutions for project roadblocks.

During the project site preparation and general construction, there has been an abundance of community volunteers to help with the digging of water lines, cooking food for the workers and establishment of security measures for the water tower.

Community meetings have had increasingly better attendance, especially from women and younger men. There is a general feeling of positivity now that potable water is available, for the security and well-being of each household. Each family has their own reason that drives them, but everyone is thrilled for what the future holds.

Again, we would like to extend our thanks to Water Charity and all those individuals and organizations that pulled together and supported us through this project. We and all the people impacted by this project will forever be grateful for this precious gift.

We extend our thanks to Rachel for completing this important project, and again express our gratitude to the Paul Bechtner Foundation for providing the funding.

Country: 
Funds Needed : 
Progress: 

Lavie Water Project - Togo

Villagers cleaning out the water hole

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.NPC & WC Logos

​This project has been completed and the updated conclusion report can be read below. (click
#CONCLUSION REPORT)

LocationWaterfall Water Source
Canton of Apedome, Lavie, Kloto Prefecture, Togo

Community Description
Lavie is located in the prefecture of Kloto, just 13 kilometers away from Kpalime, in a mountainous region that borders Ghana.  Lavie is composed of two cantons, Apedome and Rhume, each with a population of about 6,000 inhabitants. Lavie neighbors a popular tourist village named Kpime, famous for its beautiful waterfalls and hikes. This community is surrounded by beautiful green mountains and is abundant in fruits and vegetables. The climate is tropical, and the community consists of lush green, tropical trees, flora, and fauna. It is famous for the tree nurseries, as many individuals from around Togo visit the community for hard to find species of trees.

Colette Van Dyke, the Peace Corp Volunteer directing this project reports:

“I feel so at home in my community, and just wake up feeling lucky to be in such a loving and beautiful place. When I wake up in the morning, I have the blessing of being able to see the green, misty mountains in the distance, and breathe in clean, unpolluted, fresh air. The vegetables and fruits I buy at the local market are always fresh and natural, as my village is abundant in tropical and wild collections of fruits and vegetables. When I walk outside of my compound, I follow a beautiful red dirt road with green lush surrounding me.  Neighbors, friends, school children, always greet me and ask how I are doing when I walk down the street. My favorite time of the year is mango season (around March-April) during which my host brothers and sisters and I sit under the shade of the mango trees, to eat mangoes and talk. To put it simply, life in Lavie is happiness to me.”

The majority of the community members speak French, but the predominant language is Ewe. There are also smaller groups of Kabiye, Moba, and Kotokoli throughout the village. We are a medium sized community with roughly 12,000 inhabitants in total, and many schools, kindergarten to high school.  There are NGOs working nearby. The majority of individuals in the community rely on crop cultivation for food and income generation. The entire village of Lavie is equipped with electricity and running water, making living a bit more comfortable. Because the region receives heavy amounts of rainfall throughout the year, the fertile land is able to produce abundant amounts of cash crops such as coffee, yams, bananas, and pineapples. While this heavy rainfall is a blessing in this respect, it also poses problems for the water source, as will be explained further below.

Dirty water the villagers currently utilizeProblem Addressed
The heavy rainfall the community receives every year causes problems for the water source. Erosion leaves piping exposed, bruised and vulnerable to breakage. The main water source is a waterfall located up in the mountains. When rain falls, a collection of debris, dust, dirt, leaves, twigs, and feces fall in to that open water source, and channel out to community members.

To put it simply, this community lacks clean, hygienic, potable water. The village currently relies on an old, broken down system of water that was constructed over 60 years ago by USAID. The water filter that the entire community relies on consists of a simple plastic container with punctured holes, to keep out leaves and twigs, but does not actually purify water.

The entire community essentially drinks brown, unfiltered water that is channeled through dirty, aging, deteriorated and molding piping. Due to erosion from rainfall, the pipes are exposed, punctured, and burned from years of hot sun exposure. Because of this exposure, the elasticity of these pipes is weak and when rocks, rainfall, or humans step over the exposed piping they are easily cracked and broken. When a pipe is cracked, which happens often, water spews from the pipe, causing a blockage that prevents water from running to the rest of the village. Community members are then forced to shut down the entire water system, starting from the water tower, until the punctured pipe is taped back together. This is a process that takes several hours, and deprives community members of water for periods at a time.

The local health clinic is constantly treating patients due to water-related illnesses. This problem has a huge effect on students, especially girls, who are consistently absent from class due to unsanitary water. The lack of a clean water source creates barriers for female students to keep up throughout the school year, which greatly jeopardizes their potential to graduate and pursue a career. A clean water source would reduce the influx of patients at the already understaffed health clinic and diminish absentee rates at schools. Additionally, the water system serves 2 neighboring villages, with an additional population of 2,000 inhabitants.

Project DescriptionMan checking the pipes
This water sanitation project will implement the following in the water dam, which is located at the base of the waterfall used as the water source: 

First the five old rotten pipes located at the dam will be replaced with five stainless steel pipes. 

Next a new water filter will be inserted in the dam, which will transform the water into a potable source. An iron fence will be erected around the filter to block leaves and other particles from dirtying and entering the filter. 

Next a cement slab will be constructed with an iron filling that will cover the third dam filling and filter to prevent debris and particles from clogging the filter from above. 

A floodgate will be installed at the base of the wall of the dam, or spigot, that will allow water to evacuate from the dam to allow for cleaning.  In addition, a vacuum (motor pump) that electrically evacuates water will be installed so inhabitants are not forced to jump into the dam and manually evacuate water with buckets and shovels (a process that takes at least 4 hours).  Then two connection pieces will be installed that will connect the water spigot to the piping.

The following are the steps to complete the project and timeline.

1) Withdrawal of money (Colette Van Dyke) (1 day)
2) Travel to Lome to buy materials (Water Commission Board Members- Mr. Kpetsu and Mr. Agon) (2 days)
3) Return to Lavie with materials (1 day)
4) Announcements and mobilization of community, by district. Community Development committee will execute this (1 day)
5) Collection of sand and gravel with the community, students, farmers, general community members, water board members(1 day)
6) Transport of materials from the village up to the dam. Various members of the community (1 day)
7) Construction of cement slabs for the dam, 3 local carpenters (3 days)
8) Installation of piping and connection pieces, water technician. (1 day)      
9) Installation of filter and metal caging, water technician (1 day)
10) Installation of flood gate, water technician (1 day)
11) Follow up, Colette Van Dyke (one week)

The community will participate in all aspects of manual labor involved in this project and will provide food and water for those working. The community will help mobilize its members to work and oversee the completion of the project in an organized manner. The community is the driving force behind this project, as they have urged Collette since her arrival, to help them improve their water source.

countrysideAfter conducting a needs assessment with the entire community, they listed their water filtration system as the number one pressing need. They are motivated and ready to help in any way they can to ameliorate their water source.

This motivation was witnessed first hand when APCD, Paul Siyanda, came to visit the community. The members of the community were able to organize a community-wide water cleanup day in which they emptied and cleaned the dam. Each times the rainfalls and the water system stops, community members have no choice but to work together to clean, fix, and unclog our filter and dam. This community collaboration is essential to sustaining the water, and subsequently life in village. Otherwise, the community cannot continue to survive.
Clean water is a base element of life that should be available to everybody, but is sadly a problem people are grappling with each day.

The funds will go directly towards all the materials and parts needed to replace old, deteriorated materials (filter, piping, water valves, floodgate, etc.) with new and durable materials. General community members, the Village Development Committee Board, Water Association Board, students, parents, and teachers will assist in implementing the water system. Having those who will benefit from cleaner water involved in the implementation process invest them in the success and sustainability of the end product.  Additionally, cleaner water leads to better health, allocating more free time and energy to other activities such as working in the fields, teaching, learning, working, etc.

Project Impact
This project will impact 14,000 people, as well as any visitors to the area.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Colette Van Dyke

Monitoring and Maintenance
filtering waterThe community will be able to sustain the benefits of this project by enforcing a strict monthly community contribution plan. Each household will contribute 100 cfa each month that will go towards water repairs, materials, and water clarification. The Water Development Board Members are committed to collecting this contribution each month, and will take turns amongst each other to implement this. The local water technicians will then use this money to maintain and make repairs when needed. If a person refuses to contribute, their water source can and will be shut off. The water commission and technician in the community will oversee, and do manual checkups to make sure materials are protected, maintained, and taken care of for future years.

Comments  and Let Girls Learn:

According to Colete:

This problem has a huge effect on students, especially girls, who are consistently absent from class due to our unsanitary water. According to the registry at our local hospital clinic, approximately 127 girls were reported to have fallen ill with giardiasis, dysentery, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, or typhoid just in 2014. In 2015, 169 cases of these waterborne diseases among girls were reported in our registry. The lack of a clean water source creates barriers for female students to keep up throughout the school year, which greatly jeopardizes their potential to graduate and pursue a career. A clean water source would diminish absentee rates at our schools, especially among the girls. In general, clean water through a new and improved system, will save the entire community money and time that could be used towards raising families or sending children to school, which paves the way for a brighter future.

When I arrived in Lavie in May 2015, two days into my welcoming the community members took me up to their water source to explain where the most development was needed. This took me aback, as it usually takes weeks for community members to reveal community needs.   I was pleasantly surprised by their motivation and devotion to this project. After they had detailed all the problems with their water system, I promised them I would do my best to help them out. Afterwards, one of my work partners whipped out a bottle of the local drink (sodabe), and we all toasted to the year ahead of us, and that I could bring good work and blessings to their community.

On our hike back down from the water dam, one of my work partners spotted a porcupine hiding amidst the brush. He smiled and looked back at me, and I looked back at him, puzzled. He excitedly told me he had just spotted a porcupine, and I thought "cool! so what?" What made it special was what he told me next. He explained to me that in Ewe culture, a porcupine is a symbol of hope for those who are in pain or in need of help. When the quills of a porcupine are engaged, they are filled with air, allowing them to float. This buoyancy is symbolic of the ability to stay "above water", to remain calm in the face of emotional waters. In other words, when life casts you problems, you invoke porcupine energy to keep you afloat upon troubled waters. My work partner then told me that perhaps it’s a sign that I am a source of new hope for Lavie. I mulled over this the entire hike down. I was just presented with my first major task, a water sanitation project, and I was hoping I could be that "hope" for her new community.  I hoped that I could lessen the suffering even just a little. I had no idea how I was going to tackle such a project, but I hoped that I could invoke this "porcupine energy" to keep me afloat and balanced, to help find a clear solution amidst my community's problems.

Today, I can happily say that Water Charity is that solution, that hope for my community. I'm sending a big Thank You to Water Charity for all the work you do!

 


Lavie Project Completed

Lavie Water Project - Togo - Conclusion

Colette Van Dyke Reports (in 2 phases):

 

Water Sanitation Part 1: Local Water Filtration System

 

Your Story: The impact our Water Charity Let Girls Learn grant had was deeply felt by community members and surrounding villages throughout my region. Through dedication, teamwork, perseverance, and commitment my community was able to turn an unhygienic water source in to a clean and consistently running spring. Over the course of one month, my community worked together to install new piping, a new filter, and cement over our water dam. These simple steps allowed for an entire community to reduce the percentage of individuals who fall sick due to our previously unsanitary water source, thereby diminishing absentee rates at our schools. After a series of randomized household surveys, visits to the school and health clinic, the findings from this grant proved to be generally positive. Working water system

Goals Achieved, Changes in Initial Objectives, and Community Feeling:

In a study conducted by school officials for academic year 2015-2016, our total absentee rate for students at the middle and high school level hovered at around the 29% mark. Towards the end of academic year 2015-2016 and at the beginning of academic year 2016-2017, the absentee rate among middle and high school students is now at around the 24% mark. When a work partner and I conducted surveys, more than half of the participants (composed of students, school administration, and teachers) responded that one of the top potential reasons for this decrease is due to improved health. When my work partner and I visited the primary health clinic in our community, we were able to retrieve statistics from clinic staff regarding rates of girls who have fallen ill due to water related diseases. In 2015, our registry reported 169 cases of illness regarding waterborne diseases. However, thus far in 2016, our health clinic has reported 112 cases. This data was compiled from reports school officials and health clinic staff provided to us using statistics acquired over a period of time. In order to further corroborate the positive trend in our findings, my work partner and I decided to conduct randomized household surveys to find how the water quality has affected general community members. After conducting 20 randomized household visits, we found that around half of the families surveyed found a) a noticeable difference in water quality and b) generally improved quality of life due to this our water sanitation grant.   

Capacity and Skills Built: General community members, our village development committee board, water association board, students, parents, and teachers assisted in implementing our water piping and materials. They took care of all the manual labor, such as digging trenches, collecting sand and gravel, transporting materials up to our source, etc. Our two water technicians who work on the upkeep of our water piping, learned how to manage and budget monetary monthly contribution. Because of these technicians, the maintenance of our water system is sustainable.  

Sustainability: The sustainability of our project has posed some difficulties but also some opportunities for community members. After the completion of our water sanitation installment, the community selected two trusted inhabitants of the community to oversee the maintenance of our water system. It has been difficult holding these individuals accountable, and ensuring that they complete their duties. After our first community reunion, we held these individuals responsible and questioned them on the difficulties of the job. They were able to point out some improvements they could make, and this has been fruitful in holding them accountable. As of now, I believe if the community continues to hold quarterly meetings with all interested stakeholders, the sustainability of this portion of our water project will go much more smoothly.

            Another aspect of our water project hinges on a monthly contribution of 100cfa from all community members. The president of our water association has been tasked with collecting the money, however he has been unable to do so consistently due to time conflicts. We are in the process of appointing other members within the water association board to take on the responsibilities of this post. 

Unexpected Events and Recommendations: Unexpected events and recommendations include the following:Ribbon Cutting

·      Organized, collaborative, and cooperative community contribution. The community came together to collect gravel, carry cement up to our water dam, install piping pieces, clean out the dam, and many other tasks. I was very surprised to see how much my community was motivated and cooperative. I was very proud to see them coming together like a team to complete a task for the greater good of the community.

·      I did not expect for the water maintenance system to break down as early as it did. The initial organization of maintaining and protecting the newly installed water system took some time to figure out in the beginning. However, after our community meetings we were able to establish a rhythm that worked for our maintenance individuals and the community.

·      After my community saw how our impactful and beneficial our project became, I began receiving more interest in work offers from inhabitants in the surrounding villages. I also began receiving requests for additional water sanitation projects that I simply cannot accommodate any longer.

·      As for recommendations, I would recommend discussing water maintenance details before initiating another water sanitation project. The maintenance relies on the motivation and dedication of the community, and if this is lacking, the sustainability of this project crumbles. I would recommend having a clearer maintenance vision before engaging in any other funded project.  

Lessons Learned and Promising Practices : This water sanitation grant was my first real time taking out a grant. I learned how to orchestrate the details of a grant, and control many moving parts. I learned how to delegate tasks, manage a budget, assign roles and responsibilities, and keep an organized count of actions performed. I learned how to monitor progress and conduct follow up work to measure results. These are promising practices that can be carried on in to any future large-scale funded projects I conduct. 

 

 

Water Sanitation Part 2: Replacement of Piping for Cleaner Water in Lavie

 

Filling bucket on headYour Story: The first part of our water sanitation grant focused on improving the quality of our water through better piping, and a new filter. This second part of our Let Girls Learn grant focused on adding and extending piping as well as constructing water fountains as a way to improve access to our water to all community members. This involved building and implementing water fountains, and extending piping to exterior communities. The impact this Let Girls Learn grant had was deeply felt by community members and surrounding villages throughout my region. Over the course of two months, my community worked together to install new piping, water fountains, and extend pipe pieces to neighboring districts. During our randomized household surveys, 17 out of 20 houses reported they benefited greatly from the implementation of these water fountains. In addition, 16 out of 20 houses reported that the amount of time spent fetching water was reduced significantly due to the closer proximity of our water fountains. The way my work partner and I conducted follow-up work involved selecting 20 households within our district, and performing household surveys in order to garner responses to a series of questions related to our water grant. In addition, we visited the local health clinic and central school to measure the impact this increased access to water affected these two populations. In general, our findings proved generally positive as we found the majority of community members benefited greatly from this grant.

Goals Achieved, Changes in Initial Objectives, and Community Feeling:

In a study conducted by school officials for academic year 2015-2016, our total absentee rate for students at the middle and high school level hovered at around the 29% mark. Towards the end of academic year 2015-2016 and at the beginning of academic year 2016-2017, the absentee rate among middle and high school students has stayed stagnant at around the 23-24% mark. When my work partner and I conducted surveys among 30 subjects in the school community, more than half of the participants (composed of students, school administration, and teachers) responded that one of the top potential reasons for this decrease remained at “improved health”. When my work partner and I visited the primary health clinic in our community, we were able to retrieve statistics from clinic staff regarding rates of girls who have fallen ill due to water related diseases. In 2015, our registry reported 169 cases of illness regarding waterborne diseases. However, thus far in 2016, our health clinic has remained constant from our previous follow up work, at 112 cases.

This data was compiled from reports school officials and health clinic staff provided to us using statistics acquired over a period of time. In order to further corroborate the positive trend in our findings, my work partner and I decided to conduct randomized household surveys to find how the water quality has affected general community members. After conducting 20 randomized household visits, we found that around half of the families surveyed found a) a noticeable difference in water quality, b) generally improved quality of life due and (c ) more time saved to perform other activities, due to improved access to water.to this our water sanitation grant.   

 Capacity and Skills Built: Our water commission has learned how to budget and collectively organize themselves to collect our monthly community contribution. Each month, water commission members take turns in making the rounds and talking to various households. Each water commission member has been trained in how to log and categorize our community logbook. These are skills that will be carried on to the future. 

Kids with waterSustainability: My community has been able to sustain the benefits of this project by enforcing a strict monthly community contribution plan. In the four months since my community completed this grant, each household has been able to contribute 100 cfa each month that will be saved towards water reparations, materials, and water chlorification. Our water development board members have done a fantastic job at collecting this contribution each month, and will continue to take turns amongst each other to implement this. They record the savings in a budget book, with the name of each household, as well as their contribution. If a household refuses to contribute, they are at risk of having their water source shut off. Our local water technicians have not tapped in to our collective funds as of yet, because no major repairs have been needed.  

Unexpected Events and Recommendations: An unexpected positive result of this grant occurred towards the end of our project. One of the neighboring districts in our community caught on to the work we were doing, and collectively rose money to extend our piping to their community. The motivation and commitment my community exhibited has been uplifting and inspirational for me. This collective action has motivated me to continue working on projects such as this.

            Another unexpected positive result was the publishing of our grant in WorldView magazine. I was also surprised to see how direct excerpts from my initial grant application were directly pasted in to the article. This grant not only aided an entire community with cleaner, potable water, but also introduced the dedication and hard work of my community to the entire world.

Because of work commitments, I was not able to closely monitor the progress of this grant as closely as other grants. Due to my absence, I was not able to partake in community labor, and feel my lack of presence made community members feel I was not supportive or didn’t care. In the future, I would recommend that I try my best to be present for major grants such as this. 

Lessons Learned and Promising Practices: Through this grant, I was able to witness the motivation and work capacity my community is capable of. When put to the test, I have seen that my community is capable of accomplishing so much. I also learned that a grant that is well written is capable of not only receiving funds, but also serving as a role model to other volunteers.

Personal promising practices include, strong writing skills, which convey the need of the community and address the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why). In terms of my community, promising practices I witnessed include the ability to mobilize and organize a community to execute a major goal. In addition, our water commission has developed a sustainable, and organized method of collecting water maintenance funds. They record their collections in a community logbook, and maintain this logbook monthly. These practices can and will be continued in to the future. In summary, these practices are definitely assets my community can capitalize on to contribute to future development.

Community GroupTogo Ribbon Cutting for Project

 

Country: 
Funds Needed : 
Progress: 

Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic

Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican RepublicLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Xxxxxx, Dajabon, Dominican Republic

Community Description
Xxxxxx is a small rural community of around 230 families (750 individuals) located in the province of Dajabon on the Northwest of the Dominican Republic. The climate is very dry and rainwater is a rare occurrence. Regardless, many animals are found within the community such as cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, dogs, among others. As an agricultural community, the majority of jobs consists of dairy farming, teaching at public schools, or owning a bodega in the community. Many families rely on cows for their livelihood, either by selling the milk or meat or keeping the cow for themselves to feed the family.

The education system is quite poor and many students drop out of school to work as a dairy farmer to help their families. The graduation rate in the community is quite low because there is no motivation to continue to study.

The individuals are very religious and many attend church regularly on Wednesdays and Sundays. Pastimes in the community include, playing dominos, dancing bachata or merengue, and playing baseball. Dominicans like to have a good time and always find a way to brighten their day through social activities.

Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican RepublicMany Haitian immigrants enter the community to find a job and these individuals are the most vulnerable in the population. The changes that the community will most like to see are: (1) more water running throughout the community, (2) receiving a garbage truck to pick up all the waste, and (3) having a better healthcare system.

Problem Addressed
Due to the lack of, or poor, conditions of many latrines in this small rural community, many individuals from families of low socioeconomic status defecate in their backyard, causing damage to the environment and to the community.

With the help of many donations, 21 new latrines were built in the community in the Winter of 2016. There is, however, still great need. In a primary community diagnostic, 221 homes were surveyed and 86% of homes were found to use latrines. Of these, 37% of latrines were found to be in poor condition and 10% were found to be shared among family members or neighbors.

Project Description
This project is to build 32 latrines in the community.

Help with a latrine project has been the priority of the community since soliciting a PC volunteer in the summer of 2015, and one project of 21 latrines has now been completed. This new project aims to help additional families with need, selected by the Latrine Committee.

The Latrine Committee was created during the previous project, consisting of the Peace Corps volunteer and health promoters of Centro de Madres. The committee is excited to continue working with a second stage and has already determined and selected the beneficiaries most in need. The criteria used to select individuals included: families who lack a latrine, the number of family members within a family, the number of children in the family, and the health situation of each family. Other responsibilities of the Latrine Committee will include educating families through a health and hygiene course, soliciting possible donations, and contacting the previous local mason to begin work.

As for the families who will receive the latrines, they will have to participate in and graduate from a health training and latrine maintenance course taught by the health promoters of Centro de Madres. The families will also be involved specifically through financial donations to the project including providing materials, labor, food and the mason's pay.

As for the construction process, the latrines will be built by the local mason who has built these exact latrines in the community during the first latrine project. With such experience, the masons will construct efficient and suitable latrines for each of the 32 families.

The educational component will allow 70 individuals (approximately 2-3 people per family) to be trained on topics such as personal hygiene and how to take care of and properly maintain a latrine. The outcome is to help mitigate sanitation and health problems to allow families to maintain safe and sanitary latrines, and to increase overall quality of life.

In order for this project to be a success, these specific steps are to be taken:

-First, there is the implementation of educational component on the use and importance of latrines.

-Then, once funds arrive, the Latrine Committee will notify the families already selected to receive a latrine and the mason. The funds will specifically be used to purchase materials for the latrines.

-Then the construction of the latrines will begin. The process will take around 2-3 weeks, depending on the flexibility of the mason.

-Once all the latrines are built, there will be the assessment of correct use and maintenance of the improvements.

Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican RepublicProject Impact
110 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
R. Wright

Monitoring and Maintenance
Education, capacity building, and community involvement are the key to the sustainability of the project. At least one family member from each beneficiary family will have knowledge in latrine construction and maintenance, thus will be able to repair and care for the family latrine without seeking outside assistance. Moreover, after the project ends, families will be able to spread the knowledge and skills gained from the training to practice healthy behaviors.

The women from the Latrine Committee will visit all beneficiary families after two months to see whether families are using the new latrines, are implementing healthy practices, and are retaining health knowledge. In addition, a pre- and post-test will be given out to the families to make sure that health educational component was delivered in a sustainable manner.

Lastly, the project can continue since the Latrine Committee members, the masons, and the beneficiary families will have skills to move forward with designing implementing and evaluating future community-based projects.

Fundraising Target
$4,300

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$4,300

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been paid for by an anonymous donor.

Additional donations will be used for other projects in the Dominican Republic.

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

Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican RepublicDajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic

Conclusion of Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic

Conclusion of Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Rosemary Wright. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to build 32 latrines in the community.

Rosemary reports:

THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
Due to the lack of or poor conditions of many latrines in a small rural community located in the northwestern part of the Dominican Republic, many individuals from families of low socioeconomic status defecated in their backyard, causing damage to the environment and to the community. With the help of Water Charity, 33 new latrines were built in this small community in the Summer of 2017.

The latrines consisted of a circular pit dug into the ground, covered by a hygienic concrete floor, and surrounded by a shelter made of wood and metal sheets. Each step of the process to build the latrines required participation from the community, primarily from the Latrine Committee, the local mason, and the families receiving the latrines.

The beneficiary families were required to pass health training and latrine maintenance classes presented by the women in the Latrine Committee. The latrine project greatly helped the beneficiary families by mitigating health risks such as the risk of fecal-oral disease transmission, improving overall sanitation, and helping implement basic health and hygiene practices.

Conclusion of Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic SPECIFIC WORK THAT WAS DONE
Every family has learned the importance of sanitation and hygiene, including washing hands, how to make a hand washing station, and how to properly manage a latrine. The families learned how to find basic items such as sand and gravel to build their proper latrine, because this was required of them before the construction began.

The project helped the Latrine Committee members to develop leadership and project management experience, including developing many skills such as project design, implementation, money management skills, and income generation. The Latrine Committee is better equipped to initiate, implement, and own future projects for the community. Additionally, the mason developed valuable skills in latrine maintenance and repair and will be able to share these skills for generations to come. Now that this is his second time doing the project, he is very skilled with the maintenance and construction of each latrine.

HOW THE WORK PROGRESSED THROUGH EACH STAGE
The project was mostly done by the community. During the previous latrine project, a Latrine Committee was created, consisting of the Peace Corps volunteer and health promoters of Centro de Madres. The committee was excited to continue to work with a second stage and selected the beneficiaries most in need. They educated each of the 33 families that were selected through a health and hygiene course, solicited possible donations, and contacted the previous local mason to begin work.

The mason purchased the materials with the Peace Corps volunteer in the nearest town. After the purchases were made, the mason worked on one latrine a day, five days a week. During the construction, young men would help out with digging the hole, mixing the cement, and molding the toilet. The families receiving the latrines were responsible for providing additional materials, labor, food and the mason's pay.

Conclusion of Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic END RESULT
A total of 33 latrines were built in the community, all with a hand-built hand station. There is improved community health and sanitation with improved pit latrines.

At least one family member from each beneficiary family has gained the knowledge in latrine construction and maintenance, thus will be able to repair and care for the family latrine without seeking outside assistance. Moreover, families will be able to spread the knowledge and skills gained from the training to practice healthy behaviors.

Lastly, the project can continue since the Latrine Committee members, the masons, and the beneficiary families will have skills to move forward with designing implementing and evaluating future community-based projects. The community is very happy about the implementation of the latrines and hope to receive more latrines in the near future.

COMMENTS FROM THE COMMUNITY

A personal story from one of the beneficiaries:

Conclusion of Dajabon Latrine Project - Dominican Republic It a hot afternoon and the mason is working vigorously on a latrine that was demanded by a man who was in need of one. Before the construction of the bathroom, the man and his family were either using the neighbors’ latrine or, during the evening and night, using the backyard as a bathroom. The backyard reeked of urine and fecal matter.

Once informed of the project, the man told the Peace Corps volunteer he would like to be the first to receive a latrine. The volunteer told him if he digs a hole within a week he could have his materials. The next day, the volunteer saw him profusely digging the hole himself at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, not giving up because he knew this was worth the time and effort. He promised his family that they will have their own latrine to use and the kids were very excited about this.

The next day, he found the materials himself and the mason went to work that very day. Now a latrine in the backyard, the area smells a little less every day and the family can now feel comfortable using their own bathroom. The man thanks God daily for this opportunity and will someone repay his debt to another family in need.

We extend our thanks to Rosemary for completing this important project.

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Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda

Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

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

Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaLocation
Kagumba Primary School, Balawoli Subcounty, Kamuli Region, Uganda

Community Description
Kagumba Primary is a school in Uganda’s rural Kamuli region. The region is one of Uganda’s most neglected, a fact which is reflected in the school’s lack of decent infrastructure. There are 4 classroom blocks (1 new) catering for 549 pupils.

The school has two broken plastic water tanks. At least one classroom has a large- enough roofing area to support and justify the construction of a 20,000 L rainwater harvesting tank. The Haileybury Youth Trust (HYT), has recently completed the construction of a 5-stance pit latrine, and the school is building 2 more.

HYT was impressed by the responsiveness and involvement of the school’s administration, who are required to pay-in-kind, through services such as food/water provision, equipment storage and security for the masons. These criteria were consistently fulfilled to a high standard.

Problem Addressed
The two current plastic water tanks were sabotaged when the school insisted that they were for the use of pupils, rather than the community as a whole. The damage involved the insertion of nails into the plastic walling.

Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaProject Description
A 20,000 L water tank will be constructed approximately 1 meter from the sturdiest classroom block, and connected with gutters for harvesting rainwater. The tank will be built from Interlocking Stabilized Soil Block (ISSB) technology, which does not require firewood, unlike traditional burnt bricks, saving precious tree cover. The tank blocks are curved to suit their purpose, and made using a manual press. They will be made and used by ISSB masons, Ugandan youths trained by the Haileybury Youth Trust in this innovative technology.

All HYT masons are graduates of HYT’s ‘One Village’ at a time program, and were selected, as unemployed youths, to learn on projects in their local areas. They are now professional masons, some of whom have up to 10 years of experience building with ISSB. Water tank projects such as Kagumba contribute to their employment, as well as the spreading of environmentally-friendly ISSB technology.

Subsoil, a key component, will be sourced onsite in Kagumba, mixed with sand, a little (5%) cement and waterproofing, compressed into blocks, and cured in the sun for 28 days. Masons will then utilize the blocks’ interlocking feature to build the tank, plastering and painting as well as roofing it.

Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaWater Charity funds will be used to purchase materials not freely available, like the murram (a gravelly lateritic material), cement, sand, roofing timber, iron roofing sheets, and paint, as well as to pay the masons’ wages and project management fees.

The Kagumba Parent-Teacher Association and others in the community will feed the masons, as well as provide them with onsite helpers (e.g. water-carriers), accommodation, site security and general support. Not only does such participation increase a community’s sense of ownership of the project, but ISSB is also more resistant to the damages suffered by previous tanks.

HYT builds its taps in a separate outlet a few meters away from the tank, therefore disassociating them as a target of sabotage and facilitating easier repairs.

Project Impact
560 people (549 pupils + 11 teachers) will benefit from the project.

Project Manager
This project will be managed by Charlie Tebbutt, Assistant Country Manager, HYT Uganda

Monitoring and Maintenance
HYT employs locally-trained Ugandans to build its structures, creating a sense of local pride and ownership rather than an attitude of gift-receiving. The Trust signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the school and community, which includes clauses on the continued monitoring and maintenance of all structures, old and new.

When tanks are completed, communities are left with a manual and toolkit, to be used by a special committee for tank maintenance, stipulated in the M.O.U. HYT continues to visit project sites following their completion to check on the condition of structures and to encourage and advise the community regarding maintenance.

Let Girls Learn
Of the 549 pupils, 289 are girls. The onsite water source that the tank provides will reduce pupils’ trips to the local borehole in order to collect water. Not only do these journeys take place during valuable lesson time, but they present risks to the children, particularly unaccompanied girls. A water tank will lower the occurrence of such trips.

This project has been paid for through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaKagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda


Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda

Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaThis project has been completed under the direction of Charlie Tebbutt, Assistant Country Manager of Haileybury Youth Trust (HYT). To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to build a 20,000-liter water tank and rainwater catchment system using Interlocking Stabilized Soil Block (ISSB) technology.

Charlie reports:

Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaI'm very happy to update you on the successful completion of the 20,000L tank at Kagumba Primary School.

The block-making team, assembled from graduates of HYT’s training programme, arrived with the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB) press at Kagumba Primary School on July 13th 2017. Having selected and extracted local marram subsoil, they began to make curved blocks for the water tank. These blocks are cured in the sun, and do not require the firewood that is consumed by traditional brick-burning methods.

A foundational slab was laid down as the blocks dried and gathered strength. Once ready, they were stacked (a quick and simple process, thanks to the innovative interlock) to a height of 2.5 metres, enough to store up to 20,000L of rainwater! When the desired height had been achieved, the waterproofed blocks were plastered on the inside, with wire mesh to reinforce against the pressure of all that water. A roof was then added and the exterior was plastered, again with wire mesh to bolster integrity.

Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaThe tank’s final layer of protection was a coat of paint, after which the tap was mounted on a plinth a few meters away. HYT does this so that inevitable wear-and-tear is concentrated around the easily replaceable tap, rather than the more complex tank structure. Once guttering had been connected from the roof of the classroom next door, the tank was ready for business, producing cool, clean water thanks to an innovative “first flush” system. The transformative effects on both the school’s 289 girls and 260 boys, as well as the staff and community, are best described by the pupils and the deputy headteacher, Mr. Dathan.

“I move three kilometres to pick water from the borehole”, pupil Yoweria told us, yellow jerrycan in hand, following one of her regular trips to collect water.

Mr. Dathan explained that “Every day we send them during morning time, during lunch and in the evening”, in order to collect approximately 400 litres of water a day, for drinking, cooking and washing.

The tank’s 20,000L capacity will give the pupils and staff “ample time to focus on teaching”, according to Mr. Dathan.

The school has assembled a specific tank management team, and arranged for the community to have access to the water supply on weekends. This will ensure the long-term care of the facilities, and take pressure away from the local borehole.

HYT would like to thank Water Charity for their extremely generous support, as well as the community of Kagumba for their continued enthusiasm and assistance.

We extend our thanks to Charlie for completing this important project.

Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaConclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda

 

Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaConclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda

 

Conclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - UgandaConclusion of Kagumba Primary School ISSB Tank Project - Uganda

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Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - Guatemala

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Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - GuatemalaThis project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

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

Location
Chuquexa I School, Solola, Guatemala

Community Description
The village of Chuquexa I is located about 100 km west of Guatemala City astride the Pan American highway in the central highland mountains at about 8,000-foot elevation. The village has Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - Guatemalaa population of about 2,100 individuals.

The school has a population of about 430 students and 14 teachers. The school is divided into two locations about 200 yards apart.

Village life is centralized around agricultural activity, with some small businesses and home artisan activities such as carpentry, weaving, and metal fabricating. Unemployment is very high, aside from the constant need to tend fields for food production. Many households depend upon funds sent by members of the family working in the US. In general funds are limited in the village.

The village has a number of churches mainly evangelical and Catholic. There are some traditional Maya religious activities practiced in the community.

The village is governed by a village committee. The main decision-making process is done in open village meetings directed by the committee. Decisions are made by consensus and not by the 51% rule. Various sub-committees are formed from the village to deal with issues arising in the school, roads, and water systems.

Funding for projects is normally arranged by way of various sources such as the mayor of Solola, Department Development Committees, and private and international institutions. Villagers are normally required to give manual labor to village projects as part of their civic duty. An accurate account is kept by the village committee of these contributions to ensure all give equally.

Problem Addressed
Due to the persistent lack of funds in the community, maintenance is a major problem in the school. The bathroom doors and toilets are in need of replacement or repair. The access to hand washing stations is limited. The entrance to the bathroom area is poorly constructed and has serious problems with drainage that impairs the entrance during rains.

Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - GuatemalaProject Description
This project is to renovate the bathroom at the school. All of the 13 doors to the bathroom, as well as all of the toilets, will be repaired or replaced.

The water storage tanks on the roof will receive new float valves and their plumbing repaired. In addition, drains will be installed in the bathroom area to carry away the storm water, and a cement slab will be poured over the area in front of the bathrooms.

Additional hand washing stations will be added to facilitate hygiene training and activity such as tooth brushing and school maintenance.

Training will be given to the parents committee on the process to maintain the toilets and doors.

The parents committee will provide all of the manual labor for the project and provide sleeping quarters for the masons and feed the masons during the project.

Project Impact
444 students and staff at the school will benefit from the project. The entire community of 2,100 people, including family members, will indirectly benefit.

Project Administrator
Lynn Roberts, Executive Director, Agua Para La Salud

Monitoring and Maintenance
Alberto Xoch Yaxon is the APS supervisor in Guatemala and has been in contact with the village in the initial assessment of the school conditions. He has worked successfully with APS for the last 19 years. He lives in the general area of the school and is well known by the local communities for his past work with Peace Corps Healthy Schools project and projects with other donors. Alberto will supervise and monitor the project and be in charge of instructing the parents committee on the maintenance of the facilities.

Let Girls Learn
Unsecured bathroom doors and poor toilet conditions add to the low motivation to attend school, especially among girls. The project will provide for a healthy and safe environment that will encourage girls to attend and remain in school.

This project has been funded by the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - GuatemalaChuquexa I School Bathroom Project - Guatemala

Conclusion of Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - Guatemala

Conclusion of Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - Guatemala

This project has been completed under the direction of Lynn Roberts, of Agua Para La Salud. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to renovate the bathroom at the school.

To read Lynn’s final report, CLICK HERE.

Lynn concludes:

The villagers, teachers and children of Chuquexa I School are extremely pleased with the results of the project funded by Water Charity. The hygiene practices in the school were immediately observed to improve and also motivated the teachers to increase their hygiene training of the students with the new and improved facilities.

We extend our thanks to Lynn for completing this important project.

Conclusion of Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - GuatemalaConclusion of Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project - Guatemala

 
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Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - Ghana

Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - Ghana

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - GhanaThis project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.

Location
Kwanfinfin, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana

Community Description
Kwanfinfin is a large village, with a population of about 1,780 people. The main source of income is from agriculture and trading. In addition, young men and women serve as laborers at the various mining sites.

The Brong Ahafo Region is located in south Ghana. Brong Ahafo is bordered to the north by the Black Volta River and to the east by the Lake Volta, and to the south by the Ashanti region, Eastern and Western regions, and to the west by the Ivory Coast southeastern border. Some of the languages spoken by the people are Twi, English, Ewe, Bono and Hausa.

Because this location is a center of mining activity, it has associated problems, such as school dropout and teenage pregnancy. Due to economic hardships at home, a large number of children between 6 and 15 abandon their classrooms for gold mining, to either make a living or make a few Ghana cedis to support their parents.

The few children who are in school also work in illegal gold mining concessions after school to earn money to pay for their own education. They usually do not wear any protective gear, and are exposed to all manner of bodily injury, especially to the eyes

Problem Addressed
The people of the village suffer from lack of access to potable water. Their lands and water bodies have been largely destroyed as result of illegal mining activities and the use heavy chemicals on their land. The illegal mining in the area is plagued by several environmental and health problems.

Several accidents have occurred, and in some cases people have died from water-related issues. In April 2015, at least 16 people lost their lives as a result of consuming polluted water. This community now needs to transport water from nearby towns, and pay unaffordable prices.

Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - GhanaAnother serious impact is the health hazards as a result of pollution from gases, noise and dust. Coal mines release methane which can pollute the air. Sulphuric acid is utilized in the mining operations, which drains into the water bodies, and adversely affects them.

The movements of rock in the case of surface mining impacts the land negatively. Craters are left in the areas where mining activities took place, destroying landscape and lush vegetation in the process.

Deforestation is resulting in changes in the ecosystem, which includes increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the air.

Leakage of chemicals into the environment adversely affects the health of the local population.

Project Description
This project is build a borehole to supply water for the people of Kwanfinfin in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The borehole will reach a depth of about 60 to 75 meters. Water will be accessed by a hand pump. Above-ground improvements will include a concrete area on which people will stand when drawing water, as well as a channel and soak pit for removal of excess runoff.

Ntobroso Borehole Project - GhanaKwanfinfin Borehole Project - GhanaA contract will be awarded to a borehole construction firm with experience in the region.

Activities prior to implementation include cost analysis, reading and location selection, geologic and topographic consultation, and preparation of design sketches.

The community will contribute a monthly fee per home toward the maintenance and repairs of the facility as well the unskilled labor needed for project implementation.

H2O Africa Care will provide management, supervision, accounting, monitoring, and reporting.

Project Impact
1,780 people will benefit from the project.

Project Administration
The project will be implemented under the direction of Nana Kudjoe Kesse, Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer of H2O Africa Care

Nana previously completed the Ntobroso Borehole Project - Ghana

Monitoring and Maintenance
The community will charge small monthly fees to take care of repairs and other related work when needed. A woman will be assigned to perform the management function for the smooth running of the facility.

H2O Africa Care will ensure sustainability after the improvements are completed.

This project has been paid for through the generosity of an anonymous donor. If you wish to support similar projects, please donate to our Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program

Conclusion of Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - Ghana 

Conclusion of Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - GhanaThis project has been completed under the direction of Nana Kudjoe Kesse, Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer of H2O Africa Care. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed build a borehole to supply water for the people of Kwanfinfin in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Nana reports:

Conclusion of Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - GhanaWe are more than happy to announce our second project conclusion in the Brong and Ahafo region of Ghana.

This project was to provide pure accessible drinking water to the 1,780 people of Kwanfinfin, a major village facing water challenges due to illegal mining operations.

As is done typically in Ghanaian communities, a libation was poured to ask for permission from forefathers for protection and guidance for the project to be commenced on the 7th day of August, 2017.

Representatives of LEE YOUNG Drilling, together with H2O team and elders of Kwanfinfin, surveyed the area for a suitable location. With the aid of ground water detector, a suitable place was located.

The drilling company then started the constructions process, and in about 35 hours, they hit the water table at 70 meters. The top of the borehole was then cemented and a hand pump installed, creating a fully-functioning water system.

The community will later come together upon an agreement to contribute funds towards a construction of storage filtering concrete tanks to improve upon the facility.

Upon conclusion, final prayers were said, to thank and to appreciate the work of Water Charity, H2O and everyone who made this project possible. A great delicious lunch was then prepared by the community that served both H2O team and LEE YOUNG Drilling team, as well as the village elders.

After the lunch, we all came together again with comments on the need for clean water and hygienic environment in Ghana and Africa. For about an hour of conversations we came to realize that this has broadened peoples’ minds.

Below are some happy comments raised by the villager upon having access to clean water:

" We thank Water Charity and H2O for this great water provision.” by Kwame Boabeng

" We thank God for this.” by Alhaji Mumuni

" We have no way to go through much purification process just to drink water (smiled )."

A wonderful advice was by given Agya Kwaku to warn everyone “not to wash clothes at the facility."

" I will ask daddy to buy me a water bottle so I can fill it up here for school.” 5-year-old Benard Kusi

Together they said “ooh Water Charity and H2O, this community can't thank you enough for this wonderful water facility"

We extend our thanks to Nana for completing this important project.

Conclusion of Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - GhanaConclusion of Kwanfinfin Borehole Project - Ghana

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Kwahu West Water Project - Ghana

Kwahu West Water Project - Ghana

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

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

Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Xxxxxx, Kwahu West District, Eastern Region, Ghana

Community Description
Xxxxxx is a rural community located just off the main Accra-Kumasi road only about a 30 minutes’ drive from the market town of Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region of Ghana. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains and bounded by a river on its north end which shares its name.

Xxxxxx is home to approximately 900 residents with an ever-growing population. The community is comprised of both Muslims and Christians and is divided by the main highway. Xxxxxx also tends to share and borrow resources from its surrounding communities such as markets, schools, and water sources.

The community is full of hard-working, dedicated people who mostly rely on farming to sustain their livelihoods. They grow such crops as cocoa, maize, cucumbers, bananas, and plantains.

Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaIt is a very traditional community where you are expected to greet and revere your elders, treat guests with the utmost respect, and attend religious services and ceremonies whenever possible. Men are expected to go into the fields to work and provide for the family while women maintain the household. People live a simple and humble life with a positive outlook on the future.

Problem Addressed
The community currently has five hand-pumped boreholes within its city limits; however only two are functioning. Two of the boreholes are completely condemned due to poor workmanship, and one recently broke down.

With the expanding population and the demand for water being shared by adjacent communities the remaining boreholes are not enough to address the current need. To add insult to injury, the remaining boreholes are located on only one side of the community. This is causing many residents to travel longer distances and cross the main road in order to collect water.

Furthermore, the task of collecting water is traditionally given to women and children in this community. Some children begin fetching water as early as 3 years old. At times when one or more boreholes are not working due to maintenance issues, women and children tend to travel farther for water as well as have to cross the main highway. This can prove to be very dangerous for the younger children.

During the dry season, water becomes even scarcer because some of the boreholes do not function at these times. This once again causes increased travel time and effort for those sent to fetch the water. These circumstances in turn decreases productivity of the community by taking time away from other things such as school or work.

There are also situations in which individuals decide to collect water from the nearby streams because of the water shortage. This, of course, can lead to a variety of health issues because these waters have not been treated for pollutants.

Project Description
This project is to re-build an existing borehole, install an electric pump, build a platform and install a water storage tank, and install piping to access points in the community.

Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaAn existing borehole, with a yield sufficiently high will be rehabilitated into a mechanized borehole, powered by an electrical pump, that will bring water up from the water table and store it in a Rambo 1,000 Polytank capable of holding 10,000L of water. This tank will be able to satisfy the water demand for Xxxxxx and its immediate surrounding communities as well as alleviate pressure on the electrical pump by allowing time between fillings.

The Polytank will be placed on a concrete stand with four pillars for support as well as a maintenance ladder situated 12 feet above the ground. At the source of the borehole there will be one overhead spout for those who will carry water on their heads without support and one regular spout at the base.

The company will also excavate and lay approximately 250 meters of Duraplast piping for two additional fetching points away from the source with regular spouts.

An additional soakaway pit, aside from the one already located at the existing borehole, will be placed at the end of the extension to prevent standing water near the distal spouts.

Just prior to construction an electrical meter for the borehole will be applied for, and activities designed to teach the community about proper borehole maintenance and sanitation practices will be organized with the drilling company.

Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaA pumping test will be performed at the time of construction to determine the type and size of the pump required to fill the Polytank. A typical pump for this size tank would be a 1.5 horsepower Interdab electrical pump.

In conjunction with Global Communities, a company that has done extensive work in the area of identifying water tables throughout Ghana, a reputable company called LINKS Drilling and Construction, Ltd. was identified. The company provided estimates for the cost of mechanizing an existing borehole. The estimate included having an environmental assessment and hydrological survey performed before any construction will be initiated.

Construction will last for approximately 6 weeks, requiring two weeks for the excavation and tower construction, 3 weeks for foundation drying, and one week for Polytank installation and connection. Throughout the duration of the project, and even after completion, the Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Committee will continue to conduct community education activities related to water & sanitation and borehole maintenance as well as manage the community’s water and sanitation needs.

The community will provide the land and base of the borehole, conduct trainings and education sessions to the whole community, and engage in communal labor to keep the work site as well as the community clean and well maintained.

Project Impact
961 people will benefit from the project

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Zakiya Miller

Monitoring and Maintenance
The WATSAN Committee will oversee project completion and borehole maintenance after installation.

The Committee will collect funds from the community for the purpose of maintaining and repairing current boreholes as well as the utility costs and upkeep of the new mechanized borehole. The committee will meet monthly to discuss issues of sanitation in the community as well as to hold training sessions and activities on communal work days.

The committee will also be responsible for the continued collection of funds and to ensure that the funds are being spent responsibly on water and sanitation projects.

The Peace Corps Volunteer will work with the community to ensure that the WATSAN Committee is formed and prepared prior to mechanization of the borehole and that adequate funds have been generated to cover the costs of any repairs.

Comments
The borehole will increase the number of vantage points that can be used throughout the community. This will in turn increase water access in areas that are remote or where the population is growing.

The borehole will also decrease the time it takes to fetch water allowing more time for other productive things in the community. It will also reduce the economic strain on the community by lessening the tension placed on the already existing hand-pumped boreholes. This will decrease the likelihood of breakdowns and maintenance malfunctions which will allow funds to be saved more readily in the WATSAN account.

Let Girls Learn
The role of collecting water is primarily reserved for women and girls in the community. This role is expected to be fulfilled whenever there is a need and regardless of other duties that need to be performed.

There is already some gender bias which favors boy’s receiving education over girls when it comes to resources and school fees in the community. This bias can lead to a huge knowledge gap between men and women which can in turn put a greater economic strain on the community as a whole.

Furthermore, a lack of education makes women and girls more vulnerable to gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and other diseases which can reduce their economic productivity even more over time.

This project will mitigate some of the obstacles young girls must face when trying to get an education by decreasing the time spent away from class sessions due to collecting water.  It falls under our  Let Girls Learn Initiative - Worldwide

This project has been supported by an anonymous donor.

Conclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - Ghana

Conclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - Ghana

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Zakiya Miller. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

Zakiya reports:

The project has installed a mechanized borehole with 4 vantage points located at the base, and an extension point some 250 meters from the main station with an additional 2 vantage points. This makes a total of 6 new vantage points in the community of Asuoso in the Kwahu West District of Eastern Region, Ghana.

Conclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaThis borehole with an electrical pump will alleviate some of the burdens associated with collecting water including women and children from crossing the dangerous highway to fetch water.

Community members expressed the need for increased water access due to the long queues and far distance residents had to travel to get water. School girls were also missing school instruction time due to the far distance and long waiting times the girls would have to endure to collect water for the school. This sparked the decision to rehabilitate one of the existing manual boreholes and transform it into a mechanized borehole with multiple fetching points.

Just prior to the project initiation one of the 3 functioning boreholes broke down making water even more scarce in the community. This breakdown was particularly concerning because it forced residents to cross the main highway in order to collect water. This was a very dangerous situation for women and young children who are often sent to collect water for the household.

This project took the collective effort of community members, hired contractors, and the Peace Corps to accomplish. The community helped to clear the land, provide water and accommodations for the workers, and organized community resources to help complete the project. This helped build their capacity and take ownership of the development. This project served as a galvanizing agent to build resiliency and self-empowerment within the community so that they can continue to better their quality of life.

Construction began on April 24, 2017 and ended on July 21, 2017. This resulted in one mechanized borehole with an electrical pump to deliver water to 6 different vantage points. Four of the vantage points being located at the borehole base and two additional vantage points approximately 250 meters out in a community extension.

The new borehole is providing increased water access to approximately 900 residents in the town of Asuoso.

Conclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaAfter clearing the land, the contractors began the scaffolding to build the Polytank stand and drilled the pipes into the existing borehole. Bricks were made to construct the Polytank stand and left to dry for about a week. The workers then returned to construct the stands and pillar for the Polytanks and extension. Plaster was added and left to dry for approximately one month due to heavy rainfall. The Polytanks were installed and the electrical pump was connected. The borehole was then tested for functionality. After all tests were performed, the borehole water was treated and then open for public use.

The primary goal was achieved by increasing water access to community members by installing a mechanized borehole over an existing borehole. The borehole has decreased fetching time by decreasing the distance residents have to travel to collect water as well as adding more vantage points for collection. This has in turn helped school aged girls gain more instruction time during the school day because it does not take them as long to fetch water for the school. Community members have been overjoyed by the addition of this new water source and they have promised to keep it well maintained.

We extend our thanks to Zakiya for completing this important project.

Conclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaConclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - Ghana

Conclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - GhanaConclusion of Kwahu West Water Project - Ghana

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