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.  (It can be seen on Netflix.) Photos from the trial can be seen here:

  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. 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.

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

Funds Needed : 

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

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

Funds Needed : 

San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - Belize

San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - Belize

San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeNPCA and WC logos

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

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

San Benito Poite, Toledo District, Belize

Community Description
San Benito Poite is a remote village found in the southwestern corner of Belize close to the border of Guatemala. The roughly 515 people who reside in the community are Q'eqchi Maya and speak the Q'eqchi language, with students learning English when they enter school.

The majority of people are sustenance farmers who rely on annual crops, such as corn and beans, and livestock for both food and income. Each morning, the men leave for their farms while the women send their children to school, either to the high school, a two-hour bus ride away, or to the primary school located in the village. The women then begin their daily tasks of maintaining the household, including washing clothes and dishes at the river, sweeping the house, and tending to the animals, usually pigs and chickens. They are responsible for preparing lunch for their children who return from school to eat, as well as for their husband when he returns from the farm.

San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeThe community has little access to modern amenities due to its distance from town. The village bus runs only four days a week with a travel time of three hours to reach the town. The majority of families rely on a single solar panel to provide light in the house, though for the five to six month long rainy season the panels are unreliable due to the constant rain.

Each household has a pipe that provides potable water that is pumped from a nearby source through the central chlorinated water tank. However, this risks drying up during the hottest months as demand increases. As a result, women will use fire hearths for cooking and the river for washing.

The people of San Benito Poite truly embody the sense of the word community. Celebrations, including weddings and holidays are celebrated community wide. When a man plants his crops, he invites on average fifteen to twenty male family members and friends to assist while the women will cook the traditional meal of caldo soup and tortillas to feed the family and friends in thanks. The majority of community members attend their respective churches multiple days each week, which has fostered the creation of sub-communities that are invited to family functions such as birthdays or baptisms.

Problem Addressed
Many rural villages in southern Belize face high rates of gastrointestinal diseases, with many children visiting clinics with diagnoses of gastroenteritis. These diseases are most commonly caused by the consumption of food and water contaminated through poor hygiene practices, including improper handwashing, defecating in the open, and not covering food.

San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeFrom January 2016 to July 2016, the Belize Ministry of Health, Public Health Department tested the water quality of rudimentary water systems in 37 villages in the district of Toledo. These systems pump water from a well in the village into a holding tank before it is pumped back into the village for drinking, cooking, and washing use. Twenty-one of the 37 systems tested positive for E.coli bacteria. When one consumes contaminated water and is forced to defecate in the open because of a lack of latrines, they expose others to pathogens and begin the fecal-oral cycle of disease.

In San Benito Poite, the majority of the 102 households are forced to find semi-secluded areas in the bush to defecate. As the village is expanding and new families are building houses, plots of land are becoming smaller and the bush between houses is shrinking. Many people are required to walk a far distance to defecate, and children who are too young to walk far are forced to defecate in the yards just outside of the houses. Animals that roam free in the village, including pigs and chickens that families eat, consume the feces and track them onto the road and throughout the village.

During the rainy season lasting from June to December, feces are washed into the yards in which barefooted children play, and into the surrounding rivers in which community members bathe and wash clothes. The heavy rains and a high water table leads to frequent flooding, many times flooding the few pit latrines that some households have. As a result, waste leaks into the ground and potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes are attracted to the stagnant water.

San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeProject Description
This project is to build five dual-vaulted raised pit latrines with hand washing stations. They will be located at each of the 5 churches in the village.

A dual-vaulted raised pit latrine is a latrine in which the human waste is collected within a concrete structure built above the ground. The concept is to have a latrine that can be re-used infinitely while creating a safe and useful way of disposing the waste. Community members will use only one side of the latrine, or one vault, until it fills up. Once that is filled, it will be closed off and community members will use the other side of the latrine, the second vault. While using the second vault, the waste in the first vault will go through a degradation process and after a few years, will be converted into compost and used for gardens or farms.

The project will begin with a two-day training of 10 community members hosted by the local non-governmental organization (NGO), Maya Mountain Research Farm. The 4 members of the San Benito Poite Health Committee, village leaders, and church pastors will make up the group of ten members who attend this training. The training will cover the concept of a dual-vaulted raised pit latrine, how to construct one, how to maintain the latrine, and how to properly use the compost.

Once this training is complete, those who attended will host their own educational sessions in their respective churches to explain to the members what they had learned. Along with these sessions, the community health worker and Peace Corps Volunteer will conduct educational sessions on diarrheal disease prevention and management, including water treatment methods. A total of 5 of these trainings will be conducted, one in each church.

When the trainings are complete, the materials will be ordered and delivered to the community. Once the materials arrive, two staff members of the NGO Maya Mountain Research Farm (MMRF) will come to the community and do a hands-on practical and assist in building one of the 5 latrines and its hand washing station.

Each church will be responsible for sending its members to the construction to learn the techniques. The latrine will be built over the course of 2 weeks with the project partners from MMRF working 4 days to demonstrate and teach the proper construction techniques. Once this first latrine is built, the 4 other churches will be responsible for building their own latrine.

A manual will be produced describing the project, to be used as a reference throughout the project and during potential expansions in the future. It will begin with a description of the problem, including the consequences of open defecation and the importance of using a latrine. It will provide step-by-step instructions and illustrations of the construction of the latrine. Lastly, it will include explanations of how to maintain the latrine and how to properly remove and use the compost.

Each church will receive a copy of the manual to use as a guide when building their respective latrine. Additional copies will also be used to disseminate to other communities or parties interested in adopting this project.

The construction of the latrine will begin with laying a 4” thick foundation supported with 3/8" rebar on the ground. These latrines will have a foundation size of 6'8" by 5'4". Four inch cement blocks will then be laid around the edge of the foundation 7 blocks high as well as halfway between the foundation running from the front to back to create the dividing wall for the two vaults. Each vault will then be 3'4" by 5'4".

The total height of the concrete structure will be 4’8”. The back of the latrine will have two 2’ by 3’ spaces left open in the blocks, one for each vault, where the doors for retrieving the compost will be placed. The doors will be made of metal sheeting and attached with steel hinges and cement nails.

At the back of the latrine, one 3” PVC pipe elbow will be placed in the wall of each vault and then connected to a 10’ PVC pipe running vertically and extending above the latrine for ventilation out of the vaults. Additionally, a piece of 1½” PVC piping will be placed on the bottom of each vault with the end extending out to provide for drainage of excess liquid in the vault.

A 4”-thick concrete floor will be laid with two circular holes left for where the concrete toilet seats will be placed. The stairs will be built using concrete and rebar at a 45-degree angle with rebar placed every 2 feet.

Once the bottom structure is complete, the superstructure can be constructed. This will be made of wooden posts and boards attached to the bottom structure with steel L brackets, threaded rods, nuts and washers. The roof will be three sheets of 8' by 33" corrugated zinc and attached to the superstructure with roofing nails.

The hand washing stations will consist of a sink basin and faucet that is connected to each church's water pipe. Water in the village is distributed through underground PVC pipes from the water tank. This water is pumped from a nearby source and treated with chlorine to make it potable.

Each church will receive PVC piping and connections to connect their hand washing station to the water system. PVC piping will also be used to direct the waste water from the hand washing station to a lower lying area filled with banana leaves, twigs, and charcoal to collect and filter the water. Banana trees will be planted surrounding the pit to use the water and produce a sustainable crop for the village.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the construction materials, including the cement, sand, blocks, the various PVC pipes, the roofing material for the roof and doors on the vaults, the sinks and components, nails, rebar and the tying wire.

The community of San Benito Poite has been instrumental in the design and planning of the project. A 4-member health committee has led the charge in gauging community interest and support for community latrines. The San Benito Poite Health Committee initiated the project with a community meeting to share their project concept. The meeting produced positive responses and thus was followed-up by individual household surveys. Over the course of a few months, the health committee visited all 102 families and five churches in the village.

Each church has committed to providing all of the lumber to construct the superstructure above the vaults, the labor for building, as well as the land where the latrine will be built.

Project Impact
515 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Amanda Masse

Monitoring and Maintenance
The health committee is responsible for conducting monitoring and evaluation sessions with project participants to ensure proper latrine construction and use. They will evaluate best practices and lessons learned throughout the project implementation to encourage knowledge exchange and project modifications when necessary. This will provide for future expansion of the project to individual household latrines in order to continually improve the health of the community.

To ensure proper maintenance of the latrine, each church will be required to clean the inside of the latrine once a month. Each church has a collection fund and a small portion of that will be used to purchase cleaning supplies. The cleaning of the latrine will include sweeping and wiping down the toilet seat, sink, and other inside surfaces. The pipe water for each church will be used for the cleaning.

Members of each church will attend a training on latrine maintenance, including adding carbon-loaded materials like rice hulls and saw dust to decrease smell, and mixing the waste to encourage pathogen degradation. Lastly, before the latrine is first used, rice hulls will be added to the bottom of the constructed latrine to assist in reducing the smell for future use.

Since community members will actively learn how to construct the latrines, they will learn how to repair it if it were to break. Additionally, each church has agreed to maintaining ownership of the latrine and therefore ownership of paying for and repairing it should it break.

To mitigate the potential for antibiotic-resistant bacteria entering the environment, community members will receive thorough trainings on the management and handling of compost to ensure proper degradation.

To ensure that the latrines are built and maintained properly, the local Public Health Inspector will inspect the five latrines to deem them fit for use. He will view them initially before the community first uses them, and when conducting water quality tests, they will conduct follow-ups.

Fundraising Target

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

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0 - This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

Additional donations will go toward funding other projects in Mexico.

Conclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - Belize

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

Amanda reports:

Conclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - Belize

Scope of Work:
The San Benito Poite Latrine Project had two goals in its scope of work. The first goal was to increase the number of functioning latrines in the community to help promote the adoption of healthy behaviors among community members. This was to be achieved through the construction of five latrines with handwashing stations, one for each church in the community. As a result, community members would have the supporting infrastructure to adopt the healthy behaviors of defecating in a clean and appropriate space and being able to wash their hands after.

Conclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeConclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeThe second goal of the project was to decrease the incidence of diarrheal diseases in the community through the use of new and clean composting latrines. To achieve this goal, latrines were constructed to remove feces from the environment and reduce contact of community members to potentially disease carrying feces. Additionally, the latrines had sinks to encourage proper hygiene practices of handwashing. Lastly, community members were trained in proper hygiene practices like handwashing as well as water treatment methods. Specific Work Done:
Community members of San Benito Poite completed a variety of tasks to ensure the successful completion of this project. The project began with house to house surveys of all families in the community. Once the need for latrines was identified, the health committee and village leaders designed a project and submitted a grant proposal. Once the proposal was approved, the health committee expanded into the nine-person latrine committee. This committee then was responsible for attending the two-day training with the third-party work partner. After returning to the community, they each gave trainings on what they had learned to members of their respective churches.

Conclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeConclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeOnce the training was completed, material deliveries had to be coordinated. Committee members were responsible for receiving deliveries and unloading materials to each church. The next step was to build construction which required committee members, village leaders, and community members to level the spot for each land, build the complete latrine, and connect the sinks to the community water system. The last step to make the latrines functioning was to coordinate a pickup of rice hulls for the churches. A few committee members traveled out to collect 20 bags of rice hulls and bring them back to the community to lay the base layer of carbon. Each latrine now has their own bags of rice hulls for people to use when using the latrine.

Committee members also are helping to write and translate the manual that will be published as the last step of the project.

Conclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeConclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeHow work progressed through each stage:
The first phase of the project focused on training community members on the construction and maintenance of the latrines. Nine community members who made up the Latrine Committee attended a two-day workshop at the Maya Mountain Research Farm (MMRF), the project’s third-party work partner. All members of the committee attended the workshop and greatly valued the information they learned. While at the training, the committee members were able to ask questions specific to how fecal degradation works and how to use the resulting compost. The concept of adding carbon materials, such as rice hulls or saw dust, was new and something they were thankful to learn about.

Conclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeConclusion of San Benito Poite Public Latrine Project - BelizeAfter attending the training, the committee members then facilitated their own trainings/information sessions in their respective churches. They key concepts that they discussed with other community members were the importance of the latrine, how to use the latrine, what items could and couldn’t be placed in the latrines, and methods of prevention of diarrheal diseases including proper handwashing.

The second phase of the project was the construction of the actual latrines. In the proposed project, the third party-work partner was supposed to visit the community to complete one of the latrines in a hands-on training with community members. Due to scheduling and weather conflicts, they were not able to do this. In turn, the committee members approached other community members who have experience in pouring foundations, laying blocks, and creating wooden structures. They were asked to help assist in leading the construction to ensure that it was done properly.

The construction started in the second week of March by pouring all of the foundations in two days. Over the course of two weeks, a total of 59 men from the community rotated their days of work between the different churches to complete the five latrines. The latrines were built in five stages. The first step was to pour the foundation and place the first layer of blocks. The second step was to lay all of the blocks and prepare and pour the concrete toilet chutes. The third step included pouring the floor and stairs for the latrine. This entailed placing the dried cement toilet chutes in the floor as well as the ventilation pipes. The fourth step was to complete the wooden superstructures. The final and fifth step was to create the metal doors to close the vaults for the latrine and install the sinks.

Each step required roughly a half-day’s worth of work. While the men were working in the morning, the women from that respective church were preparing lunch for the workers that were helping. Once they finished working and ate lunch, the men would then go to a different church and proceed with construction for that latrine. Again, the women were preparing food for dinner for when construction was done for the day. By the end of two weeks, all five latrines were constructed and the sinks were hooked up to the water system in the village.

The third phase of the project is the publication of a manual that will discuss the importance of waste management and latrines, and will provide instructions on how to build the latrines. The purpose of this manual is to have it available to individuals as the second phase of the San Benito Poite Latrine Project begins providing latrines for households. The manual is in a draft phase currently, but hopefully should be completed and printed shortly.

End result
The end result of the San Benito Poite Latrine Project is the construction of a total of five dual-vaulted composting latrines with handwashing stations, one for each of the five churches. Additionally, community members experienced knowledge increase in latrine maintenance, usage of compost, and diarrheal disease prevention. They also gained capacity in constructions skills, including cement mixing and pouring, block laying, plumbing, and wooden structure completion. Now when community members attend church services, they have a safe and clean latrine to use and no longer have to seek out a private space in the bush to defecate.

Quotes from community members:
“I am very thankful for having the latrine. Our church has many visitors from other villages or from different countries and now they have a place to use the bathroom.”

“Latrines are very important for the community and I’m looking forward to the next project where we can get them for the houses.”

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

Funds Needed : 

Ntobroso Borehole Project - Ghana

Ntobroso Borehole Project - Ghana

NPCA and WC logos

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

Ntobroso Borehole Project - GhanaLocation
Ntobroso, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana

Community Description
Ntobroso is a large village, with a population of about 1,100 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.

Ntobroso Borehole Project - GhanaProblem 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.

Another 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.

Ntobroso Borehole Project - GhanaIn summary mining has a negative impact on the environment of this village including erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil and surface water.

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

The borehole will reach a depth of about 50 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.

A 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
1,100 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

Monitoring and Maintenance
The community has agreed to 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

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

Ntobroso Borehole Project - GhanaNtobroso Borehole Project - Ghana

Funds Needed : 

St. Matthew's School Water Project - The Gambia

St. Matthew's School Water Project - The Gambia

NPCA and WC logos

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

St. Matthew's School Water Project - The GambiaLocation
St. Matthew's Basic Cycle School, Kaimoh (aka Kayimu), Western Region, The Gambia

Community Description
St. Matthew's School is the only Basic Cycle School in the area around Kayimu (Kaimoh) village, which is due south of Sibanor and less than 1/2 mile from the border with Senegal in the Western Region of The Gambia. In 2016, a donkey cart school bus from Kayenga village was created to transport a crippled student, and a half dozen new students too small to walk the distance to school.

Water Charity has chosen to work with GambiaRising on this and other projects in the area. The Community Coordinator Isatou Camara, is a teacher at the school, which draws students from a number of surrounding communities.

The school now has 281 students and 16 teachers.  Kaimo village Population = 758 & Female =403 (2013 census).

Problem Addressed
The school participates in the World Food Programme's school lunch program but in recent years that program consists largely of donated rice, and the school strives to supplement the lunch with fresh vegetables and fruit. Nearly 20 years ago, an excellent well and garden was designed, providing drinking and washing water for the school, and with excess water designed to flow down into the garden.

St. Matthew's School Water Project - The GambiaOver the years, the garden fence has fallen into disrepair. Although the school has attempted to shore it up with fallen branches and twigs, goats still frequently find a way in.

The school was "managing" until recently, when the hand-pump stopped working. Teachers and village women are now carrying water from the village well to water plants in the garden, but the school itself has no source of water.

Project Description
The project has four parts:

1) Repair of the hand pump - a professional will be brought in to repair the Mark II pump mechanism. The community will build bricks to repair the wall around the pump. The water will be used for all school purposes, and to irrigate the garden.

2) Replacement of the garden fence, with sturdier materials, while also expanding the size of the garden - New fencing material will be purchased, and a new fence will be built, expanding the size of the garden while making it goat-proof again. All labor for this will be donated by the community.

3) Installing handwashing stations - 2 handwashing stations will be installed, consisting of barrels with spigots. These will be periodically filled with water from the pump.

St. Matthew's School Water Project - The Gambia4) The school has 6 latrine toilets and 4 ill-conceived flush toilets, with no water connection, installed many years ago. Buckets and cups will be purchased for each toilet so that students can clean themselves and when appropriate, manually flush the toilet with water from the bucket.

Project Impact
297 students and teachers at the school will benefit from the project.

Project Administrator
Mike McConnell, Managing Trustee, GambiaRising, and Former Country Director for Peace Corps in The Gambia from 2007 through 2009, is leading the project.

Mike previously directed the Fula Bantang Senior Secondary School Well Project - The Gambia and the Njie Kunda Latrine Project - The Gambia

Monitoring and Maintenance
GambiaRising's Community Coordinator, Isatou Camara, lives and teaches at the school.

Isatou's husband, Kebba Sanyang, is GambiaRising's Up Country Program Coordinator and will oversee the project as well (Although Mr. Sanyang works further up country in Fula Bantang, his family home is near Sibanor, and he visits St. Matthew's often.

Mike McConnell, GambiaRising's Managing Trustee, visits The Gambia regularly, and will ensure that the improvements are properly used and maintained.

Let Girls Learn
Of the 281 students at the school, 143 are girls. Eight of the school's 16 teachers are women, as is the Principal. This project will restore the water supply, allow the garden to thrive, and maintain proper sanitation and hygiene, all of which contribute toward making it easier for girls to spend time on their studies and remain in school.

We are proud to say that this project has been completed and was fully funded by an anonymous donor. CLICK HERE to see the conclusion reports from this important work.  Not only were all the 4 objectives met, but they were surpassed even due to a beneficial change in the exchange rate!

Also, feel free to choose from among the many other projects that need your support, or Donate to our general fund to enable us to do more projects like this one!

Funds Needed : 

Conclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - Kyrgyzstan

Conclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - Kyrgyzstan

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Marguerite Leeds. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to improve water access and sanitation at the school.

Conclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - KyrgyzstanA summary of Marguerite’s report is as follows:

Scope of work:
This project was a 50-50 cost share between community sources and Water Charity funds. The community partners were excited to be so deeply invested. Together, Water Charity, the village Government, and community members built an exterior hot-water hand washing station in front of the Jon village school, a 2-shower shower-room, and a hot-water dish-washing station in the school kitchen. Additionally, we gave a training-of-trainers to spread hygiene information within the school and allow effective use of the new infrastructure.

Specific work done:
A septic pit was constructed, a pump was added to the existing on-site water cistern, a small building was constructed to house the showers, an exterior hand-washing station was installed, 2 hot-water heaters were installed, 2 interior sinks were installed for hand and dish washing, and all items were linked together with new, functional pipes.

Conclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - KyrgyzstanAfter completion of the above infrastructure, all teachers from the school were given a tour and training. This training included correct hand washing technique, critical timing for hand washing, discussion of the value of handwashing, distribution of a local-language curriculum (electronic and beautiful published materials) for hand washing promotion, and a schedule for their own in-classroom sessions, monitoring, and evaluation of students to confirm delivery of lessons.

Work progression through each stage: The plan for this project was a very quick construction timeline during the summer break followed by a year-long hygiene promotion program. Unfortunately, construction lasted through the fall semester into the spring. For this reason, the desired program was not provided, but instead substituted with training-of-trainers in March 2017, and schedule for internal monitoring and evaluation. In this way, a lasting and sustainable solution for low-hygiene has been implemented in Jon village.

End Results:
The end result is modern conveniences in accordance with basic sanitation standards. All are in working order and fit local needs and expectations. Everyone in Jon village, especially at the school, is very excited. Simple excitement is already helping to promote hygiene. Better yet, accurate information has been distributed and will be disseminated in a sustainable fashion. The excitement, energy, and values built by this project have lead community leaders to apply for and receive a large ARIS grant for community-wide water infrastructure. In the future, the school project will be hooked up to community water sources ensuring flow and usage of the constructed items.

We are grateful to Marguerite for completing this excellent project.

Conclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - KyrgyzstanConclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - Kyrgyzstan











Conclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - KyrgyzstanConclusion of Jon Village School #41 Hygiene Project - Kyrgyzstan



Colombia Lifewater Project - Estacion Villa - Colombia

Colombia Lifewater Project - Estacion Villa - Colombia

This Colombia Lifewater Project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity, the National Peace Corps Association, and Superstar WC Volunteer RPCV Jeremy Mak.

Estacion Villa, Colombia

village woman and waterCommunity Description
Estacion Villa, a small underserved community in Northeast Colombia located at N 10°17,794’ W 74°11.444’. The population is comprised of approximately 375 people from an estimated 45 households that straddle an unpaved dirt road located 35 kilometers from Fundacion Magdalena, the nearest town. Surrounding the village are ranches, but most of the families in the village itself are of modest means and extremely poor. The area was also terrorized and deeply affected by a 10-year period of violent occupation and abusive control by FARC guerrillas.

Signs of poverty are apparent in many forms in Estacion Villa. Several houses are of basic stick framing and mud houses, and some sleep as many as 8 to a room. Secondly, while there is electricity, most houses can afford only very dim ambient light and there is no running water or plumbing in the conventional sense. The majority of households rely on open wood fires for cooking. In terms of employment, several families are landless and struggle to find work. While there is a small primary school, there is little else in terms of public services, programs, or safety nets. Some households resort to temporary jobs on surrounding ranches or migrant work in places like Barranquilla or Fundacion.

POOR Water Quality of Estacion Villa, ColombiaProblem Addressed
One of the village’s biggest problems is water—both in terms of access and quality. Villagers drink contaminated rainwater, but when it is depleted, they rely on consuming unfiltered pond water. Rainwater is collected off corrugate metal roofs and stored in makeshift cisterns and storage containers, mostly located outside of the home. The government delivered 1,000-liter water tanks to households recently, but without proper training on how to install the tanks with fittings or how to correctly place, use, and maintain them, the tanks either are not being optimally utilized or not being used at all.

Moreover, due to their rudimentary design, homemade rainwater collection systems using these tanks and other containers lack “first flush” mechanisms that remove roof contaminants like dust, leaves, and bird droppings. Many water storage containers and tanks are uncovered and exposed to the elements, insects, and animals, further compromising the purity of rainwater with visible pollutants.

In 2006, the government dug an unlined catchment pond (the local names for pond arejaguey and represa) beside the village and installed a gravity-fed water system that delivers water to each house along the main road. The pond has a diameter of about 100 yards, but the depth and water catchment capacity is unknown. The pond--full of microorganisms, fish, and aquatic plants—is unfit for direct consumption. Cattle and roaming animals freely access it, and run-off from cow tracks drain into the pond.

An electric pump draws water up to an uncovered ferro-cement tank. A local told us that it holds 45,000 liters, but our estimate puts its max capacity closer to 10,000 liters, which is then gravity-fed to houses in the street below. The storage capacity of the central tank is relatively low compared to the approximately 45 houses it serves. In comparison, most homes have one or two 1,000 liter tanks.

The water system itself provides no filtration or disinfection/purification, and house pipes have no faucets, but rather are open-ended thin flexible hoses crudely connected to larger PVC feeder mains. The system’s pump is turned on every few days without pre-indication of time, and households must store water whenever it comes. The water that reaches homes has a brownish color to it, and sediment and organic bits of material is dispensed as well.

WATERING CROPSAt focus groups held with female heads of households, all mothers stated that they didn’t boil their water or otherwise filter it first, as no health authority has ever advised them to do so. (Secondly, boiling water would be incredibly labor intensive for those needing to collect firewood, or exorbitantly expensive for those households using gas stoves). Unfortunately, skin infections, hives, and stomach ailments attributed to the water are a widespread problem, which the community has largely been relegated to accepting as a fact of life.

When the jaguey dries up (as it does seasonally), the village relies on trucked water that is delivered at no cost by the government. This water comes from nearby towns of San Angel, Algarobo, Santa Rosa, and Fundacion, but villagers complain of the salty taste. They can buy more palatable river water, but each 40 liters cost 2,000 Colombian pesos (approximately USD 65 cents). Resorting to dirty pond water or trucked and bagged drinking water is becoming more of a constant reality as rains decline and when the jaguey dries. Especially over the past few months, a painful rain shortage has been felt.

Project Description
This project aims to provide all families in Estacion Villa with access to Sawyer Point One household filters, along with training required to install, use, and maintain them. Each filter is long-lasting, incredibly durable, and extremely effective at removing bacteria down to 0.1 microns—the same ones that cause dysentery, diarrhea, E. Coli, cholera, and typhoid. With proper care, they may never need to be replaced. You can see more information on these filters HERE.Assessing the situation

Following a house-to-house verification survey, and a mandatory two-hour long interactive training, we aim to distribute the filters along with hermetic water containers, solar lights, and mosquito nets.

Community Organization
Columbia Lifewater Project

Project Impact
It is anticipated that this project will serve up to an estimated 375 people with a durable solution to clean water for improved health outcomes.

RPCV Directing Project
Jeremy Mak

Monitoring and Maintenance
While the recipients of the filters, solar lamps, and mosquito nets will be responsible for their maintenance, Jeremy and his fiancé will be in contact with and check up on them.  As the villagers will be trained in proper upkeep (backflushing etc.) for their filters, it should be relatively problem-free for many, many years to come.

A comprehensive collection of pre-project photos can be found HERE.

This project is being led by Gambia RPCV Jeremy Mak, who has successfully completed several water and sanitation projects with Water Charity support over the past 6 years, including Sawyer filter distribution projects in Gambia (2015), and Uganda (2016). You can see previous examples of his Water Charity projects HERE (Gambia) and HERE (Uganda).  This is Jeremy’s first project for Water Charity in Columbia.  All 30 or so pages worth of Jeremy Mak projects can be perused by following this link:

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

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

Village Familia
Preparing FILTERS

Funds Needed : 

Lelouma Prefecture Well Project - Guinea

Lelouma Prefecture Well Project - Guinea

NPCA and WC logos

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

Lelouma Prefecture Well Project - GuineaLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Xxxxx Sous-Prefecture, Lelouma Prefecture, Labe Region, Guinea

Community Description
Xxxxx is a mid-sized town with a population of about 20,000 in the mountainous Fouta Djallon region of Guinea. There is lots of activity in the community, as it houses the mayor as well as the sous-prefect.

There are over 20 primary schools. There is one secondary school that serves the entire community. The weekly market on Thursdays is filled with all types of vegetables, meat, and other treats. There are many small boutiques that sell basics as well as charge telephones.

There are many women's groups that spend their days gardening and creating small savings accounts. There are also many groups working with beehives to collect honey in the forest.

Lelouma Prefecture Well Project - GuineaProblem Addressed
There is a lack of safe and healthy environment at the secondary school. Every day, female students are responsible for arriving early or missing class to pull water from a neighboring well to use in hand washing stations and for drinking. Most students walk at least an hour to attend school, as it is the only secondary school in the sous-prefecture.

The lack of potable water and the task of retrieving water for the school are deterrents for attending school, especially after the first year. While there are more female than male students, the dropout rate for female students is much higher than for male students. The female students also miss school during their menstrual cycles because they are embarrassed to use more water to wash because others will know.

Project Description
This project is to construct a hand-dug well on the school grounds.

A local Well digger will hand dig and line the well. A concrete cap and a pulley system will then be installed.

Lelouma Prefecture Well Project - GuineaThe community has provided their contribution in the form of sand, gravel, and cement, which have already been purchased and delivered. They will also provide the transport for all local materials.

All governmental officials in the sous-prefecture, as well as school officials and the parent’s association, are working to develop this project. Many students have been involved in the planning process, and will continue to work after construction, on activities such as hand washing sessions and creating a school garden to raise money for a library.

Project Impact
365 students will benefit from the project

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
K. Kayser

Monitoring and Maintenance
A committee of community members will be responsible for ensuring the quick and correct construction of the well. They will also be responsible for utilizing school funds to complete any repairs necessary in the future.

Lelouma Prefecture Well Project - GuineaThe PCV will work with the biology teacher to teach two students from each class how to treat the well with bleach every month to ensure that it stays clean. Hand-washing sessions will be conducted every Saturday after classes.

A local women's group will provide the seeds and equipment for a school garden and will teach the students how to earn income from gardening.

Let Girls Learn
This project is part of the Let Girls Learn program started by the White House, in partnership with Peace Corps. The goal is to keep girls attending to school. It is a part of Water Charity’s Let Girls Learn Initiative - Worldwide

This project is designed to eliminate one of the many barriers of girls’ school attendance. As the girls are usually the students required to come early or leave class to retrieve water, this well will allow them to spend more time in class. They will also have more water accessible for drinking, hygiene, and sanitation.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

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


Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program - Rwanda

Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program - Rwanda

Water Charity will be joining with Friendly Water for the World to put on a 9-day training program and conference in Gisenyi, Rwanda in January, 2017. The technology to be taught is the construction and maintenance of rainwater catchment systems, with a focus on ferro-cement tanks.

This program will proliferate the technology through 7 countries (Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Ethiopia), and will focus on “training the trainers”. Water Charity will provide additional funding for the new projects that are spawned by the process.

During the week, two teams, of six Rwandans each, will be trained. They have among them proficiency in English, Swahili, and French in addition to Kinyarwanda. They will set up cooperative businesses, and proceed to train others, while they build systems throughout the country. They will be available to train serving Peace Corps Volunteers in and around the communities where they live and work. They already have orders for 50 tanks.

Representatives of several local NGOs will be trained as well. All told, more than 80 people will attend the training, and most of them will go back to their agencies, villages, communities to build catchment systems, construct tanks, train others, and incorporate the technology into their operations.

The training will be led by Friendly Water’s Uganda Representative Richard Kyambadde, who is Africa Representative to the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, and a three-person team from Uganda with which he works.

Averill Strasser, Water Charity’s Co-Founder and COO, and Beverly Rouse, its Executive Director will be at the training, providing support, and lining up new projects in Rwanda, as well as the rest of East and Central Africa.

Participants will learn to make three types of systems:Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program - Rwanda

(1) Larger 5,000-20,000-liter free-standing tanks,
(2) 2,000-3,000-liter tanks made with wooden molds, and
(3) 1,000 liter "waterhives", which are semi-prefabbed.

Aside from the hands-on work, there will be meetings to teach the determination of the optimal type and size of units under differing conditions. There will be a focus on the continuing training and production of systems in a way that it is self-supporting in the community, eliminating the need of further assistance.

This is the implementation of a bold new concept to provide needed improvements while also creating business and employment opportunities. It is a part of the Water Charity Training and Support Initiative.  In addition, since the benefits will accrue to displaced persons in 6 countries, it is included under our Refugee Aid Initiative - Worldwide.

Water Charity has contributed all the costs for this conference and training through the generosity of an Anonymous donor.  Any further donations to the effort will be used to fund the various projects that arise from this training.  As we anticipate this to be quite a few, we ask that give what you can.  We hope to expand our highly sucessful training efforts dramatically in the new year!

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.

Catchment tank

Funds Needed : 

Digaly Sanitation Project - Senegal

Digaly Sanitation Project - Senegal

NPCA and WC logos

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

Diagaly, Communauté rurale Barkedji, Département Linguere, Region Louga, Senegal

Digaly Sanitation Project - SenegalCommunity Description
Diagaly is a small village in the Linguere Region of Senegal. It is 6 km from a major paved road, and is home to about 3,000 residents. The community is strongly defined by its nomadic livestock herding history. Receiving between 190-350 mm of rain per year and daily temperatures reaching 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit on the average day during the months of March-June makes Diagaly a challenging place to live.

The village is made up of two ethnic groups, Wolof and Pulaars. The Pulaar ethnic group is traditionally Nomadic, and in many ways that makes them more vulnerable now. Their living situations often reflect the transient lifestyle they are known for. This often translates into less permanent living structures and reveals the unpredictability of the coming year as they see it.

The Wolof population generally lives in the more compact village center that is much more permanent than their Pulaar neighbors. This means they have more reliable access to water and to the market or small shops.

While the village is relatively remote, it serves as the economic hub for about 13 smaller, surrounding villages. Livestock and subsistence farming dominate the lifestyle. Despite the large population, there is only a public French elementary school and a Franco-Arab school that serves the 8-13-year-old range. After this, students will generally travel to nearby cities to continue their studies while living with friends or family during the school year.

Digaly Sanitation Project - SenegalDuring the rainy season, there is a large influx of people who come to farm or bring herds of cattle up from the south to take advantage of the grazing lands. Diagaly is also home to a Master Farm which is a Peace Corps/USAID project to create pilot farms to serve as educational centers and demonstrate new technologies. This serves the community of Diagaly and the surrounding villages as a place to learn, share, and acquire materials like seeds or vegetable transplants that were previously out of reach for more people. In puts on multiple trainings a year and has open doors to anyone interested in learning or discussing challenges.

Problem Addressed
The Pulaar community has little in terms of permanent infrastructure, which can be traced to their traditionally nomadic lifestyle. This part of the community is largely, if not entirely, without access to latrines and continue the practice of walking out to the bush to relieve themselves. Children, in general, do not walk so far, and relieve themselves just outside of the family compound. This has huge implications for health in the community and puts all at risk. With the extreme heat and arid conditions, diarrheal diseases associated with fecal contamination can quickly lead to dangerous dehydration and potentially death.

Currently, the main educational institutions of Diagaly do not have proper sanitation facilities. The Master Farm, the French School, and the Franco-Arab school are all held back because the people they serve must walk long distances to either find a latrine, or to openly defecate nearby, which endangers others at the educational facilities. The lack of latrines also serves as a barrier to those using these educational facilities. It takes time away from learning as students and teachers leave class for extended periods to go to the bathroom.

Digaly Sanitation Project - SenegalProject Description
This Project will build sanitation facilities at the Master Farm and Franco-Arab school as well as return latrines at the French school to working order.

The Master Farm (which serves about 200 people a year) will build one latrine and one washing stall in the same structure that is connected to a basin.

The Franco-Arab School (which serves about 110 people, including teachers) will build two latrines in one structure that is connected to a single basin. They will also bring a water source to the school, which will include 200 m of piping, a water meter, and a water spout.

The French School (which serves about 250 people, including teachers) will replace 9 wood plank doors, 7 Turkish toilets, some cement repair to the stalls, and 15 m of piping to provide a water source to the latrines.

Each institution is responsible for managing its project. The parent associations of both the French School and Franco-Arab school will work closely with the PCV to create an action plan, hire the mason, acquire materials and oversee the work as it is executed. The pilot farmer from the Master Farm will work with the PCV to follow the same steps as the two schools.

Each institution will also install a Tippy Tap, which is a device made for washing hands. This will be built by a blacksmith in Diagaly and be showcased at these 3 visible locations to encourage washing hands and the spread of the technology.

In the month prior to and following building these facilities, Peace Corps Health Volunteers from the region will help put on trainings that sensitize the community to the issue of open defecation and train each institution on proper maintenance for the latrines.

Project Impact
560 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Adam Keally

Monitoring and Maintenance
This project will include consistent Follow-up, as the PCV works closely with each institution. They will each elect a member of its organization to be responsible and accountable for the maintenance of the latrine. That person will receive training from the Peace Corps Health Volunteers and the mason on how to maintain a clean, functioning latrine.

Let Girls Learn
Girls are more widely affected by the lack of sanitation facilities, making it a bigger barrier to their education and equality in the long run. Having clean, functioning latrines with running water will help remove barriers that keep girls out of school. Girls are significantly more likely to drop out of school than boys in Diagaly, making it important to address the obstacles they face.

While this is not an official Let Girls Learn project, it does fall into Water Charity's LGL+ grouping of projects that have a pronounced element involving helping girls go to, and stay in, school.

Fundraising Target

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

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of the G3 Foundation, of Costa Mesa, CA, USA.

Additional donations will be used for future projects in Senegal.

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


Funds Needed : 


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