Mamolopolli Infirmary and St. Margret’s Convent Water Project – Lesotho

Qacha’s Nek, Lesotho

Community Description
Mamolopolli Infirmary and St. Margret’s Convent are located in a compound in Qacha’s Nek, Lesotho. Mamolopolli Infirmary houses 8 Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Roman Catholic Sisters, 6 of whom are retired and several are living with sickness and disabilities. The retired Sisters have spent their lives dedicated to serving their community as per their mission, though they are unable to move around successfully enough at this time to continue much of that work.

St. Margret Convent has 3 Sisters who work in the service of the community. All of these Sisters live in the spirit of service fulfilling roles in the community that aren’t desirable to others, such as working to alleviate poverty, caring for the sick, and empowering and building skills for youth.

The Sisters residing on the compound work at local preschools and the local prison, and they are the primary caregivers for the only orphanage in the district’s main town. The orphanage provides care, a home, and support for 7 double orphans who are unfortunate causalities of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho.

The Sisters also run several small model income-generating activities such as sewing school uniforms, some of which are given to double orphans. They also run a successful agricultural project where they sell fruits, vegetables and eggs at a reduced cost to local low-income people. The food produced is also used to support the sick and disabled sisters, and the project is used to help teach the orphans and other interested people the skills required for agricultural production.

The Infirmary and the Convent have a very successful rainwater collection system in place. However, groundwater is required on the compound for drinking as well as in times of drought, which is becoming increasingly common in Lesotho as the effects of climate change are being felt.

Project Description
This project is to provide water for the needs of the compound.

An electric pump to draw up the required groundwater from the well will be installed. In addition, a large stone and concrete tank reservoir will be built for storage. Finally, the necessary piping will be installed to connect up the entire system.

The Sisters will first identify the person with the required skills. Next, they will find the pump that will meet the needs of the community. They will then obtain concrete, sand, stones and pipe, and build the reservoir tank.

The Sisters will ensure that the pump is compatible with the electrical system, and also the well infrastructure that is in place, and then proceed with the installation of the pump.

The work will be done primarily by the qualified person that is identified, with support from the able-bodied Sisters and two Peace Corps Volunteers.

The Sisters will finance the balance of the project with a loan, and pay for it over time. The community will contribute by building the reservoir tank and obtaining the necessary supplies and equipment. Water Charity funds will be used primarily to buy the electric pump, as this is the most inaccessible part of the project, given the financial situation of the Convent and Infirmary.

Project Impact
The beneficiaries will be the 11 Sisters who reside on the compound, 13- 30 patients per day from within the immediate and surrounding communities served by the nurse, 98 students served by the Early Childhood Care and Development Center (preschool), 74 prisoners to whom they provide socks for the winter and whom they help with life after release, and 16 orphans whom they care for.

Additionally, the pump will enable water security for the surrounding community, which is connected to the town’s central water supply, which often goes on and off. During the times when it is off, the sisters provide water to the immediately surrounding community of about 30.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Carol McFarland

Because of the work the Sisters perform in the community, the effects of this project become much greater: It is a project that is caring for the care deliverers.

Especially the orphans, but many others who are cared for by the Sisters’ work will benefit from this water project. Also, the agricultural and sewing projects are important within the community, both for their products, and also because they are good examples of small income-generating activities that are possible and can be replicated.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of an anonymous Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served in Lesotho.

Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of the Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.

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