Soak Pits Project – Mali

In this community in Mali, there are great amounts of standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and create an increased risk of malaria.

Mali mapThe project is to construct 475 soak pits. A soak pit is a method of removing groundwater by draining it down into the earth.

The funds provided by Water Charity are being used to purchase piping, cement, and plastic tarping needed to complete the pits. The project is being directed by Peace Corps Volunteer Jennifer O’Keeffe.

The construction of the soak pits will serve as both an opportunity to teach the specific methodology, and also as a focus to teach other clean water practices.

A soak pit is one way to reduce wastewater by sending it underground, purifying it, and ultimately into the water table. It is a large hole filled with rocks, with a pipe leading into it. The hole is covered with plastic and dirt, so that only wastewater entering the pipe can enter the hole.

Soak pits can last for years, resulting in such long-term benefits as a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing environment, a reduction of mosquito breeding grounds and decreased risks of malaria.

In preparation for the project, an assigned leader from the community, together with the volunteer O’Keeffe, visited every traditional latrine in the village to assess the need for soak pits, resulting in the list of soak pits to be built.

Soak Pit

The community is providing all the labor in constructing the soak pits. They will also supply the sandstone which fills the pits to filter and absorb the unclean water. In addition, they are assisting in the purchasing and transporting of materials.

There is extensive community participation, both in the planning and implementation. There will be little need for maintenance, and the effects will be long-lasting. The village is providing materials, labor, and transportation, ensuring continued commitment and resulting in sustainability.

This project gives immediate relief from a major problem confronting the village, that of the spread of disease through standing water. In addition, it provides training and teaching opportunities.

The Water Charity’s involvement as the majority participant in this project has been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

Any additional donations using the Donate button below will be used to fund other projects by this PCV and/or other PCVs in the host country.

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