Flood Emergency Relief—Pakistan

Flood Emergency Relief—Pakistan

Flood Emergency Relief—Pakistan

It is hard to comprehend the scale of the flood disaster in Pakistan, the 5th most populated nation in the world. Nearly 1600 dead, 1 million houses were damaged or destroyed, and over 60,000,000 people were displaced. 1/3 of the country is underwater. The extent of the August flooding in Pakistan was unprecedented.

As the floodwater slowly recedes, a new disaster is emerging as tens of thousands grapple with diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, dengue fever, cholera, and malaria. And it is the nation’s poorest that are most vulnerable.  Every day children die from dehydration or from diseases due to drinking contaminated water: like cholera, an acute diarrheal illness contracted by drinking water contaminated with bacteria.

More than 10 children die every day at the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital in Pakistan’s Sindh province alone, according to doctors at the facility – all from water-related ailments stemming from this summer’s devastating floods.

Moreover, there are an estimated 650,000 pregnant women without homes or access to healthcare, with around 100,000 due within the month of October.

“Many children are not even reaching hospitals because the medical facilities they could access are either underwater or just not accessible,” said Aadarsh Leghari, UNICEF’s Communication Officer in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s residents are at extreme risk of waterborne diseases and need support immediately.  Water Charity, along with partners Wine to Water and Sawyer International, as well as the cooperation and coordination of our Liberia team, has funded the distribution of thousands of Sawyer (hollow-membrane) water filters to the affected regions in Pakistan. Please use the button below to donate to our efforts in providing water filters to those suffering in the aftermath of the floods in Pakistan. The more we can send, the more lives we can save.

A Project to Create Access to Water for Libertad La Fuente – Mexico

A Project to Create Access to Water for Libertad La Fuente – Mexico

A Project to Create Access to Water for Libertad La Fuente – Mexico

Ejido Bellavista, Chiapas, Mexico

Libertad La Fuente is home to 41 families many of whom are descendants of the Maya refugees who fled the war in Guatemala to find safety and freedom deep in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. The community is located literally at the top of the world about 4 hours from the City of Motozintla. 

To get from their remote location to the nearest town of Siltepec, people board one of the few trucks that provide scheduled transportation.  They sit on wooden benches set up in the bed of the pickup as it picks its way through the impressively steep mountainside where one would not want the driver to deviate from the rough dirt track.  The most difficult aspect of life in this impoverished region is the lack of access to water, a problem they have been collectively trying to solve for many years.  They say that the possibility of having water on tap in their homes is a long-held dream for them. 

Description of the Community

These families live by growing corn and other subsistence crops. While at the lower elevations below the mountains where they live, thousands of families produce the high elevation coffee that is sought by gourmet roasters but at the elevation of Libertad La Fuente, the cold and fog prevent them from growing this cash crop. The lack of opportunity to work affords them an impoverished standard of living. 

However, some families have been able to enroll in a new governmental program that provided them with avocado trees and other commercial crops.  For those who can transport their product to a market, this has given them some additional income. For the rest, the typical path to a better quality of life is to send a family member to the United States to find work and send the money they earn home. 

Those families who have a relative working in the United States are able to build homes of cinderblock. The rest build their homes from rough-cut boards taken from the ever-shrinking forest. But no matter the material, those who can afford the luxury paint their homes in exuberantly bright colors even if it is just the front facade. 

Problem to be addressed

The community does not have a communal water system.  Fetching water every day is a tremendous burden for the women. They have to make many trips every day to fill their “canteras”, the large jugs they carry on their heads, with water from small openings in the limestone subsurface where it bubbles up. A woman can spend hours over the course of her day scooping water out with a small bowl to fill their containers and then haul them home. 

The chore of obtaining enough water for household use consumes a woman’s time, and, as they explain, “It wears you out because you can’t get other things done.” The elementary school that serves Libertad and the surrounding communities also needs water for drinking and sanitation, a priority for the leader of the Ejido of Bellavista, the local peasant authority. For years they have unsuccessfully tried to obtain support from the local municipality to build a water system. Without official help to build the infrastructure, the investment needed to buy the materials has been out of reach for them.

This proposed water project will serve 246 people and the local school. 

Project Description

The leaders of the community first approached Sexto Sol in 2019 to ask for assistance to enable them to build a water system. The water source they had at the time turned out to not provide an adequate amount of water during the dry season when it would most be needed.  Fortunately, in 2020, the people pooled their money to buy a large spring that has good flow all year long.

The proposed plan is to build a gravity-fed system using a two-inch diameter polyduct hose that will deliver the water 3.8 kilometers through the cornfields and stands of forest to where they will build a distribution tank. To date, we have successfully used this material to bring water to over two dozen communities. Given the steep terrain from the source to Libertad La Fuente, part of the hose will be the more expensive reinforced caliber that will be used on the steepest grades since it will withstand the increased pressure of the water at those points.  

The work will include digging a short trench at the source to create a passage for the hose where a small rise would otherwise stop the flow. Each joint of the 100-meter sections of hose will be fastened with metal O-ring clamps that will be screwed tightly to prevent the sections of hose from separating due to water pressure, thirsty animals or vandals. 

We have secured a commitment from the manufacturer to deliver the hose all the way from the coast to the turn-off where the road leaves the pavement and travels into the extremely steep mountains. At that point, it is expected that the mayor of the local municipality will provide a ¾ ton truck and a local driver familiar with the area to transport the materials up to the community by making several trips. This will be an epic feat but the local people are accustomed to working out logistics to get challenging tasks done.     

The community is organized and neighbors enjoy good relations. They have an elected water committee whose leaders will coordinate the work needed to install the hose.  

Once the materials are delivered, they will organize work teams comprised of a person from each family for the collaborative effort to build the water system. Teams will carry the huge rolls of hose to the points where they will be connected. As the work progresses to lay down the water line, they will bury the hose where the terrain allows to protect it from the elements. They have secured permission for the hose to pass through the private lands it must traverse to reach the community.

Part of the work will be to build the necessary air intake vents or “respiraderas” as a safeguard against suction in the hose that could otherwise cause the hose to collapse when it traverses the varying grades in the mountainous terrain. Sexto Sol would provide technical assistance to help them achieve this. 

Project Manager:

The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.

This project is part of the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort between the Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association to improve access to water in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala. To date, this collaboration has brought water to more dozens of villages impacted by a major earthquake in the region and left without aid from the government and ignored by most aid agencies.

Monitoring and Maintenance:

Once the project is completed, it will be the responsibility of the water committee leaders to oversee the wise use and equitable distribution of the water by all users. A designated person elected by the members of the water association will be responsible for assessing the need for communal work that might be needed to maintain the water system including cleaning the tank at the source, repairing any clogs that might occur after heavy rains, and generally keeping the system in continuous working order. The parents’ committee will oversee the upkeep of the water going to the school. 

Amount requested:  $6,684.40 U.S.D. 

The people in Libertad La Fuente extend their sincere thanks for your considering their needs and for offering them the hope of the possibility of making this most significant improvement to their quality of life.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

The Gambia’s “Fonis,” the West Coast Region bordering Senegal’s Casamance region, has experienced intermittent turmoil overflowing from West Africa’s longest-running civil conflict, four decades of sporadic violence rooted in a separatist rebellion by neighboring Senegal’s “Mouvement des forces démocratiques de la Casamance” (MFDC). The longstanding currents of informal trade across Casamance’s northern border with The Gambia are pathologically bound up with violence and environmental degradation. Casamance refugee communities on the Gambian territory of the “Fonis,” variable in size but generally in the thousands, are long-standing and very largely “self-settled” with kin or other social connections.

In late January 2022, sporadic gunfire was heard from the Ballen Village, Foni Kansala District, West Coast Region in The Gambia, not far from the Gambia/Casamance border. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) military mission in the Gambia (ECOMIG) chased a truck carrying illegal timber. The truck driver maneuvered within villages in the Fonis and headed towards Casamance for sanctuary. Gunfire was exchanged between the two forces: ECOMIG vs MFDC. Two soldiers were killed and seven were held in captivity by MFDC. The ICRC negotiation led to the release of the 2 dead bodies. As of February 2022, a total number of 2,464 people were affected, comprising 2,204 internal displaced populations (IDPs). Presently, the region remains in a state of economic precariousness.

Atop the district’s existing lack of clean drinking water, the refugee influx into the Gambian border district of Foni Bondali has exacerbated the water scarcity crisis for a number of vulnerable villages. This humanitarian situation is alarming as the fighting intensifies. Thousands of refugees have fled from Cassamance and within its surrounding villages toward safer villages in the Foni Bondali District. This project seeks to rehabilitate water sources within 10 villages in the district to make clean drinking water accessible for the host villages, as well as the refugees.

Kayabor (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ15.311 W015ᴼ57.078) Estimated population: 300

We will replace the bearings, chain, axle and rod couplings; we will install a new tank, add gravel and sand, install 5 stainless steel pipes, and construct a concrete water trough and handwashing station.

Bantangjang (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ16.784 W015ᴼ57.512) Estimated Population: 350

We will replace the conversion head, the cylinder, the check-nuts, and rod couplings; we will construct a concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

Bondali Tenda (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ15.164 W015ᴼ54.268) Estimated population: 350

We will replace the cylinder and chain. We will construct a new concrete water trough, a new concrete slab top, and a handwashing station. We will add gravel and sand to the surrounding ground for proper drainage. 

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

Kallang Village (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ13.846 W015ᴼ57.744) Estimated population: 250

We will replace the well cylinder and its stainless steel rod couplings. We will construct a concrete water trough for the ruminants. We will install 2 stainless steel pipes and construct a new pedestal, plus a handwashing station.

Giffon Village (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ15.866 W015ᴼ56.420) Estimated Population: 200

We will replace the well’s cylinder, the axle, and the bearings; we will construct a concrete water trough for domestic animals to drink from, plus a handwashing station.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

Kalimu Village (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ14.580 W015ᴼ55.278) Estimated Population: 400

We will dewater and sanitize the well first. We will replace the twin handpump’s 2 cylinders, its 2 conversion heads, bearings and axle. We will install 2 stainless steel pipes, as well as construct a new concrete water trough and a handwashing station.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

Bullenghat Village (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ12.040 W015ᴼ55.215) Estimated population: 650

We will replace the twin handpump’s stainless steel rod couplings, its 2 cylinders, and its 2 conversion heads; we will construct a concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

Jending Village (GPS Coordinates:N13ᴼ12.442 W015ᴼ55.843) Estimated population: 300

We will replace the conversion head. We will construct a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station. We will add gravel and sand for proper drainage.

Bissari Village (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ12.125 W015ᴼ54.231) Estimated Population: 350

We will first dewater and sanitize the well. We will replace the apron, cylinder, conversion head, bearings and axle. We will install 4 stainless steel pipes. We will construct a new concrete water trough and handwashing station.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

Fass Chabai Village (GPS Coordinates: N13ᴼ13.540 W015ᴼ59.349) Estimated Population: 700

We will begin by dewatering and sanitizing the well. We will then replace the twin handpump’s 2 cylinders and 2 conversion heads. We will install 2 stainless steel pipes, as well as construct a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Foni Bondali District Handpump Repair Tour

All of these projects include the cost of constructing a handwashing station in each community as part of Water Charity’s ongoing efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Foni Bintang Karanai District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

Foni Bintang Karanai District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

Foni Bintang Karanai District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

The Fonis are south of the river Gambia and part of The Gambia’s West Coast Region north of and bordering the Casamance region of Senegal. Many refugees live in the Fonis, following historical cross-border patterns of human mobility. The refugee community, variable in size but generally in the thousands, is long-standing and very largely “self-settled” with kin or other social connections.

For communities along the border and beyond, informal trade is normalized and quite visible. It is a livelihood and money-saving activity for many people. llegal timber exploitation in the Fonis has recently brought Casamance and The Gambia to international attention amid concerns over poorly-regulated global trade networks and the deteriorating planetary environment. If water were readily available to the people of the Fonis, they would be able to make a living by way of trade, husbandry, or subsistence farming. Residents of the Fonis would not be forced to turn to illegal or informal trade, nor deforestation of the Casamance region of Senegal.

Batendeng Kajara (Coordinates: -16.317, 13.257) Estimated Population: 350

We will replace the bearings and the cylinder, install 7 stainless pipes, a new chain, rod couplings, and construct a new concrete water trough and handwashing station.

Batabut Danelu (Coordinates: -16.153, 13.194) Estimated population: 300

We will replace the cylinder and install 2 stainless steel pipes. We will re-dig, de-water, and sanitize the well. We will then build a new concrete water trough and a COVID-19 prevention-related handwashing station.

Sitta (Coordinates: -16.161, 13.234) Estimated Population: 300 

We will re-dig, de-water, and sanitize the well; we will install 2 stainless steel pipes and construct a new concrete slab, a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Jakoi Sibrick (Coordinates: -16.291, 13.268) Estimated population: 550

For the twin handpumps on the village’s well, we will replace the 2 cylinders and the 2 conversion heads, the rod couplings, the bearings and the axel. We will construct a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Gilansary Village (Coordinates: -16.137, 13.167) Estimated population: 400 

We will replace the well’s cylinder and the conversion head. We will add extra ground concrete. We will rebuild the covering concrete slab, construct a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Bulan’jorr (Coordinates: -16.250 13.278) Estimated population: 400 

We will replace the cylinder and the conversion head. We will add extra ground concrete around the well. We will construct a concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Sitanouggo (Coordinates: -16.131, 13.184) Estimated Population: 600 

We will replace the well cylinder and install 4 stainless steel pipes. We will construct a new concrete water trough for watering ruminants, plus a handwashing station.

Buram (Coordinates: -16.224, 13.258) Estimated Population: 200

We will begin by dewatering and sanitizing the well. We will replace the 2 cylinders, as well as the bearings and axle, on the twin handpump. We will add extra ground concrete to the base, as well as construct a new trough for animals and a handwashing station.

NB: All these projects include cost for hand washing station in each community as part of Water Charity’s efforts in fighting Covid-19.

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative  – COVID-19 Relief in Kpalime, Plateaux, Togo

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative – COVID-19 Relief in Kpalime, Plateaux, Togo

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative – COVID-19 Relief in Kpalime, Plateaux, Togo

Phase One  

The Coronavirus pandemic has created challenges across the globe and affected populations in every continent, region, and country. An opportunity we found to work amid these challenges was in reinforcing hygiene and sanitation practices through the help of our local partners.  

AVIDI-TOGO has been a wonderful partner for Water Charity in Togo and through the opportunities we have had to partner together, they are recognized for their commitment to quality work and honest practices in the Kpalime area of the Plateaux Region in Togo.  

With AVIDI we worked directly with local metalworkers to “invent” handwashing stations that are foot-pedal operated and require no direct contact with the device. This inventiveness went a step further as members of the AVIDI team have experience making their own liquid hand soap – as a result the entire AVIDI team was put to work. 

Phase One of our Handwashing & Hygiene initiative in Kpalime made it’s debut in March, with 70 handmade handwashing stations installed around the various districts of the city, serving an estimated population of 80,000 people. The installed stations were accompanied by 24oz bottles of liquid hand soap, being resupplied by the AVIDI team.  

We chose to broadcast over the radio multiple times a day for several weeks about the importance of wearing masks and washing hands in public and at home, and we produced and shared over 2,000 flyers around Kpalime highlighting additional sanitary practices during the heightened time of Coronavirus.  

AVIDI focused more heavily on the marketplace, where day-to-day trading and activities continued through the height of the Coronavirus outbreak in Togo, with limited social distancing and limited access to sanitary practices in the marketplace itself. Here we were able to use megaphones in conjunction with our installed handwashing stations to remind vendors and customers of the importance of handwashing practices and the wearing of masks.  

Phase One of our initiative was certainly counted as a success, the mayor of Kpalime even personally meeting with AVIDI President Amen Aguda to thank him and displaying AVIDI’s hygienic practices poster on the front wall of the city administrative building. Kpalime’s COVID-19 case count has been very low and controlled after an initial scare and outbreak back at the beginning of March.  

Phase Two  

The second phase of our Handwashing & Hygiene initiative in the Kpalime region coincided directly with the re-opening of schools in the region and was crucial in teaching sanitary practices to kids and students of a broad age range.  

The Kpalime area counts 18 schools and so we were able to fabricate an additional 30 handwashing stations, with larger schools getting more than one installation. With AVIDI’s help we timed this work to take place in the first two weeks of students being back in classrooms – now equipped with their masks and physically distanced in ways not considered prior to the pandemic.  

AVIDI’s team visited all 18 schools and organized a teaching exercise lasting about 15-20 minutes where general hygiene practices were shared, and then a specific highlight on the dangers and easy transmission of COVID-19 took place, including the installation and demonstration of the handwashing stations.  

The focus on schools is crucial and our hope is certainly that this information is retained and results in the students practicing these taught behaviors at home and encouraging family members to do the same. Our goal moving forward is to incorporate continued Handwashing & Hygiene trainings whenever we implement clean water projects, whether that be with additional handwashing stations or various other methods.  

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative  – COVID-19 Relief in Lome, Maritime, Togo

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative – COVID-19 Relief in Lome, Maritime, Togo

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative – COVID-19 Relief in Lome, Maritime, Togo

SV-TOGO team members based in the capital of Togo, Lome, have been hard at work to figure out cost-effective ways to provide relief during the Coronavirus outbreak to some of the hard-hit areas – notably under-funded hospitals and clinics around Lome. Coronavirus has prompted the closure of borders, putting those who relied on petty trade into financial distress. Trade centers like that of Lome are particularly hard hit by the combination of a viral pandemic and a sputtering local economy.

Benjamin Hannani and Faita Essofa are key players in Water Charity’s and SV-TOGO’s activities in Togo and in coming to the office multiple times a week, piloted a program which has us producing and distributing handsoap to the communities most in need. The rest of the SV-TOGO team has had the opportunity to get involved a few times a month by coming to the office and spending the day making soap from scratch. The soap is then bottled in Water Charity labelled bottles and distributed by team members who live all around the city – notably at hospitals and health-centers, as well as elementary schools and high schools who are really focusing on the importance of hand-washing and basic sanitary practices with their students as the Coronavirus continues to be the issue on everyone’s mind.  

This low-cost practice has given both SV-TOGO and Water Charity a great opportunity for more recognition around the capital city, and has allowed us the opportunity to shift focus and get involved on the frontlines, reducing costs for health centers already struggling for resources during these trying times.  

Please contribute to our Water for Everyone campaign so we can continue these crucial interventions.

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative  – COVID-19 Relief in Sokode, Centrale, Togo

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative – COVID-19 Relief in Sokode, Centrale, Togo

Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative – COVID-19 Relief in Sokode, Centrale, Togo

Water Charity partnered with local NGO PASDI-AFRIQUE to manufacture and distribute foot-pedal operated handwashing stations.
Coronavirus Cases increasing in Togo, particularly in Sokode.

Our Handwashing & Hygiene Initiative was continued in Togo and made its debut in the Centrale region to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sokode in Centrale became another epicenter of Coronavirus here in Togo and as it is far from the capital, they were struggling to combat it effectively and receive the necessary funding to do so.  

The centrale region of Togo covers an area of about 13,500 km squared of which more than 20% are reserves and classified forests including the Fazao National Park Reserve which covers nearly 2,000 km squared.

The city of Sokodé (predominantly Muslim), the regional capital, is the second largest city in the country in terms of number of inhabitants and is famous for its weaving. As a major center for commercial trade, Sokode found itself particularly vulnerable to the transmission of coronavirus. Industrial activities there include cotton ginning and sugar processing. Sokodé has road links with Kara to the north and Lomé, the national capital, to the south.

Water Charity was able to partner with a local NGO by the name of PASDI-AFRIQUE based in Centrale to manufacture more foot-pedal operated handwashing stations, which was accompanied by the creation of soap and hand sanitizer to be distributed in different neighborhoods of the affected area. Masks were also given out during this event and marketplace goers were encouraged towards the safe and prudent hygienic practices during these especially challenging times.  

PASDI-AFRIQUE’s donation for the community was received directly by the Mayor of Sokode and this event was broadcast over local radio stations as well as receiving publicity on city and neighborhood pages on social media.  

We are thankful to have such capable partners integrated in communities all around Togo who can mobilize rapidly and accomplish meaningful work. PASDI-AFRIQUE certainly fits this description. 

Please support our border-to-border campaign to bring water to everyone.

Kiang Central Handpump Repair Tour Phase II—The Gambia

Kiang Central Handpump Repair Tour Phase II—The Gambia

Kiang Central Handpump Repair Tour Phase II—The Gambia

Handpump Repairs and Hand Washing Stations for 5 villages: Bambako, Jiroff, Kundong Numu Kunda, Tabanani, & Wurokang

The Lower River Division (LRD) is divided into six districts: Jarra Central, Jarra East, Jarra West, Kiang Central, Kiang East, and Kiang West. This is Phase II of our Kiang Central Handpump Repair Tour. In Kiang Central, as in most of The Gambia’s rural villages, most men farm rice, groundnuts, and millet. Most women garden for subsistence food needs, as well as working in the rice fields. Farming is the main source of income, with groundnuts being the main cash crop and rice the staple one. Most farmers use traditional, subsistence farming methods with little or no modern equipment, and the scant surplus of crop, if any, is usually sold for a small profit.

The last few years of diminished rainfall means there is a lack of food to eat with no surplus to sell. These communities are close to the border with Cassamance, Senegal. The Cassamance side of the border is still forested; the Gambian side has been almost completely deforested. In times of poor harvest, these communities often cross the border to chop down trees to make into charcoal, to be sold in the market in the capital city of Banjul–causing the deforestation of Cassamance.


BAMBAKO VILLAGE

GPS: N13°24.408   W015°46.060

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT COMMUNITY

This is a community made up of the Bambara tribe, which originates from Mali and settled in this part of Kiang Central District about a century ago. It is made up of the Touray, Yarbo and Keita clansmen. The community is usually neglected and as a result, is facing a severe clean water crisis. Sickness among children and women is common due to the lack of clean drinking water. The community is a subsistence farming community that mostly grows groundnut, maize and millet, basically for home consumption, which barely meets their yearly needs. The community has a population of about 300 people.

WORK TO BE COMPLETED

Change the conversion head, dewater and sanitize the well, and install a new cylinder, plus a handwashing station. In addition, the contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.


WUROKANG VILLAGE

 GPS: N13°22.682  W015°48.884

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT COMMUNITY

This is a community of about 1,200 people, and it is dominantly made up of the Mandinka tribe. It has been historically known as one of the earliest villages within the Kiang Belt. The community has tremendous Mandinka cultural history, including Kankurang and Sewruba, among others. The community is a subsistence farming community producing groundnut, maize and millet–basically for home consumption. The community is grappling with a clean water crisis since the only water source cannot meet the people’s needs, resulting in people consuming contaminated water. Repairing or rehabilitating the broken water source will greatly help to provide ample clean drinking water to the community.

WORK TO BE COMPLETED

This twin hand pump requires two new cylinders, 4 stainless steel pipes with rods (two for each hand pump), and two new conversion heads. The well needs to be dewatered and sanitized, as well. As always, a handwashing station will be installed for COVID-19 safety precautions. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.


KUNDONG NUMU KUNDA VILLAGE

GPS: N13°25.316  W015°43.014

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT COMMUNITY

This is a community made up of about 400 Mandinka tribe members. The village was founded by a section of the Mandinka tribe called ‘’Numoo’’ meaning traditional blacksmiths. Thus, the name Numu Kunda is applied to the name of the community depicting the historical facts about the village. The ‘’Numoo’’ used to be in the lower caste in the ancient Mandinka caste system. The community used to be marginalized, but nowadays things are opening up. They are currently facing a severe clean water crisis as the only water source is broken. As a result, they walk a long distance to fetch water from neighboring communities, which are often not friendly to them.

WORK TO BE COMPLETED

For this twin hand pump, we will install two new cylinders, two new conversion heads, new rod couplings (stainless steel), two chains, plus the installation of a handwashing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from.


TABANANI VILLAGE

GPS: N13°21.836  W015°46.306

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT COMMUNITY

This is a Fula tribe community, which has a population of about 250 people. It is located not far from the Gambia and Southern Senegalese border. The community is remote and facing a severe clean water crisis. The community has only one water source, which has been broken for ages. They currently travel miles to the Senegalese border village of Sareh Ndamo just to fetch few buckets for sustenance. The community is made up of subsistence farmers and traditional pastoralists.

WORK TO BE COMPLETED

For these twin hand pumps, we will provide a new cylinder and 2 new conversion heads. The well needs dewatering and sanitizing, plus the installation of a handwashing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.


JIROFF VILLAGE

GPS: N13°25.466  W015°42.469

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT COMMUNITY

This community has a population of about 700 Fula and Mandinka tribe members. Both tribes have lived peacefully together for decades. The community practices subsistence farming–growing groundnut, maize and millet. The community is facing an acute shortage of clean water, considering the size of the population. There has been a relatively recent drop in the water table, attributed to climate change.

WORK TO BE COMPLETED

Like the others, this twin hand pump needs 2 new cylinders and 2 new conversion heads. It also requires new rod couplings (stainless steel), 2 pedestals, 2 chains, 4 pipes (stainless steel), plus the installation of a handwashing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.


Conclusion of the El Horizonte y Los Cocos Water Project – Mexico

Conclusion of the El Horizonte y Los Cocos Water Project – Mexico

Conclusion of the El Horizonte y Los Cocos Water Project – Mexico

Final Report

This project has been completed.  You can read about the start of the project HERE.

The people living in El Horizonte and Los Cocos are absolutely delighted that going forward, after decades of hardship, they can now rely on having water on tap for the first time since the hurricanes in 1998. They say that there are no adequate words to express their relief and gratitude.

The project was originally requested by the leaders of El Horizonte only. However, at the time of making their request, they indicated that it was all but certain that once the people in Los Cocos saw the materials arriving to the area that they would want to be part of the project as well. People have been given unfulfilled promises over and over by political candidates seeking their vote. It is not easy for them to trust after so much deception. So with that in mind, the leaders of El Horizonte suggested that we plan the project to include them as well. As expected the families from Los Cocos did join the project by helping with all the work. Now they too are enjoying the benefits of the completed water system.

The work began with building a dam on the creek using rock and sand from the area. With so many men working together, they finished the structure quickly. Then the hard effort of laying down 4 kilometers of heavy hose began. This was challenging given the terrain, the dense tropical vegetation, and the seasonal torrential rains. When that work was completed, they began to build their distribution tank. Finally each family connected their own hose to the tank to direct the water to their individual compounds.

The work is now complete and the project should serve them well into the future. The water committee will oversee any work necessary to upkeep the system and will also ensure that the water is used wisely so that all can have their needs met. To their good fortune, the creek they use is the drainage for a vast underground system so even though the Sierra is experiencing a drought, the water will continue to flow all year.

The women especially send their thanks to all who participated in making this improvement possible. A small commission of the leaders of the water committee came to our office to advise us that they are planning a celebration to commemorate this significant improvement in their quality of life. They said they wish that it were possible for the “hermanos” (brothers and sisters) from Water Charity, and the kind people who sponsored the project to attend so they could shake their hands.

On behalf of the 48 families who are now enjoying access to water, we extend our sincere thanks.

We are grateful to Michael and Carla Boyle of Foster, WV for having provided the funding for this project!

Rancheria El Horizonte y Los Cocos Community Water Project – Mexico

Rancheria El Horizonte y Los Cocos Community Water Project – Mexico

Rancheria El Horizonte y Los Cocos Community Water Project – Mexico

Location: Three kilometers SW of Belisario Dominguez, Chiapas, Mexico, on the Pacific side of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Ejido Ampliación Arenal

Problem to be addressed: Build a new water system to replace that lost in a natural disaster in 1998 

In southern Mexico, over the last 20 years, there have been extreme weather events in the Sierra Madre Mountains that have taken a big toll on impoverished people living in small settlements throughout the vast mountainous region.  In 1998, three major hurricanes successively pummeled the high country causing severe flooding and destructive landslides throughout a vast area reaching far into Central America.

Rancheria El Horizonte and Los Cocos were among the hundreds of villages that were heavily impacted by the catastrophe. These two settlements are located on the edge of the river that is the major drainage for this part of the steep escarpment.  It flows through the deep canyon and eventually reaches the mangrove forests on the coastal delta.

When the disaster hit in 1998, the floodwaters raged through the canyon carrying huge boulders that quickly filled up the river causing the water to inundate the narrow area where the people live.  The flood also carried cars and other debris from buildings that had been washed away in Belisario, the small town up just the highway. Landslides thundered down the slopes as well, leaving terrified people with nowhere to run as they prayed to be spared.

The devastation was extreme.  When the storms ended, their schools, many homes, their bridge and many coffee fields were gone forever.  But perhaps the most impactful damage was what happened to their water system.  The long water line of galvanized pipe that the community depended on for decades was damaged beyond repair.  Unfortunately, successive local administrations have not rebuilt a water system for them in all this time.  They have had to survive as best they can without reliable access to water.  Some families use the unclean water from the river that flows downstream from town to bathe and to wash clothes.

Description of the Community:  

There are 48 households with a total 235 people including the five newborns who arrived in February.  The climate is warm and tropical and would support fruit trees that could be planted in patio gardens if the people have adequate water on hand.  Families typically have a few chickens for eggs to supplement their diet of beans and tortillas and to have meat for special occasions a couple of times a year.  There is a kindergarten and an elementary school in the community which provides public education close to home.  The federal highway passes on the other side of the river connecting them to the town where they go to buy supplies.

In the years that followed the disaster, people rebuilt their homes and the elementary school was moved to a safer location.  They succeeded in getting a better bridge built.  They proudly point out their new church which they build together.

Families in Horizonte and Los Cocos have lived in deep poverty for generations.  Before 1998, many had small plots of coffee that gave them some income once a year.  Those families who lost their coffee plots now have to seek seasonal work picking coffee for other small-holder farmers which in essence means that the poor are working for the poor.  Some men find temporary work as day laborers or builders.  One man in the community is fortunate to work at the gas station in town.

Description of the Project:  The people own the rights to a large perineal creek that flows all year long.  It is the water source that originally served the community for decades before the disaster.

The project will consist of building a wide dam at the source and a large holding tank on a high point above the homes. A two-inch polyduct hose will bring water the 2.2 kilometers from the source down the slope to the tank.  Each family will connect their 1/2 inch hose to the tank to bring water to their homes.  The entire system will rely on gravity to provide good pressure. Small tanks will be built where changes in the slope will require regulation of the pressure to keep the hose in good working condition.  The hose will be installed along the ridge so that it will not be damaged in the event of extreme rainfall.  The material to be used is guaranteed by the factory to last for decades.

Impact of the Project:  This project will benefit 235 people by ending their struggle to survive the 7-month-long dry season by giving them water on tap.  It will provide water for sanitation to the elementary school and the kindergarten which serve children from Horizonte, Los Cocos and other communities nearby. The project will also supply water to the community’s church.  It will make it possible for families to raise fruit trees and small gardens to improve their nutrition while saving money.

Project Administration 

The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has been working in the region since 1997.

This project will be part of the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program – Mexico & Guatemala, a comprehensive collaboration between Sexto Sol, Water Charity, and the National Peace Corps Association. The program aims to improve access to water in the under-served and impoverished settlements in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala. The program has already brought water to more than 10,500 people.

Monitoring and Maintenance 

The members of the community are committed to working together to build their water system and to keep it functioning for the benefit of all. The people take turns serving as the leader of their water association by the consent of the members. The elected leader is charged with organizing the men and youth from each household into work crews to maintain the system.  Should any problems arise in the future, the members would share the costs of any needed repairs which when spread across so many households should be within their reach to cover.  They are very anxious to finally resolve the hardship that they have endured for so many years.

We are grateful to Michael and Carla Boyle of Foster, WV for providing the funding for this project! This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, Click Here.