FONI BREFET DISTRICT REHAB TOUR (PHASE 1) – The Gambia

FONI BREFET DISTRICT REHAB TOUR (PHASE 1) – The Gambia

FONI BREFET DISTRICT REHAB TOUR (PHASE 1) – The Gambia

WEST COAST REGION, THE GAMBIA 

Foni Brefet  is one of the nine districts  of  the Gambia, which is located to the south of the Gambia River in the southwest of the country. Foni Brefet is in the center of the region, between Kombo East and Foni Bintang-Karenai. This district is dominated by the Jola tribe and some Fula as well as Mandinka tribes. The vast majority of people in the district are subsistence farmers, growing groundnut, maize, and millet. It still keeps traditional tribal culture and it also serves as a source of typical Jola tribe history and traditional way of life. However, the district is prone to illegal deforestation, especially in rosewood among others. The area is also prone to wildfires and as a result, this has led to a scarcity of fresh drinking water. According to Global Forest Watch reports, in 2010, the district had 243ha of tree cover, extending over 1.7% of its land area. In 2021, it lost 225mha of tree cover, equivalent to 76.5t of CO2 emissions. In Foni Brefet District, the peak fire season typically begins in mid-February and lasts around 12 weeks. All these factors have made life harder for the indigenous tribes that live within the district especially when it comes to clean drinking water. The district also borders the Senegalese region of Cassamance which has been the center of separatist rebel conflict for four decades. As a result, it hosts hundreds of refugees which added more stress to the already alarming clean water crisis the district faces. 

This rehabilitation tour will give access to clean drinking water for 9,559 people directly. This will have a great impact on their health and social habitation in general. It will tremendously benefit women and girls as they bear the brunt of water collection within the household.  The work will also help all the people who visit or pass through the region, and the hundreds of Senegalese refugees that are currently located there.

This project is part of our ongoing Water For Everyone Intiative. WFE Gambia has been going for a number of years now and is on track to service every village and every well in the country on schedule.

  1. JALOKOTO VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.393 W016°17.395 

Population: 1500 

4 stainless steel pipes with rods, new conversion head, pedestal, check-nuts, dewatering and sanitizing the well, and a hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

 

  1. SOMITA VILLAGE VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.299 W016°18.139 

Population: 1900  

2 Conversion heads, a new cylinder, a hand washing station, and new concrete round fencing. The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

  1. NDEMBAN JOLA VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°10.931 W016°20.614 

Population: 450 

2 New cylinders, 2 conversion heads, 4 stainless steel pipes, concrete slab, and a hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.  

 

  1. BULLOCK VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°10.840 W016°24.752 

Population: 1800 

New cylinder, conversion head, concrete slab, 2 culverts, hand washing station, rod couplings. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

 

  1. BAJANA VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°11.260 W016°23.709 

Population: 850 

2 New cylinders, rod couplings (stainless steel),2 conversion heads, plus a hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically 

 

  1. SUTUSINJANG VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°11.239 W016°23.157 

Population: 500 

New cylinder, conversion head hand washing station, rod couplings. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

  1. JAGIL VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°11.523 W016°22.109 

Population: 400 

New cylinder, conversion head, 5 stainless steel pipes, concrete slab, Re-digging and dewatering well, hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

 

  1. BREFET VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°14.845 W016°22.851 

Population: 750  

Conversion head, new cylinder, 1 culvert, hand washing station, new concrete slab. The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

 

  1. NDEMBAN JAPIHUIM VILLAGE 

GPS: N13°12.210 W016°20.310 

Population: 450 

2 New cylinders, 2 conversion head, 1 stainless steel pipes, re-digging and dewatering of well, hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically  

 

These projects range from around 50 cents per person served up to around 3 or 4 dollars. It depends on what exactly is wrong and what needs to be done. Contact us for detailed project costs.

It is possible to adopt a village well, even long-term. We do have an anonymous donor, though, who is likely to pay for all of these wells unless someone else steps up beforehand. Tours like this are ongoing. So, any funds collected in excess of the actual cost will roll over to the next village handpump tour in The Gambia. 

The timeline will be 2 or 3 weeks depending on the weather and local conditions, parts availability, etc.

The results will be as they always are with these projects.  The handpumps will be brought to full repair and provide their villages with clean water once again.  This, of course, will have numerous beneficial effects for the village.  Waterborne Illness will go down drastically with incidence of diarrhea falling to negligible levels.  The hours the women and girls of the village currently spend walking to distant water points will be used for other purposes, including allowing more girls to stay in school and get educations.  It will also result in a lot less deforestation… as people will no longer need to boil water from the rivers and streams.

The sustainability of these projects is insured as we are in contact with each of the village elders and if they should require our help in the future, they can alert us forthwith.  Furthermore, we try to instill ownership and responsibility for the water point in every village.  We gather the Water Use Committee and give them tips on preservation and maintenance of their handpump.  We also encourage them to collect and save a small amount of money for simple repairs.  Often if a pump fails the initial cost is an inexpensive grommet or bushing.  Left unchecked, the entire well fails and inevitably rust-out or otherwise require a much more expensive intervention. Having the WFE B2B program ensures that we will always be available and hands-on in every village until such time as there are no villages doing without any longer.

Water for Everyone – Madagascar

Water for Everyone – Madagascar

Water for Everyone – Madagascar

Coming off recent success in The Gambia and Liberia, Water Charity is embarked on another Water for Everyone Project in Madagascar. We have been active in Madagascar from early on in WC history, having sponsored many dozens of projects in recent years and touched hundreds of villages. Our primary intervention there has been in the rehabilitation of broken wells first, and the drilling of new wells where necessary.

Madagascar is well-suited for a Water for Everyone Program. Only half the population has access to clean water and much of that population lies in rural communities. Most rely on subsistence farming and fishing for their livelihood. Forty-three percent of adults lack proper nutrition and forty-eight percent of children under five suffer from stunted growth. There have been other projects to address water availability in cities and larger villages, but the rural populations still have a long way to go, and this is where our focus lies.

The challenges are as varied as the mini continent that forms Madagascar. The center of the country is formed by mountainous highlands dominated by igneous basements, making the search for subsurface water quite difficult. The coasts are rimmed with sedimentary rock and carbonates and are slightly more conducive for water drilling. The north and east are largely semi-tropical while the south and southwest are arid. It seems that climate change has made conditions worse in the south where water is lacking even for agricultural purposes, and malnutrition and starvation are widespread.

Many attempts over the years have been made to mitigate the water problem. There are literally thousands of broken wells across the country that have fallen into disrepair. One objective of this project is to find and identify these wells, assess their potential, and design programs to put them back in service. Our partners, local residents of the various regions, are our force on the ground to collect these data points. Water Charity uses GIS data and our Geospatial analysis capabilities to identify needs, and gaps in infrastructure, and design specific and targeted programs to get water to those in need. It is expected the entire project could take a few years, but we are confident that all rural villages can be provided with at least one working well and given the skills to maintain them.

Our local Malagasy partners and The Madagascar Water Project (MWP), have extensive connections and knowledge about the country, the languages and dialects spoken, and are a key piece of the puzzle for this ambitious program.  We have worked with them for many years, drilling dozens of wells and repairing countless broken ones to provide clean water to thousands of people.  This program has begun along the east coast and will expand to include rural regions all over, with the goal of eventually including the entire county.  We will not deal with cities and the larger towns for this B2B effort, as there are existing infrastructure issues and the problems are entirely different. WFE Madagascar is solely focused on the rural villages, at least for now.

Goals and Methods of Water for Everyone

The Madagascar Water for Everyone Project is designed to achieve the goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 and the Plan Emergence Madagascar Priorate 29.

  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. 
  • Plan Emergence Madagascar Priorite 29 – Garantirl’acces universal a l’eau potable (French is a main language for government there)

The Project combines the latest technology in satellite mapping with an extensive ground-based data collection effort.  The Program will conduct inventories and is documenting existing water infrastructure. We are assessing functionality and adequacy to the populations served and can thus identify under-served populations where they exist. Population data, water-related health data, agricultural and irrigation data, and water infrastructure and water quality data has been collected from local officials when available, and we will continue to work with these agencies as closely as we can.

All our projects (in this program and out) involve extensive documentation. Well location data is recorded using GPS-enabled devices, this data is combined with various survey and government-provided information and cross-referenced with other aid groups and NGOs. We have webpages put up regularly (see page bottom for links) and update them with new info and media from the field. While this is usually done with incredible speed, we can not always keep pages up to date in real-time and it may take us some weeks to post recent work.

Water Charity integrates population, infrastructure, health, and other data collected on the ground into Geographic Information System (GIS) map-based platform including ArcGIS and Earth Engine. This makes it possible to 1) identify and quantify gaps in water infrastructure; 2) design specific and targeted projects to improve clean water access 3) put them in a format that can be presented to potential sponsors and operators and 4) track their impact over time. Projects coming up include newly drilled wells, repair of existing wells, and the repairs, maintenance, and upgrades of a larger infrastructure. Some areas will be prioritized based on their specific needs. 

The Project began in the Region of Antsinanana and continues into other Regions of Madagascar on pace.

The Madagascar Water Project:  an overview

Since 2015, WFE Madagascar & the Madagascar Water Project have drilled about 200 water wells in about 80 rural villages, providing clean water to an estimated 100,000 people.  Starting around Antsinanana, the work has migrated to the south over time and the well drilling work can now be found as far south as Mananjary.  To aid in this effort, WC funded the purchase of a dedicated well drilling rig over the summer of 2022. This new rig can be expected to function for many years to come with minimal maintenance and should increase the ability of MWP and the WFE program to aid the people with new wells, deepening existing wells, and even clearing debris that has come to block wells that otherwise should be functional.

We have also started a well repair program in the drought-stricken south to fix some of the thousands of broken wells located there. These well repairs have been our bread and butter in the past. and will continue to be a major part of what we do there. After all, fixing a broken well is nearly always more efficient than drilling a new well and installing a brand-new handpump.

Like many of our partners around the world, MWP is small, lean, active, and impactful. The photo below was taken in 2018 during one of our joint ventures that included the village of Salehy. This is the same core group that has supported our Water for Everyone Program all along the way, and will continue to lead the way on the ground. (note their cool Water Charity T-Shirts).

Except for Director, Frederick Rittelmeyer (3rd from left above), who works as an unpaid volunteer, the entire staff is Malagasy. As the photo shows, they are quite proud of their association with Water Charity, and it has been mutually beneficial for all. The gentleman in the foreground, Hilaire Razandrafely is the MWP Project Manager for the Madagascar Water for Everyone Project. Photo, Salehy 2019.

The Madagascar Water Project drilled its first well in the village of Andovoranto in 2015. That well is shown in the photo left and is still working today. We remain committed to the villages it serves and provides maintenance training, repairs, and spare parts for its wells. If the well fails, which occasionally happens, the MWP drills replacement wells when needed.  Photo, Andovoranto 2015.

So far, WC has drilled most of its wells along the east coast, along an intra-coastal waterway known as the Pangalana Channel. To many, the area looks like paradise, but many villages had no access to clean water, which has a profoundly negative impact on the health of those living there. With the help of the MWP, the area at least has taken a small step forward into the 20th Century.

Due to the amenable conditions, we can use hand augers and slide hammers to build wells. In most cases, this takes only a few hours. Standard pitcher pumps are used and can produce at rates up to 25 liters/minute from depths to 7 meters.

The Project provides community-based water wells, managed by Well Management Committees. The MWP provides guidance but ultimately rules, hours, and fees (if any) are determined by the committee.

Effective self-management is key to sustainability and is often more difficult than drilling the well. The line between assistance and dependency is as thin and delicate as a piece of thread.

MWP Logistics

One of the biggest challenges working in Madagascar is logistics. Roads are in poor repair and often nonexistent even when they appear on a map. The Water for Everyone Project will have to overcome these challenges even more.  One can choose where to drill wells, but the mission of the Water for Everyone Project is to go everywhere.

MWP History

The first wells began drilling in the village of Andovoranto in 2015. The work migrated southward every year, eventually moving past the village of Mananjary in 2020.   

Water Charity believes that maintenance and repairs are as critical to the program as newly drilled wells. These long-term relationships are more efficient, and create less oversight and maintenance, and, in the end, leave the communities with better, more efficient, and equitable water management.

Well Repair Program in Southern Madagascar

In 2022 WFE Madagascar began a large well-repair program in southern Madagascar. The entire southern section of the country has suffered from extreme drought for more than 10 years. Not only does it affect water availability, but it has also caused widespread famine. Malnutrition and starvation are everywhere.

Thousands of water wells have been drilled there in the past few decades. Although most are now broken, some are still capable of being repaired to provide clean water, any water to those in need.

The map below shows the current area of focus in the District of Betroka.

Some wells are conventional Indian Pumps that need routine repairs or have been victims of theft such as the well below in Anabinda. 

Photo Anabinda 2022

Other broken wells exist as holes in the ground. The project has installed our conventional pumps onto these wells and successfully brought them back into production. They are used as much for agricultural purposes as they are for human consumption. Each well is saving lives and improving the quality of life for many.

The pumps are taken off each night to protect them from theft.

Water access is often a key component of famine. On a trip in February 2021, we deviated from our mission and distributed 350 kg of rice to a few villages that hadn’t eaten in weeks. The World Food Program, USAID, other NGOs, and the Madagascar Government have since come in to provide more assistance. 

Conclusion 

There is so much to do in Madagascar that a systematic, thorough, complete, and scientific approach is the best way to assess the needs, design solutions, and provide relief to the many millions still in need of clean water. The Water for Everyone Initiative is a significant move in that direction.

Join Us

List of Water Charity’s Past Madagascar Project Pages: 

13 water wells were drilled in six villages that now provide clean water to over 15,000 people. The project area is south of the Mangoro River (Salehy), through Masomeloka to Nosy Varika and beyond, moving into the remote area where the distal ends of the Regions of Antsinanana and Fianarantsoa meet. 

Built a community well at the school in Andrenilaivelo, a livestock and farming community of approximately 250 people located in the central highlands of Madagascar. 

Built 2 latrines at the primary school in the village of Amindratombo. Amindratombo is part of the community of Sahambavy, located in the southern highlands of Madagascar. The project will benefit 200 students. 

Build a well at the primary school in the village of Amindratombo. The well will be used to provide drinking water for the students. Amindratombo is part of the community of Sahambavy, located in the southern highlands of Madagascar. The project will benefit the 200 students plus indirect beneficiaries numbering about 1,500: 1,700 total. 

Repair and improve the well at the Maternity and Health Center in the community of Ansampanimahazo is located 9 km from its district Faratsiho in the northern highlands of Madagascar. The population consists of approximately 15,000 people spread across 12 villages.  

Build 4 wells in the Amboromana district of Vohemar, Madagascar. There are currently 360 families living in the area, with a population of 1,836 people. 

Purchase and install 1 water pump to expand the production of rice in the community. Morarano Chrome is a town and commune in the Eastern part of Madagascar. Over 150 people who work in the fields, and their families, will benefit from the project. 

Built 3 wells and 1 dam in three neighboring fokontanies (neighborhoods) of Anjiro: Mahatsinjo, Antanetibe, and Ambilobe. Anjiro is a rural community located in the central highlands of Madagascar. It has a population of about 15,000 people. 

Replace 1 broken handpump at the site with a sealed well lined with concrete rings, and an electronic pump for the Special Community Reserve of Analalava, a protected rainforest on the east coast of Madagascar, owned by the local community. This project immediately benefitted 150+ people and has since benefitted thousands of tourists. 

Build 2 new public latrines, with lined and displaced pits and ventilation. The facilities will be made available for use by the students and villagers.of Morarano, a rural village located 12 km southwest of the beach town of Foulpointe on the east coast of Madagascar. About 150 people live in the village center. However, the presence of an elementary school means 270 students come in from the surrounding hills on a daily basis: a total of 420 people. 

Build 1 public biogas toilet for the community that uses human waste as a valuable resource that can be converted into two products: (1) gas for cooking and (2) fertilizer. The project was located in the beautiful coastal community of Ambonivato, about 8 miles outside of Tamatave, the second largest city in Madagascar. Though it is close to the city, the village of 750 people is still a very poor and rural village. 

1 bathroom facility with 3 toilets, 3 urinals, and 3 sinks for Association Mitsinjo, an association of local guides.  Mitsinjo is located 2 km from the village of Andasibe, but its impact zone is much larger. It is the manager of the Torotorofotsy wetlands, a Ramsar site, as well as the Analamazaotra forest station. The facility will benefit the association through the 3,000+ tourists that visit annually. 

1 new, high-quality, composting latrine behind the clinic which can be used by all of the approximately 300 patients, health workers, nurses, and the doctor in Tsivangiana, a rice-farming and fishing village near the east coast of Madagascar. There is a major water sanitation problem, with a couple of stagnant streams used for everything from bathing, to washing clothes, to washing dishes, to collecting water for cooking and other household uses. 

1 new well in the village of Ambavala, located on the tropical and beautiful northeast coast of the island nation of Madagascar. This rather large village of nearly 300 people depends on only one well for all of their daily water needs.  

1 refurbished non-functioning well. Mahajoanivo is a small rural village in the Central Highlands of Madagascar. Mahajoanivo has 211 residents; most are farmers. 

Install 6 pumps in existing wells for use in 6 different cooperatives, including the rice cooperative, garden cooperative, and women’s gardening group, to irrigate their crops. The cooperatives are located in Anketrakabe, a village of approximately 1,200 people located 47 km from Diego. 

1 tree nursery to create food security, increase the available water supply, and provide economic benefits to the 300,000 people in Mandritsara, a city and commune in northern Madagascar. 

1 rainwater harvesting system and 3 systems to remediate flooding problems for the three largest dormitories on the Le Centre d’Accueil et de Transit des Jumeaux Abandonné (CATJA), an orphanage for 125 abandoned twin children. The orphanage is located in Mananjary, a seaside town in southeast Madagascar that is home to nearly 30,000 Malagasy whose livelihoods are very much integrated with their natural surroundings.  

5- Day Permagarden Staff and Volunteer Training and Training Design Creation; Peace Corps Madagascar requested assistance in the creation of a thorough Training Design and Evaluation Process that will guide the sustainable agriculture and nutrition security work of current and future Peace Corps Volunteers.  

13 wells provided to the 6 Fokotany (Villages) of Masomeloka, Antaniambo, Sohihy, Ampanotoana, Salehy, Andrianotsara, serving 15,000 people. 

1 shower facility to serve the Amporofor Clinic, which serves 12,543 people. Access to a shower with clean water and soap will reduce the risk of infection to the person, as well as reduce contamination by viruses and bacteria in the clinic area.  

Improve 4 wells, including the installation of 2 new pumps for Ambatomainty, a rural community of about 10,000 people located in the Alaotra Mangoro region, also known as the ‘rice basket’ of Madagascar. For water, families were long forced to rely on a river that has turned red from mud and erosion. 

1 well built between the local elementary school and the community center of Antsakoana, a small village south of the town Amparafaravola located in the Eastern part of Madagascar; well will benefit roughly 350 people. 

Improve 2 wells for the 1,000 people of Tsivangiana, who live along the east coast of Madagascar, separated from the Indian Ocean by about 20 kilometers of degraded rainforest. After the well broke, for the past three years the people have been fetching water from the stream.  

1 well and 1 new pump for a second well; the project recipient facility, Centre Hospitalier de District (CHD), benefits 2,000 people per month who attend the health facilities. 

2 wells were built for the village of Andonaka, located on the east coast of Madagascar, 12 km west of the commune and district capital Nosy Varika and accessible only by boat. No potable water exists for the 1,270 residents of Andonaka; all water is drawn from the Sakeleneoa River which also serves as a bath, laundry, and dishwashing source as well. 

1 well and a reconstructed aqueduct provided to the mountain town of Imito, located 224 km south of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Zanabahona is one of the largest communities in Imito with a population of 2,300. Project conducted by Peace Corp Volunteer and local NGO. 

Purchase and installation of a water pump for use by the members of Fanilo, the local farmers association in Antsakoana, a small town north of the town Amparafaravola, located in the Eastern part of Madagascar. The project gave the water control needed for the planting of currently unused rice fields. The project benefitted 280 people who work in the fields and their families. 

1 well provided to Morarano, a rural village located 12 km southwest of the beach town of Foulpointe on the east coast of Madagascar. About 150 people live in the village center and 270 students come in from the surrounding hills on a daily basis: a total of 420. In a polluted pool, people bathe and wash laundry and dishes before taking the water home to cook and drink. The work was conducted by a school teacher with experience in digging lined latrines, a Peace Corps Volunteer, and a motivated health worker who lives in the village. 

3 wells built in three different communities in northern Madagascar, carried out under the direction of a Peace Corps Volunteer and a local NGO ARES, which has organized teams to build over 50 wells. The three towns are in the commune of Anjangoveratra, district of Sambava: Antanandava, Anamboafo, and Marolamba, with a total population of 3,419, and no wells. Residents have to get their water from rivers, streams, and even rice paddies, which are polluted by cow and human waste. Several deaths in the towns in the past year have been attributed to water contamination. 

 4 wells built in the Amboromana district of Vohemar, Madagascar, which has a population of 1,836 people. People have to fetch water from a very distant dirty river, or do without. Oversight of the well construction was undertaken by ARES, a local NGO and Sister Rosalie, a Malagasy local. 

5 wells improved in Anjangoveratra, which has a population of about 4,000. Project was overseen by a local health worker, the head of the women’s organization, as well as the Peace Corps Volunteer. 

2 wells built for 2,200 people, about 600 of them children under 5. There is a local primary public school and a local Antsikory Women’s Group. Most community members use the local stream to collect water. Many of the children in the village of Antsikory suffer from diarrheal diseases and schistosomiasis, a disease caused by infection with freshwater parasitic worms in certain tropical and subtropical countries. The project is overseen by Peace Corps Volunteer, in cooperation with the Women’s Group.

In addition to our normal flow of well repairs, we have done this great work at Mandritsara hospital. Check out the details below:

Mandritsara Hospital

After drilling 40 meters of fractured volcanic rock, it was tested at 2500 liters/hour, the maximum capability with the testing equipment, and will be able to supply the hospital’s needs for years to come. A year ago, one of the surgeons there asked if we could help with their water problems. The municipal system goes dry for 4+ months each year and their private well can supply only 10% of their needs.

It’s difficult to do surgery and provide medical care in a fully functional hospital without enough water. The local and volunteer expat medical staff just grin and bear it, but their hands are already full living and practicing medicine in conditions long past in the modern world.  Their spirit and positive outlook are an inspiration to keep going.  Good News Hospital — Friends of Mandritsara Trust

Update on Mandritsara Hospital

The Madagascar Water Project just broke new ground by drilling a deep well in volcanic basalt, tapping into natural fractures to get water production. This is the first time the Project has drilled this deep, in this environment, using a drilling rig. 

We received a request from the Good News Hospital — Friends of Mandritsara Trust for help with their annual water shortage. The municipal system in Mandritsara, a village of 30k people, feeds off a river that goes dry every year. The hospital has two wells that provide some relief but it is only 1/10th the volume normally needed. The hospital is expanding and needs reliable water supplies year-round. 

The Project conducted field geology studies and used a geophysical study made by the hospital at the time of its initial construction in the 1990’s to identify a prospective location. The initial hole had to be abandoned at 11m due to a stuck pipe, but the second hole was successfully drilled to 40m without problems. The well tested 2500 liters/hour, which was the limit of the testing equipment, but it is likely capable of producing at twice that rate. The well is located in a rice field adjacent to the hospital complex and a 600-meter pipeline will tie it into their existing water system.

Check out the video below related to this project:

Ebeye Water Filter Distribution—The Marshall Islands 

Ebeye Water Filter Distribution—The Marshall Islands 

Ebeye Water Filter Distribution—The Marshall Islands 

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

Since 2021, Water Charity has partnered with and supported Kora in Okrane (KIO), a non-profit charitable organization in the Marshall Islands, which in July 2018 launched an initiative to provide every single household, school, and dispensary in the outer islands with SAWYER Point One Water Filter Systems. 

Water Charity is one among a number of partners that have been supporting the KIO’s initiatives including the United Nations Development Program and GEF Program, RMI government, SDG Committee, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce, Environmental Protection Authority, and Women United Together Marshall Islands.

Since 2018, KIO distributed filters to all the outer Islands. Its partnership with Water Charity will help KIO reach the last urban areas in the Marshall Islands. In 2021, the last remaining areas left to distribute water filtration systems were Majuro and Ebeye.

After completing Majuro, KIO started Phase 2 with the Launch of the Ebeye Component. Ebeye has 10,000 residents and is the second most populated jurisdiction in the Marshalls. The team from Majuro joined members on Ebeye for a week in early March, to train the women volunteers and conduct community consultations.

It was serendipitous timing because, on April 19th, 2022, the Ebeye Hospital Syndromic Surveillance reported of a diarrheal outbreak. The laboratory department confirmed the presence of  Entamoeba Cysts (E‐cysts): a microscopic parasite that spreads through human feces and causes diarrhea, nausea, and weight loss.

A landmark child nutrition survey in 2017 by the Republic of Marshall Islands and UNICEF found serious malnutrition among Marshallese children, with stunting prevalent among one‐in‐three children, with links to poor sanitation and lack of clean water. Ebeye is known to be one of the most compactly populated places with no clean and safe water where waterborne diseases have been a pervasive threat.

The project allowed the distribution of water filters to eleven villages. Household-level surveys, as well as community-wide consultation and training, were conducted prior to distributing the filters.

Ang Metrei Primary School Bathroom Project – Cambodia

Ang Metrei Primary School Bathroom Project – Cambodia

Ang Metrei Primary School Bathroom Project – Cambodia

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

This is a project under the LET GIRLS LEARN Program, a collaboration of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps to expand access to education for girls around the world!

Location
Rolaing Kruel Commune, Samrong Tong District, Kampong Spue Province, Cambodia

Community Description
Surrounded by a health center, pagoda, and market, Ang Metrei Primary School is located in the heart of the village. Due to its location, and its easy accessibility from the main road, Ang Metrei Primary School has the largest number of students in the entire commune.  Six large villages that surround the school send their children there. The school is constantly alive with students learning in the mornings and afternoons. When school is not in session, children can be seen running around, and playing games such as soccer and “lot kawsaou” (jump over the rubber band). In this game you can find students, especially young girls, flying through the air as they try to jump over a long braided rubber band at different heights.

Problem Addressed
Ang Metrei Primary School is located in the heart of the village and despite the constant heavy flow of foot traffic, there is no clean area for teachers or students to relieve themselves.

Currently the school has two latrines for the whole school. These latrines are falling apart and are nearly unusable. Every day, teachers and students have to carry buckets of water from a faraway well, about 100 meters from the latrine, to fill the cisterns in the bathrooms. Since this is labor-intensive, often enough the latrines are left without water, making their use quite difficult. This creates a situation ripe for open defecation, and this induces fear in teachers and students, especially females.

Since there is no clean bathroom available with clean water to use, teachers and students will limit the amount of water they consume while at school.  In doing so they hope to suppress any urge they may have to use the bathroom while at school. This is very dangerous because long-term dehydration is damaging to health. Especially in Cambodia, where the heat can become intolerable, teachers and students need to make sure they are regularly hydrating. During the hotter months (March-May) an increase in the number of young women and children can be seen going to the private clinics for IVs because of dehydration.  The opportunity of spreading disease and illness is increased by the lack of clean running water.

Due to its inconvenience, students will not wash their hands on a regular basis, ultimately creating an easy environment for illness and disease to spread.  Open defecation, combined with the lack of an area to properly clean up, creates an easy facilitator for the oral-fecal route, which further leads to dangerous dehydration.

Project Description
This project is to build new, sanitary restroom facilities for the Ang Metrei Primary School.  It will include a large water tank, and handwashing stations.

Construction will begin by digging a 5-meter square pit that is 2.5 meters deep.  The latrines will be built upon the first 3 meters of this pit. The remaining 2 meters will hold the main waste cement container that will be hand-constructed with clay bricks and cement.  The first 3 meters of the pit will contain three 1 x 1 x 1-meter handmade brick boxes. These boxes will receive the initial waste that is gravity flushed from the toilets and flows through a 100-millimeter pipe into the main waste tank located within the pit directly behind the latrines.

The main waste tank will be 2 m long x 5 m wide x 3 m high. The tank will be hand-made by contractors using clay bricks and cement.  The tank will have an excess of 0.5 meters above ground to allow for a metal door to be created on top of the main waste tank to allow easy access for waste to be pumped when full.

The latrine structure, which will all be constructed from clay bricks, will be created over the first 3 meters of the pit. The dimension of the whole latrine structure, with its three stalls, is as follows: The width of the floor is 5 meters, the height of the structure is 3 meters, the width of the roof 5.6 meters, and the depth from the front of the structure to the back is 3 meters. The walls and floors of each latrine will be covered in porcelain tile. This will allow for easier cleanup after every use. The toilets will be porcelain squat style and each bathroom will have a cistern.

On the entrance side of the latrine structure, two sinks will be installed, one on the left wall and one on the right wall. These two sinks will be made of durable metal to guarantee longevity. The location of these sinks is key because it is easily visible from the bathroom stall. As soon as teacher and students exit the stall they will see a sink for them to use.

The sinks will be adhered to the walls with a combination of glue, screws, and cement.  The roof of the latrine structure will consist of a flat surface made from cement in order to create a sturdy base on which the 2,000-liter water tank will rest. This tank will be made from durable metal. Water from the tank will be gravity fed through 21-millimeter pipes into the latrines and sinks.

The 2,000-liter tank will be replenished by a private water supply. The school is in the beginning stages of installing plumbing to receive running water from this company. The private company cleans and uses the water from the nearby river. The water pressure from the water plant is strong enough to pump water into the tank. All that will be needed is to install a valve on the 21-millimeter pipe leading to the tank from the pipes, installed before the start of the project.  The water company has promised to install the plumbing into the school for free before the start of the project. This guarantees that teachers and students will have continuous access to water in the latrines and sinks.  Nonetheless, the water from the water plant is not potable. It is however safe for common everyday use.

The school, at this time, has water filters, given by USAID, in each of its classrooms for the teachers and students to use. These filters have not been as beneficial as they could be because everyone that attends the school limits the amount of water they drink in a day because they do not want to have to use the bathroom while at school. By constructing latrines with continuous access to running water, teachers and students will not only feel comfortable using the bathrooms, but this will encourage proper hydration while at school. Lastly, the installation of the sinks will further encourage students to practice proper hand-washing techniques. Teachers will help reinforce this practice by holding hand-washing workshops in their respective classes.

Project Impact
This project will directly impact 619 people, including 600 students ranging from the ages of six to twelve years of age and 19 teachers on staff.  This project will also impact visitors and future students and staff.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Giselle Campos

Monitoring and Maintenance
This project will be monitored and maintained by the PCV as well as teachers, parents and community members.

Comments
This project is part of our Let Girls Learn Initiative.

Young women and children are the most vulnerable when dealing with issues related to water and sanitation. For young boys, urinating in public is a common practice. However, for young girls urinating in public is highly frowned upon. For this reason, girls will limit the amount of water they will drink in a day because they are afraid of having to use the bathroom when away from home. This action promotes dehydration, which is very dangerous in a country with a hot tropical climate. IVs in the arms of young women are too commonly seen in Cambodia. While talking with one of the doctors at a local private clinic he said that the most common reason why his female patients come to seek his care are for symptoms related to dehydration. With the implementation of this project, a clean and safe space for young girls to use the bathroom while they are at school will be created. In doing so their health and wellness will increase, while ultimately decreasing absences from school due to symptoms related to dehydration.

PCV Volunteer, Giselle Campos states that, “Ang Metrei Primary School holds a special place in my heart. Every Sunday you can see me with at least 10 kids playing a pick up game of soccer. This has become something special that my kids look forward to at the end every week. My favorite moment had to be when I first met seven-year-old PoPo at the school. She was a very shy girl who would hide away from playing team sports. After countless encouragement, and a little footwork she now dominates our games with poise and ease. Who knows, maybe we will see her in the future SEA Olympics.”

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,100

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$2,100

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PROJECT.
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

Odropi Well Project – Uganda

Odropi Well Project – Uganda

Odropi Well Project – Uganda

Location 

Odropi, Yumbe, Uganda

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, scroll down below.

Community Description

Odropi is adjacent to Yumbe, Uganda. It has 400 households, and 2000 residents, but little potable water, sanitation, or hygiene. At least two residents died of dysentery in September 2019. The community is on the border with South Sudan and 15 miles from Bidi Bidi refugee camp, a camp with 270,000 refugees. The area is deforested and suffers low production and low incomes. 

Problem Addressed 

Description of Problem: Contaminated water, low latrine coverage,  lack of handwashing facilities, one latrine for 247 children and staff, inadequate food availability, malaria, large refugee population that results in deforestation produce a high incidence of diarrheal diseases and death, pneumonia deaths, and malarial disease and deaths. Over-population results in low food production and inadequate income. Severe protein-calorie malnutrition is frequently observed. 

Project Description

Working with the community and collaborating agencies, installing well with a submersible pump and solar power, latrines for the school, handwashing facilities, complete latrine coverage in the community, stopping malaria, increasing coverage of fuel-efficient stoves, and increasing food production or income generation. 

The problems:

  • 64% of clinical visits malaria
  • 30% respiratory infections
  • 3% diarrhea
  • 3% malnutrition

Community Organization: CCEDUC

Project Impact

2,000 people will benefit from the project 

Project Administration

This project will be managed by Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Roesel. The project will be implemented with CCEDUC Child Development, an organization that supports orphans and vulnerable children, vulnerable women, and marginalized communities in Yumbe district and beyond. Work will be done with the community and collaborating agencies. 

Monitoring and Maintenance

A baseline study was done. An evaluation will be conducted with a DHS survey subset questionnaire evaluation. Chris will plan for maintenance of the facilities in on-going community meetings. He will monitor the progress of the work for the month he is on-site, then follow-up with the CCEDUC director, Ajaga Buran Innocent, and his National Pediatrics Hospital collaborator, Dr. Brian Nzano. One of his collaborators is an international community involvement consultant, Dr. Charles Pendley, who will advise him on additional ways to follow up. 

Project Funding

This project is being paid for through fundraising by Chris, together with the Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

If you like this project, please make a general donation to Water Charity so we can continue to support great projects like this one in Uganda.

Comments 

Zakia Ayiko said, 

“I would like to thank our donors for rescuing thousands of lives of people in this community of Odropi Village through the construction of shallow wells and latrines. I am very happy to pump this  clean water which will help us live in healthier lives. Previously, the only source of  water  we had was from the  stream which led to the spread of waterborne diseases. Recently, we lost a woman to typhoid in this village. 

Thank you so much for thinking about our vulnerable communities. 

Be blessed.” 

Success story from Faida Bint  

I wish to thank  individual donors for bringing this water source nearer to us and helping to stop water-born diseases in our community. I am very excited  to pump it. Before we used to buy water, moving about 3 to 4 kms looking for water  and at times fetching water from the open wells.  

Success story from Ajiba Adraki  

Since I was born I did not use a latrine my latrine was bush. And the same for my neighbors. I am very happy that you  have put 100%  latrine coverage in this village. Thanks to our donors for rescuing our life,  my latrine is well  constructed with no  smell and a tippy tap installed.

Let Girls Learn 

Water for Everyone – The Marshall Islands

Water for Everyone – The Marshall Islands

Water for Everyone – The Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) comprises a series of 29 coral atolls and five islands in the Pacific just north of the equator. This tiny republic of some 53,000 inhabitants has major water supply challenges, particularly on the two main islands, Majuro (28,000 people in 970 ha at 6.8 people per household) and Ebeye, (10,000 people in 40 ha at 8.4 people per household).

The Marshall Islands were a Spanish colony until they became a German protectorate in the late 1800s. During WWI, Japan occupied the Marshall Islands. After the war, Germany was forced to renounce all of its Pacific possessions, including the Marshall Islands. In 1920, the League of Nations approved the South Seas Mandate for Japan to take over all former German colonies in the Pacific. During WWII, in 1944, The United States invaded and occupied the islands. Following capture and occupation by the United States, the Marshall Islands, along with several other island groups located in Micronesia, passed formally to the United States in 1947.

From 1946 to 1958, the early years of the Cold War, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons at its Pacific Proving Grounds located in the Marshall Islands. In 1956, the U.S. Atomic Energy commission regarded the Marshall Islands as “by far the most contaminated place in the world.” In 1979, the Government of the Marshall Islands was officially established and the country became self-governing. With climate change, rising sea levels are now threatening the islands. 

RMI’s Water Problems

For the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) as a whole, the supply of natural freshwater is severely limited. The primary source of freshwater is rain which (due to the low elevation of the atolls and islands) soaks directly into the soil and disperses into saltwater which permeates atoll subsoils. In some favorable locations some of the freshwater may accumulate and float on the saltwater below and can be accessed with wells. The major issues and concerns related to overall water management in the RMI are insufficient quantity. Various studies have identified that Majuro’s current 36.5 million gallon reservoir capacity as insufficient and should be doubled in order to help meet growing demand.

The two main water utilities, MWSC on Majuro and Kajur on Ebeye, continue to face great challenges in delivering quality water and services on a consistent and reliable basis. Contamination and pollution are real and present threats to water resources everywhere, including in the water systems, in the groundwater (especially in urban areas), in household catchments, and in coastal areas. For Outer Island households, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has dramatically increased its water quality testing in recent years and has revealed that a high percentage of home water catchments are contaminated, this also is the case in the urban centers. This, in turn, supports the data that show a high and increasing prevalence of water-borne diseases.

Contaminated Water & Health Outcomes

Recent surveys by EPA states high levels of contamination in water catchments across many outer island communities and while methods of treatment are taught at the household level, many are still drinking water straight from the source. As a result, Gastroenteritis is rampant in the Marshall Islands and is the third leading cause of hospital visits for children under the age of 5. Similarly, the RMI has seen outbreaks of Cholera, Typhoid, and Conjunctivitis in the recent past yet little national effort has been made to address and improve water quality in the RMI for both urban and outer island communities.

Water Charity Partners with Kora in Okrane

Water Charity has partnered with and supported Kora in Okrane (KIO), a non-profit charitable organization in the Marshall Islands, which in July 2018 launched an initiative to provide every single household, school, and dispensary in the outer islands with SAWYER Point One Water Filter Systems.

Water Charity is one among a number of partners that have been supporting the KIO’s initiatives including the United Nations Development Program and GEF Program, RMI government, SDG Committee, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce, Environmental Protection Authority, and Women United Together Marshall Islands.

Since 2018, KIO distributed filters to all the outer Islands. Its partnership with Water Charity will help KIO reach the last urban areas in the Marshall Islands: the last remaining areas left to distribute water filtration systems are Majuro and Ebeye.

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

Donate to the WFE Marshal Program.  Picture contains link to donate page.
Passy Chally Village and Health Clinic Solar-Powered Water Project—The Gambia

Passy Chally Village and Health Clinic Solar-Powered Water Project—The Gambia

Passy Chally Village and Health Clinic Solar-Powered Water Project—The Gambia

Houja smiles as she finally gets her bucket full of water–even though the water is un-healthy to drink.

Passy Chally Village, Upper Niumi District, North Bank Region, The Gambia. West Africa; GPS Coordinates: N13°29.983   W016°17.443

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT COMMUNITY

Passy Chally is a community situated about 4 Kilometers south of Ndungu-Kebbeh via the North Bank Trans-Gambia highway. About 1300 people live in the community, which consists of 51 households. The community is made up of the Wollof tribe clan called the ‘’FanaFana’’. They are subsistence farmers growing groundnut, millet and maize. The community is also very popular with traditional Wollof singers called ‘’Guewel.’’ They still practice ancient Wollof traditional singing.

The community has a health post/clinic that serves 8 villages within the Upper Niumi District. It also has a primary school. Although a few decades ago the community didn’t embrace western education, with the availability of a school in the community significant progress has been made in the enrollment of boys and girls. More work needs to be done still, especially in the area of girls’ enrollment.

Astou is in grade 6. She just got home from school and is now heading to the wells to get water with her book in her hand. She is determined to study even though she had to wait in the queue reading her book

DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM

The community is entirely dependent on three open wells that they use for drinking and other household activities. These wells normally run dry within hours. People have to make long queues just to have some amount of water from the unsafe open wells. The rate of diarrhea and other water related illnesses has grown significantly, according to Madam Mariama Jallow, the Senior Nurse in charge of the community health post/clinic. Hardly a day goes by without an infant getting sick from water-borne diseases, she said. At times, the diarrhea cases are dire enough that she has no option but to refer the patients with serious dehydration issues to the Regional Health Center in Kerewan, which is about 30 KM away. Acute dehydration is also common in the community, as well as other illnesses related to the shortage of water and its poor quality, especially in the rainy season–coupled with malaria.

The community’s health post offers services such as Family Planning, HIV/AIDS counselling and services, Tuberculosis treatment, Reproductive and Child Health services, and immunization, among others. The clinic covers 8 villages and the yearly turnout is about 13,000 people. The clinic does not have any water supply. The nurses get to the open wells to fetch a few buckets of water in order to carry out their services. Much of the time the wells run dry and the clinic cannot offer services. Patients often suffer as a result. Nurses have to dip into their own pockets to buy a few bottles of gas to boil or disinfect the water and even equipment for fear of contamination or cross infection among patients. This creates huge delays in their work–endangering all of the clinic’s patients.

Filling up the containers before the wells dry up for the day.

The entire village is suffering from the consumption of water from open wells. Oumie Njai a 48-year-old mother of five said she lacks sleep and feels unhealthy as a result of pulling the rope to fetch water from the deep wells just to help her family have some amount of water to keep them going through the day. “It is so hard,” she said. “I am living but not living,” she said. “Waking up at 3AM to join the queuing at the wells has become the daily norm for me for the past decades.” Fights frequently break out at the wells as a result of argument as to who comes first. This has led to animosity among women of the village, which siphons down to the men and even households having animosity or hatred among themselves. Currently one of the wells is not in use as a result of a goat that fell down in the well and decomposed. The well has since been abandoned. As a result, the community is now using two open wells, which is triggering yet more conflicts, fights, and hardship for the community.

A little boy cries for his mother while she waits in the line to fetch water.

DETAILED PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project will be carried out in two stages:

Stage 1: Since the water table is very low for the area, the highly reputable drilling outfit has advised for the drilling of a 6-inch borehole at the depth of 80 meters. This deep drilling will provide ample flow of clean fresh water all year round. A high quality powerful GRUNDFOS submersible solar pump will be installed along with high quality monocrystalline solar panels fully secured with bolt nuts on a galvanized solar panel frame. A 6-meter solid concrete tower will be built and 6,000-liter triple coated water storage tank will be mounted on the solid concrete tower fully braced with galvanized iron bars and a float switch installed. The borehole drilling outfit will be fully monitoring for quality assurance and effective execution of work with warranty.

Stage 2: This stage involves the laying of pipes from the water tower to five selected water points (taps) in the village and two for the clinic including the toilets, making a total of seven. This will be done by a highly trained and reliable plumbing outfit to be supported by the villagers. It will make water accessible and easier to reach by all villagers even though some areas of the community live within distance. Making water points accessible within meters will be a huge advantage. The pressure pipes and plumbing materials will be of high-quality material considering the harsh environmental condition around that area, with temperatures reaching 42 degrees Celsius in the dry season, and harsh winds in the rainy season, which requires the water tower to be made of solid concrete.

Ancha is in 3rd grade; she comes to fetch water from the open well right after coming from school.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

The community will do all manual works including digging of trenches for pipe laying. They will also provide Gravel, sand, cement, iron rods and transportation as their contribution towards the project. Any other needed manual labor will also be provided by the community. They will also host and feed workers.

WATER CHARITY FUNDS

Will be used to pay for materials and skilled labor.

MONITORING AND MAINTENANCE

 A 6-member water management committee has been set up which consist of serious and dedicated people chosen by the villagers in a meeting held at the village Bantaba (village square). The selection of the committee members was gender balanced. Mrs. Amie Samba was made head of the water management committee while Mr. ModouTouray was made the assistant head. Mrs. SaffieTouray was made the treasurer and Mr. OusmanNjai was made the leading auditor, to be assisted by two other people. Training will be conducted for them on the community management model techniques. Further training workshop will be conducted for them after the completion of the project, to sensitize them on the importance of taking good care of the taps and the entire water system to maintain durability. The selected water committee members will be visiting taps regularly on every street to check if every tap is working properly. It was strongly agreed at the same meeting that Every month, each household head will pay a token and a bank account will be opened by the village water committee, with three mandatory signatories, where the collected amount will be saved for future maintenance and repair. The committee will be transparent and audited in their financial transactions, reporting monthly to the villagers at the Bantaba (village square) to be coordinated by the Alkalo (Village head). Through this, the community will have a sense of ownership and responsibility and also ensure sustainability of the project.

Three people have been identified to be in charge, monitor and control the solar powered water borehole system after completion of project, instead of everyone touching things and thinking they have the know-how with regards to the water system. As in most places at times this brings about serious breakdown in the water system. The borehole drilling outfit have offered to train these three identified persons on the usage of the water system and how to report to them if there is any fault.

Water Charity Program Manager (Ebrima Marong) will visit the community regularly to check whether the system is working accordingly and also check if the water management committee is working effectively, and to offer advice.

The Senior Nurse in charge of the clinic has assured of high-quality control of the taps at the clinic after the completion of the project. She is confident that this will increase the service delivery at the clinic and ensure safe and secure working atmosphere for them and the patients.

LET GIRLS LEARN

Girls in the community are feeling the heavy burden of water collection, that’s according to the head teacher of Passy Chally Basic school. The school has significant number of absenteeism especially among school going girls. The availability of this project will immensely boost girls’ enrollment at the school since most of the girls in the community aren’t attending school. Girls are mostly used for water collection or other household works related to water.

PROJECT COST: $10,200

Passy Chally Village and Health Clinic are ecstatic with their new water system!
Conclusion Of Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project – Mexico

Conclusion Of Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project – Mexico

Conclusion Of Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project – Mexico

Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project Final Report

It is the dry season in the Sierra Madre, the time when people suffer the hardships caused by the extreme scarcity of water.  Nevertheless, for the first time, the people in Barrio Tierra Linda are feeling relieved to know that they now have enough water for their household needs this year and on into the future.

Their project consisted of connecting 8 kilometers of hose to a pristine, perineal creek deep in the old growth forest above the City of Motozintla.  We provided 5.5 kilometers of hose to the members of the water committee.  We also negotiated a reduced rate from our supplier for the remaining amount of hose needed, obtaining a substantial savings for them. This made the investment by each family affordable.  We delivered the large rolls of hose to three locations to make it easier to carry it the long distances into different points along the 8 kilometer track in the mountains.

The uninhabited and steep slopes have patches of old growth forest, not easy terrain to work in.  When the first group went to find the best path for the hose to follow, they got lost.  After a couple of hours they had to drop down into the valley to follow the river in order to get back to town.

Once we delivered the hose and other materials, the men got to work right away.  They were motivated to complete the work in time to prevent their families from suffering during the dry months. Different teams of men worked on alternating days according to a well-coordinated schedule. They would set out in the pre-dawn darkness to walk the long distance to where they were to work.

The first week a large group worked for several days to clear the dense vegetation to open the path for the hose. Teams continued to work for weeks, enduring rain and strong winds since the weather has become erratic in recent years.  Though mornings were cold, January brought relief from the unseasonable rains.  The final step was to bury the hose to protect it from the elements.

The hard work has paid off.  They have successfully connected the new water line carrying clean water to their communal tank.  We are pleased that the experience of having collaborated for the benefit of all the families has given them the pride of accomplishment and has deepened friendships among neighbors.

On behalf of the residents of Barrio Tierra Linda, we extend their sincere gratitude to the kind sponsors of this project and to Water Charity.  We at the Sexto Sol Center thank Water Charity for the continued opportunity to bring relief to thousands of people in the Sierra Madre over the years.

This project has been completed under our longstanding and extremely successful Sierra Madre Water Program – Mexico & Guatemala. To see the original project CLICK HERE! This project was funded by Michael and Carla Boyle. Their generous support has made the program in Chiapas a true success.

Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project – Mexico

Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project – Mexico

Barrio Tierra Linda Water Project – Mexico

Barrio Tierra Linda Meeting

Location: Motozintla, Chiapas, Mexico

Description of the Community: Tierra Linda, Beautiful Place, is the name the residents gave to their
neighborhood on the outskirts of the mountain town of Motozintla in Chiapas, Mexico. Their homes are
located on the ridge rising steeply from the town’s central plaza until it reaches the continental divide of
the Sierra Madre Mountains. Over 15 years ago, these families came down from higher elevation where
the cold and fog made life pretty miserable, especially for those raising small children. They came to
enjoy a better quality of life at the lower elevation where the sun shines most of the time and schools
are within walking distance. There are 30 families in the water association with a total of 158 people.

Some of the families maintain large cornfields in the higher elevations on their ancestral lands. There they produce a corn harvest during the rainy season to provide the staple food that will sustain their families. The only commerce in the neighborhood is tied to the highway that passes through. There is a small store, a little stand that sells snacks, and a pleasant café owned by the beloved science teacher from town, all catering to motorists who pass through. One family sells inexpensive pine furniture. Another family makes a living by fixing flat tires when an occasional traveler on the highway falls into bad luck. One man has a low paying job for the city turning the valves to ration the municipal water to the various parts of the city below. Most households have to find a way to get by without a stable income. Homes are very modest and unexpected situations like illness can wipe out all their resources.

There are several multi-generational households. For example, the groundskeeper at Sexto Sol’s
permaculture demonstration project is raising his family while caring for a frail parent and his widowed
sister and her daughters whose young children call him Papá. He and his wife did not finish elementary
school but two of their three children are now attending college on scholarships while working to meet
expenses. They will become the first professionals in a large extended family of original inhabitants of
this part of the Sierra Madre.

Problem to be addressed: Once the people started building houses, they organized to create the Tierra
Linda water association. They collaborated to build their water system, drawing water from the river
several kilometers away. They built a stone tank to hold the water for distribution to their homes. That
system is still in good condition.

However, over the years the supply of water has diminished significantly due to the new, emerging
pattern of irregular rainfall in recent years and also because more people from the drought stricken
region are now drawing water from the same river. Demand for water has increased in Barrio Tierra
Linda as more families have built homes in the neighborhood and their grown children are now raising
families of their own. During the dry season the water that they rely on for all domestic uses dries up
for very long periods.

The community has secured the rights to a second source of good quality water as a necessary step to
assure that there will be enough water for everyone. They have been granted the exclusive rights to use
it by the local peasant authority, the Ejido of Motozintla, a significant win for them. The creek is located
at a good elevation so it will provide excellent water pressure for a gravity-fed system. The challenge is
that it is 8.6 kilometers away so they will have to establish a second water line in rugged terrain through
old growth forest. They have a communal fund for buying hose but it is beyond their reach to buy the
entire amount needed. They ask for assistance to purchase 5.5 kilometers of hose. This will put them
over the top with what they need to move ahead with their project so that all households will finally
have water security.

Description of the Project

The project will consist of installing 1.5 inch diameter hose and connecting it to the existing hose that
supplies their water tank. Each joint will be connected with good quality connectors and each end
secured with metal rings to prevent water pressure from disconnecting the joints. They will build a
small structure to house the valves that they will use to regulate the amount of water from each hose to
manage changes in the supply given seasonal variations.

While we will provide them 56 rolls (5.5 kilometers) of 1 ½ inch hose, we will also be able to negotiate
on their behalf with our supplier so that they can enjoy the discount the Sexto Sol receives for the
purchase of the other hose that they will need to finish the work. This will mean a significant savings
for each family.

The men have already begun opening up the pathway for the hose by clearing brush and debris. While
it is a lot of work on such a long track, it follows the kind of terrain that they have farmed for
generations. By working together, the men will be able to install and bury the hose “in no time” they
say. We estimate it will take about 4 weeks to complete depending on the weather and when they can
do the work given other commitments.

Project Impact

The water hose will bring clean water from a pristine creek that is far from any dwellings. This will
alleviate the extreme scarcity that the people have suffered during the six months or more of the dry
season. It will provide water for all domestic uses including drinking and watering small food gardens.

Project Administration

The project for the Barrio Tierra Linda water association will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.
She is the Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning nonprofit
that has been working in the region since had 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 over 20 communities, improving the lives of more than 10,000
people.

Monitoring and Maintenance

The members of the Water Association are well organized and committed to doing all that it will take to
build the water system and to keeping it maintained as has been their established routine. Each year a
new member is elected to direct the association. The Patronato del Agua is charged with organizing the
men and youth from each household to collaborate to maintain the system. Should any problems arise in
the future, the members would share the costs of any needed repairs. The hose is guaranteed by the
manufacturer to last more than 15 years.

This project has been successfully completed.  To see the conclusion report, CLICK HERE.

This project has been funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle of Foster, WV.

Njie-Kunda-Anchored 6-village Well Rehabilitation Tour—The Gambia

Njie-Kunda-Anchored 6-village Well Rehabilitation Tour—The Gambia

Njie-Kunda-Anchored 6-village Well Rehabilitation Tour—The Gambia

SIX VILLAGES: Njie Kunda, Mutabbeh, Sareh-Molloh, Tumanni-Fatty, Taimantu Sinchu-kulairu, Sareh Batchi

Location of Project Njie Kunda, Central River Region, Fulladu West, The Gambia

Description of Project Community

Located just south of the Gambian River and off of the South Bank Road, this region of seven villages is composed primarily of subsistence farmers. Each small rural village is connected to one another by craggy dirt roads. Njie Kunda is a community of 166 people. Mutabbeh is a community of 460 people. Sareh-Molloh is a community of 99 people. Tumanni-Fatty is a community of 35 people. Taimantu Sinchu-kulairu is a community of 32 people. Sareh Batchi is a community of 401 people.

Description of Problem

The village of Njie Kunda has one well with a broken hand pump in need of repair. The Njie Kunda school well was dug too shallow so during the dry season the lack of water caused the pump’s cylinder to blow. A contractor must dig the borehole 3 meters deeper, replace the cylinder, replace the floater, and run a plumbing line to the school garden. Mutabbeh has two wells. One does not function because of a broken hand pump. The community of Sareh Molloh’s one well is contaminated. They need a new borehole and a new hand pump. The community of Tumanni-Fatty has two wells. One can remain open for non-drinking purposes. The second well needs a new hand pump. Taimantu Sinchu-kulairu has two wells, one with a broken hand pump. Sareh Batchi has one well with a broken hand pump.

Broken well in Njie Kunda

Detailed Project Description

For Sareh Molloh, the project will begin with the drilling of a 4.5-meter borehole. At the Njie Kunda school, the project will begin with deepening the borehole. For Sareh Molloh, the contractor will supply and install the Pedal Star water tank and conversion head. At the Njie Kunda school, the contractor will replace the cylinder in the pump and the floater in the water tank. The remaining work will include dismantling broken systems and installing new German PB Mark II hand pumps. In greater detail, after dismantling the broken system, when applicable, the contractor will thereafter construct a new foundation and concrete cover for the pump. The contractor will go on to supply and fix standard stainless steel pipes and supply and fix stainless steel rod with a new discharge valve. The contractor will then supply and fix the piping with non-corrosive check nuts and replace all rod couplings with new stainless steel rod couplings. The contractor will supply and fix the MPE centralizers and a 17-mm chain to the lifting bar. After reconnection, the contractor will place lubricating and preservative gel in between the nuts and couplings. At the Njie Kunda school, the contractor will run a line with a tap from the borehole to the garden.

Number of People Affected

1405 people in two towns and four remote rural villages

Let Girls Learn

This project will have a great impact in reducing the workload for girls traveling long distances from their village to a neighboring village to fetch water daily before they go to school in the morning. If the community has access to enough clean water in their own village it will relieve the burden on girls as they will no longer have to travel each morning for water. This will also enable mothers to allow their daughters to go to school early in the morning without engaging them in other domestic chores. A case study was conducted recently that revealed the mass failure of girls in Gambian schools are caused by parents engaging them in housework before and after they go school. This severely limits their time to do their homework or other academic studies at home. In Gambian society, the pressure of daily domestic work always falls on the female children. This project will relieve that burden.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Upon completion of the project, the Working Water Gambia project coordinator Kebba Sanyang will work with community leaders and the water management committee of the six villages to ensure that proper mechanisms are in place for the sustainability of the water system. The contractor has offered to train the villagers on the proper use of hand pumps as well as the need to safeguard the system. This will help the community take good care of the hand pump so that it will maintain its durability. The selected water committee members will be inspecting the hand pump routinely to check if it is working properly. A mechanism will be created in which community contributions will be collected and saved for future minor maintenance. Working Water Gambia team will be in routine contact with the water management committee to ensure everything is functioning optimally and sustainably.

Project Conclusion

In Sareh Molloh, a 4.5-meter borehole was drilled and the contractor supplied and installed the Pedal Star water tank and conversion head. At the Njie Kunda school, the borehole was deepened. In the remaining four villages, the broken systems were dismantled and new German PB Mark II hand pumps were installed.

Work being done in Taimantu Sinchu-kulairu
Looking at the work done in Sare Batchi
Using the new hand pump in Mutabbeh
Another girl fetching water in Mutabbeh