Conclusion Of Restoration and Protection of Bofedales Project – Peru

Conclusion Of Restoration and Protection of Bofedales Project – Peru

Conclusion Of Restoration and Protection of Bofedales Project – Peru

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and The Chinjaya Foundation. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE and to read a progress report on this project, CLICK HERE.

Preliminary Report

The second phase of the Restoration and Protection of Bofedales Project began in August 2022 with activities to measure baseline data during the peak of the dry season in Peru, to complement the baseline data previously measured during the rainy season. The metrics that were measured included plant mass and water flow rates in each bofedal.

After the assessment of baseline data was completed, community members worked with the project team to identify strategies to improve water supplies and increase plant mass in their bofedales. The following tables provide a summary of the activities communities identified to improve water supplies:

Many of these activities required communities to have the proper tools, so a request to modify to the budget was submitted and approved by Water Charity on October 14, 2022. The changes to the budget allowed us to take surplus funds previously budgeted for grass seeds and fencing to be used for the purchase of “tool libraries” for each community. The communities manage these tools and community members can use them to complete the above project activities. The tools will remain in the communities so that they can continue to maintain their landscapes. Project beneficiaries have been focusing their efforts to implement the strategies they identified to improve water supplies and much progress has been made. One activity to note is the construction of geomembrane water wells. This was a strategy identified for communities that have very scarce water supplies and sandy soils. The geomembrane water wells are basically manmade open reservoirs lined with geomembranes. The geomembranes prevent water loss that was occurring due to sandy soil so that project beneficiaries can capture water and direct it to their bofedales. Project beneficiaries are using their own funds to purchase supplies for geomembranes because this was not previously included in the project, however, the project team is able to provide technical support for the construction of the reservoirs.

The following table provides a summary of the activities communities identified to improve plant mass in their bofedales:

Some of the activities focused on improving plant mass have been delayed due to the current political unrest in Peru. Protests and curfews have significantly impacted transportation, especially in Puno where this project is located. We expect to deliver grass seeds and fencing to all communities that have not yet received these supplies by the end of February 2023. Once communities have all the necessary supplies, they will be able to complete any pending activities they identified to improve plant mass and water supplies. Each project beneficiary is working to complete their activities by the end of March 2023. The contracted engineer for this project is expected to complete the first evaluation of the project by the end of May 2023.

In addition to the political unrest in Peru, it is also important to note that the Andes are facing one of the most severe droughts that the region has seen in years. This project aims to prepare communities to face droughts and climate changes, but it was not expected that this type of drought would affect the area so soon. This may affect the expected outcomes of the project, but nevertheless, this project is being implemented at a crucial time when communities are facing a significant decrease in water supplies and project activities are helping to combat the effects of the drought.

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. 


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:

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Summary of FINAL ROUND 3)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Summary of FINAL ROUND 3)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Summary of FINAL ROUND 3)

This project has been completed. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE. To read the SUMMARY OF ROUND 2, CLICK HERE.


Five additional clinic and community access borehole wells were completed during this final phase, all in the Sotouboua district of the Centrale Region, for a total of (13) clinics in 2022 and (15) in 2018.  As with all the prior phases, clinic sites were selected from a list provided by the regional Ministry of Health (and modified by field assessment), implemented by the same local Togolese hydraulic firm (Multi-Ingénieurs Conseil) and supported by the regional Department of Hydraulics (Ministry of Rural Water and Sanitation). Assuming all households in the vicinity utilize the potable water source at the clinic, on average 3,500 more community members will benefit from the potable water provided at the new borehole wells, in addition to several thousand more benefiting as patients, particularly pregnant and birthing women and their relatives. Each of the (13) new sites are now equipped with lab-verified potable water from deep borehole wells ranging in depth from 52 to 145 meters, gravity-fed systems providing running water into the buildings, replacement/repair of indoor plumbing as needed, functioning faucets, water lines to some of the staff housing (paid by the clinic), a faucet outside the clinic for patient relative use and in all sites but one, community faucets on the water tower. The borehole water yields range from 2,150-7,200 liters/hr (with several in Rounds 1 and 2 exceeding 10,000 l/hr) indicating there is ample groundwater to supply all of these villages well into the future. The importance of deep borehole wells cannot be overstated as the majority of water sources in Togo in general are either unfiltered surface water or shallow 3-6 meter deep hand-dug wells where water infiltrates from the surface thereby collecting all of the waste and bacterial content from the land surface or moves laterally in the shallow subsurface from polluted streams or from latrines, buried waste dumps into these household water sources. All of the Water Charity borehole data from the 2018 to the current projects, have been incorporated into the national groundwater database, allowing for the communities served through this rural water project to be supplied with ample potable water well into the future if there are funds allocated to extend the current plumbing infrastructure. Most NGO well installations are implemented without the knowledge or participation of the regional government water agencies thus resulting in poor installation, a lack of follow-up and missed opportunities for augmenting local water supply.  Each clinic was provided with a site-specific operation and maintenance manual during the official opening. As with the two earlier phases and those from 2018, the after-birth systems (delineated below with an “*”) includes a simple bucket-flush (except for those clinics with pre-existing flush basin) vessel for after-birth discharge, a dedicated cement-lined septic tank, floor and birthing table drains and functioning indoor plumbing. This may be one of the most important contributions to the clinics themselves, as hygienic disposal of blood and tissue protects the staff and patients against blood-borne diseases, like Ebola. Not to mention, the privacy and hygienic conditions for both the midwife, patient, and relatives. Indoor plumbing of potable water allows the clinic staff and the patient community to benefit from microbial-free water and proper cleaning, anti-septic handwashing and cleaning of surfaces and laboratory equipment. The benefits of bacteria-free water are known the world over. Each borehole well was sampled once drilling was completed and analyzed at the regional government laboratory for microbial and inorganic constituents and the results compare to WHO standards. All (28) borehole wells completed in 2018 and 2022 meet or exceed the WHO standards. The original copies of the lab reports were given to each clinic head. Copies have been provided in all reports submitted by the program lead to Water Charity along with geologic borehole cross sections. While the world, in general, appears eager to “go solar”, the reality in Togo is there is a lack of trained technicians coupled to the very poor quality of imported solar panels.  With the exception of very simple arrays designed to light a few light bulbs in the clinics, non-functioning solar panels and by extension malfunctioning solar-powered water pumps are in evidence throughout the region.

SITE NAME OF RURAL CLINIC : Sotouboua Prefecture

To see related videos to this project. Click Here.


Balanka is situated in the district of Tchamba near the Benin border. Its 10,700 inhabitants are predominantly Muslim of the Anii ethnic group. While a trading center, those not involved directly in commerce are subsistence farmers. The government installed a municipal water system in 2017, which was to provide the clinic with running water however the poor quality infrastructure (broken pipes, poor water pressure and quality) left the clinic and maternity building without running water.  The original clinic is of the same manner as most of the project sites; two buildings were built in 1994 of banco brick with an unpotable, open-well water source. In 2017, a new modern maternity building was built by a Togolese member of the community living in France, financed by both his association and his in-laws. Completed in 2018, this modern birthing center is equipped with an ultra-sound machine and several flush toilets and showers, but lacked running water. The only water source was the open well situated between the two buildings. The clinic at Balanka was not on the Ministry of Health list as a center needing water, rather the head midwife who had benefitted from Water Charity’s borehole program in 2018, mentioned the lack of water and the need for a borehole water system, as the sole water source for both the maternity center and clinic was the open well. Given the substantial resources already allocated to build the maternity center (which sees on average 40 births per month), Water Charity added Balanka to the project list with some assistance from the donors in France. There is electric power in Balanka. The borehole yielded 3,200 liters/hr at a depth of 90 meters, sufficient for equipping the two buildings and for the needs of the neighboring households. The cement water tower is higher than at the other sites given the extensive plumbing needed in the maternity center. Given the rather complex plumbing in the maternity building (i.e. numerous toilets and showers), there will be a need for frequent maintenance and upkeep.


After the initial meeting in March, 2022 with members of the hydraulic team (in front holding notebooks), clinic staff and members of the community

Affossala, located in the Tchamba prefecture, is a large village of 10,500 inhabitants comprised of Bagué, the original inhabitants, Kabyé, Losso, Kotikoli, Moba and Peuhl (Fulani), both nomadic and sedentary. All major religions are present, including “les hommes libres” i.e. free men! According to the head nurse!  Affossala is divided into (10) neighborhoods, each with their own head. Currently, the village has 4/6 functioning manual borehole wells. The clinic was built in 2005 by Plan International, a typical six-room cement-brick building with plumbing and no water source outside of the non-potable open well. Several years later the well was retrofitted with a metal water tower, a metal water tank, and a manual pump though with the same intermittent open water source. Prior to the current project, the clinic staff utilized a neighboring water source. Affossala has a municipal water project in development and was initially not slated to be included in the present project. However, after several weeks of bantering about with various village and government officials on why the village’s only health center was not prioritized for access to this “public” water system, the clinic head and the regional hydraulic director made a successful push for an independent water source. Municipal water systems in Togo are known for frequent malfunctions, sometimes for months at a time. At the time of drilling, a municipal waterline was in place in front of the clinic implying the neighborhood would receive community water. Early meetings with the community indicated there was little interest in assisting the clinic with the purchase of petrol for the generator or repairs. Given this and the presence of borehole wells nearby, the Affossala clinic was not equipped with community faucets on the water tower. Drilling down to a depth of 92 meters with a water yield of 2,150 liters/hr assures both potability and a long-lasting water source. The water system is the sole use of and responsibility of the clinic staff and patients. The pump is operated by a gas-powered generator. Affossala may be electrified in the coming year at which time the water pump can be converted to run-on electricity.

Opening day


The seat of the Canton, Kazaboua is comprised of (8) villages. The clinic was built in 2009 by an Arab NGO with the usual open-well water source. At the time of the initial visit, there were no borehole wells in the village of 6,500 inhabitants. As with the other villages, the population if of mixed ethnicity and religion, and subsistence farming (maize, yam, peanuts, soya and sorghum) the primary occupation with household livestock. The household are both dispersed i.e. homes adjacent to fields or grouped together. During the cultivation season (May-September) the number of people accessing the clinic well increases. There are few latrines in the village and none at the clinic. The clinic, with the assistance of the village, in 2019, installed a submersible pump to install running water into the building in addition to an after-birth discharge system. The clinic was listed as having water and was omitted from the list of planned projects until a visit indicated the source of water inside the clinic was from the non-potable open source well. There is electric power in the village. The borehole pump test yielded a high volume of water (6,700 l/hr) at a depth of 60 meters, sufficient to allow for an expansion of community access points in the future.


Fazao clinic with head nurse and pharmacist

Fazao, one of the most scenic villages, is situated next to a large natural reserve along the foothills of the Fazao mountains. The original settlement in this region of Sotouboua, Fazao is a Muslim community of cultivators and herders. Predominantly members of the Kotokoli and Tem ethnic groups (unusual in an area comprised mostly of Christian and animist Kabyé), the village has benefited from assistance from some of its members in Europe, part of the so-called “ Diaspora”. However, once again, the lack of oversight and poorly trained personnel resulted in failed water projects throughout the village. The clinic was built in 1992 and remodeled in 2017 with funds from the diaspora. There are (6) borehole wells in Fazao though currently, only three are working. Until very recently, there were no residential clinic staff in Fazao. As a result, the patient attendance is very low compared to other clinics however with the installment of a full-time nurse and midwife assistant, the number of patients seen at the clinic are rising. The community and its leaders are more motivated than many other project sites in addition to the community members willing to pay for water, an important element for the clinic as there is currently no electric power in Fazao thus requiring the purchase of diesel to run the pump generator. There are newly installed power poles in Fazao implying the village will be connected to the power grid sometime soon.  There are no lights in the clinic as the existing solar panels are no longer functioning. Nighttime Patient care and births are illuminated with cell phones. The borehole well yielded 5,300 liters/hr at a depth of 90 meters, far above the current clinic needs, however, the water shortage in the surrounding households and in the village, in general, will be adequately met now and into the foreseeable future as the population of Fazao increases.


Melamboua is on the road to Fazao, one of the project sites in the district of Sotoubou. Another old clinic was built in 1990 by the NGO Plan International. A typical 6-room brick building without electricity or potable water, serving a population of 5,500 inhabitants scattered about (14) villages. The existing water source is the standard shallow open well used by the nearby households. In 2016, according to a plaque on the metal tower, the Red Cross added the water tower, a hand crank pump, and plumbing into the building however no changes in the water source, which remained non-potable. The entire apparatus ceased functioning within the year. The village is comprised predominantly of Kabyé ethnic group however there are both nomadic and sedentary Fulani. A high water yield of 7,200 liters/hr was reached at 60 meters, sufficient to supply the community with potable water for several years to come assuming the water system is well maintained. While the clinic did not have electric power at the start of the project, the regional Ministry of Health director accelerated the positioning of an electric meter and within a few weeks of the center had electricity and the water pump was hooked up accordingly.

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Round 2)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Round 2)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program, Centrale Region, Togo (Round 2)

April 30-July 8, 2022 : May 1 contract signed with the contracting firm, Multi-Inginéurs Conseils). The official opening was July 6-8. Due to a delay in receiving the funding for Round 3 (June 17) the team was occupied with starting the geophysics and drilling for Round 3 in addition to other non-WC work to which MCI was obliged. In addition, one of the clinics, Sessaro, whose center was recently electrified, was waiting for the power company to increase the wattage to accommodate the submersible pump and water distribution demands (rectified June 25). To read about the SUMMARY OF ROUND 1, CLICK HERE. This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

SITE NAME OF RURAL CLINIC : Sotouboua Prefecture

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SOTOUBOUA , one of five prefectures (districts) in the Centrale Region, is situated south of Sokodé along the National Highway (the N1). A verdant region with good soil, abundant rain and dispersed subsistence farming communities (households living adjacent to their lands rather than congregated in the village center). The health centers (USP) are usually located outside of the village center hence limiting the number of households directly benefitting from the clinic well. The dominant ethnic group is the Kabye, originally from the Kara region to the north and after the political turmoil of 1992, were forced from Plateau Region to the south. Most are animists with some Christians and lesser Muslims however most appears to be a blend of animist-flavored Christianity. All of these sites are remote though several have been since serviced with electric power and let us not forget the cell towers which seem to have sprouted since 2018. So while there is little potable water, along with a plethora of other problems including the constant absence of pump repair, everyone has a phone and money for mobile data!! While the work follows the need outlined by the regional ministry of Health, most of the project sites were in fact not the list and those that were did not have potable water. The regional heads has been advised to update the list to conform to reality on the ground, for whoever follows Water Charity.


Clinic head (known as the “major”) and the midwife. This is a very small clinic compared to the others, without any indoor plumbing. No ceiling, just a metal roof. One step up from what is known as a health “hut” which is the lowest rung of community health care. Hence the reason for equipping this center with a solar system which normally would have been too expensive however a borehole well was drilled in 2015 by the government hydraulic department thus allowing the project to forego  another borehole (see video of functioning borehole with manual pump)

Population of 3,000 with an additional 2,000 people living within the area serviced by the clinic. Mixed ethnic groups, muslims and animists. The clinic is very small, built-in 1999 without potable water. No ceiling, simply a metal roof and no prior plumbing. A borehole well was drilled in 2015 though most of the community water needs ae met at the nearby Mono river. Only two borehole wells exist in the village. Situated about 20 km from the district seat at Sessaro. No electricity in the village. Decided on a solar power system as a trial site given the remoteness of the village to access to generator parts and fuel. Village remote. We installed our first solar pump system as we did not have to drill a new borehole as the existing well produces a sufficient yield 0f 12,000 l/hr for both community use and the clinic. Manual pump was left in place to serve the community and a submersible pump added at depth for supplying water to the water tower for clinic and patient use.


Work Completed: May 09th, 2022



A district seat, Sessaro has a population of approximately 5,500, though the population served by the clinic is 12,500 comprised of (17) villages at a distance up to 5 km from the clinic. The USP clinic is the only official health center in Sessaro. The village is made up of mainly Kabye, Kotokoli, Lamba and Losso with the majority practicing animism and to a lesser extent, Islam. The clinic is situated in a less dense part of the village with roughly 60 neighboring households and a school nearby, both groups accessing the borehole clinic well which was drilled by the government hydraulic agency. Built-in 1998, a new maternity building was added in 2003 and later the clinic was renovated in 2021 with clinic funds, including housing for the head nurse and a covered waiting area for community vaccinations and meetings. Usually, the community is required to finance any repairs or renovations. However, at Sessaro, community participation has been negligible. There are only (4) borehole wells with manual pumps in the village (one nonfunctional). The other water sources are the typical shallow, nonpotable open wells found in many households and at community points. The clinic received electric power in 2016.


Work Completed: May 07, 2022

KAZA Prefecture OF Sotouboua

The clinic serves an outlying population of 6,000. Built in 1992 by the state, the water source was a rain-catchment cistern followed by an open well. A borehole well was drilled in 2005 and outfitted with a hand pump (intermittently operational). No electric power. A community of subsistence farmers, mainly Kabye, Kotokoli with seasonal Fulani. One of the more motivated communities insofar as providing the financial means to repair the building (2005), staff housing (2017 and currently a new storage room. This involvement indicates the community will most probably assist in maintaining the new well and water system in proper working order.


Work Completed: May 07, 2022

TEMBIO CLINIC Prefecture OF Sotouboua

Built-in 1999 and scarcely touched since. The population of 3,500 and as with all of the villages save a few, the density of households near the clinic is sparse. Power in the village. Same water source as previously described. Predominantly animists. Subsistence cultivators. Probably the worst clinic insofar as the condition of the building. Rotting ceilings with bat poop and urine odors. Leaky metal roof, lacking screens on windows. Obviously little motivation on the part of the community at least since its construction in 1999, but a helluva high producing borehole (12,000 l/hr)! A meeting with the head Chief while full of promises for their share of labor, sand, and gravel, amounted to nothing.


Work Completed: May 06, 2022



Finished in 2018 as part of the initial (15) rural community and clinic water projects. As part of a continuing follow-up, the clinic was visited 4/26/2022. Solao has made significant improvements since 2018, using its funds to repair doors and windows, patch and paint walls, new beds, and a new veranda. The diesel generators purchased in 2018 were of poor quality.

Solao was a worthy candidate to receive a new European-made generator in addition to borehole wellhead protection as the borehole well was inadequately sealed in 2018.

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Finished in 2018 as part of the initial (15) rural community and clinic water projects. As part of a continuing follow-up, the clinic was visited on 4/11/2022. Visibly a problem with the borehole well as seen by the presence of red mud on the water tank and the head of the clinic describing sedimentation in tank (since 12/2019). As this appeared to be a problem with the borehole itself, the borehole was flushed on 6/4/2022. In addition, the water filter was moved to a lower position on the water tower for ease of access, and the borehole opening was properly closed and encased in a cement box (the latter not done in 2018 leading to debris inside the open borehole).

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Finished in 2018 as part of the initial (15) rural community and clinic water projects. As part of a continuing follow-up, the clinic was visited on 4/28/2022. Samai clinic never received the benefit of an official closing as the Director of Hydraulics and Rural Water ( a government agency, part of the Ministry of Water) never visited the site nor was there any of the promised follow-up. As a result, Samai, the last clinic (and the most remote from Sokodé) was poorly completed. Problems with the indoor plumbing and the community participation was evident during the informal 2019 visit (not part of a funded program). The 2022 project rectified the (ancient) plumbing problems on 6/6/22  (which would have been a part of the overall water system work) by replacing corroded pipes and faucets, in addition to the same well-head protection as Solao and Kemeni clinics.

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

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program,  Centrale region, TOGO (Round 1)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program,  Centrale region, TOGO (Round 1)

Rural Community and Clinic Water Program,  Centrale region, TOGO (Round 1)

April 4 – May 13, 2022 Funding for Round 1 was received on 3/29/22. Site visits began shortly after arriving in Sokode – on 3/22. April 4 was the signing of the contract with the contracting firm, Multi-Ingineurs Conseils. To read about the SUMMARY OF ROUND 2, CLICK HERE. This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

SITE NAME OF RURAL CLINIC : Tchouadjo Prefecture

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The village of Sada II is another predominantly farming community of several ethnic groups (Kabye, Lossi, Moba) comprising Muslims, Christians and Animists. The farming households are scattered often a km or so from each other adjacent to the family fields.  The clinic, built in 1991,  serves a population of some 4,500 people. This is a relatively remote area (although there is a new cell phone tower!) without electricity. The clinic powers a few lightbulbs and a refrigerator with solar panels. Prior to this project, the water source for the clinic was a manual borehole well a km from the clinic. The village overall lacks year-round water as most of the supply comes from the shallow open wells found in households and some communal locations. This is clearly one of those villages off of the NGO radar as there appears to have been no assistance of any form. The regional Ministry of Health in Sokodé in 2011 registered Sada as a public health clinic though attendance is relatively low given the population. The borehole drilled by Water Charity yielded a very high yield, far beyond the current or even near-future needs of the community. Were the households closer, the project might have considered running water lines out into the community however the low density of households did not warrant the expense. Borehole wells of this productivity are highlighted by the government department of Hydraulics to be later exploited once the need warrants.

Work accomplished: geophysics; a 73 m borehole with a 15,000 l /hr yield and equipped with a submersible pump; a 6 m water tower, plumbing into the clinic; replacement of non-functioning indoor plumbing, a new tiled birthing bed, an afterbirth discharge system and cement-lined septic tank.

Work Completed: May 2, 2022


Midwife and child, taken in 2018, during the first site visit

The clinic was built in 2005 by Plan International in the manner typical to most of the project clinics (6-room cement-block building without potable or yearlong water (rather equipped with an open shallow well with a hand crank pump to a metal water tank). Indoor plumbing was installed at the time of construction however the pump ceased to function within the first year. The source of potable water was a borehole well several kilometers from the center. Prior to 2022, the clinic operated without power, the all too common, birth by flashlight method.  In 2020 solar panels installed for two light bulbs and a refrigerator. The current project hooked the clinic to a recently installed power line. The clinic is located outside of a village in an administrative area next to a cluster of schools. Most of the households numbering several thousand do not live within close proximity of the clinic so public use of the clinic well will be minimal with the exception of the nearby schools. The region is known for water scarcity where deep borehole drilling has often resulted in dry holes. The current project drilled to a depth of 145 meters and yielded enough water for the clinic’s needs. The population of Bowounda are predominantly Muslim subsistence cultivators of the Kotokoli ethnic group.

Work accomplished: geophysics; a 145m borehole with a 1,200 l /hr yield and equipped with a submersible pump; a reinforced pre-existing 4.5 m metal water tower with a 2,000-liter polytank, plumbing into the clinic; replacement of non-functioning indoor plumbing, an afterbirth discharge system and cement-lined septic tank.

Work completed: May 5, 2022.

The head midwife in the newly renovated birthing room. She gave a heartfelt testimony recorded on video as to the how the presence of running water, an afterbirth disposal system and drains has allowed both the staff and the birthing woman to give birth in both privacy and hygienic conditions. Pre-project, the midwife (here as well as at all clinics without these improvements) had to manually collect the waste in a basin and dispose of the afterbirth in a pit out-of-doors (thus exposing the midwife to the risk of blood-borne disease). In the absence of indoor plumbing, the woman’s relatives were responsible for bringing water (unpotable open well water) for both consumption and bathing.


New clinic (U.S.P) built in 2018 with government funding, and without a potable water source! The existing source was an open well. An earlier borehole failed (in 2021) due to driller negligence. In contrast, Water Charity drilled at the same location and found a good yield (3,200 l /hr), enough to equip both the clinic and neighbors. Pays to have a competent and honest contractor! The population of Agbandaoude numbers around 2,000 of mainly subsistence farmers however the clinic serves a larger population of over 4,000 which includes outlying households within 5 kms of the clinic. The community is predominantly Muslim with a large sedentary Fulani (herdsmen) settlement on the outskirts. The village households as most in Centrale are scattered some distance from the clinic however there are roughly 100 people living near enough to use the clinic well.

Work accomplished: Geophysics; drilled a productive deep borehole with laboratory-verified potable water (see water quality results in table); installed plumbing from well to water tower into the building. All faucets functioning. An additional outside faucet next to the clinic was also installed primarily for cleaning and use by patients.

Work Completed: May 10, 2022


AGOULOU is a large village of roughly 8,000 people of predominantly Kotokoli muslims though there are other ethnic groups present. Agoulou is seat of a Canton (or district) administrated by what is known as a “Chef de Canton” who has jurisdiction over 8 other villages, each presided by a local village head or Chef. The health center was built at the same period as most of the project sites, around 1999 by Plan International, an NGO. In 2008, funds from a European government source built a maternity clinic – also without water and plumbing. The water source until this project consisted of an open shallow well that was often dry during the 4-5 month dry season. Agoulou was on the list in 2017 to receive a partial municipal water system given its population however was rejected by the government hydraulic department for unknown reasons.. The clinic staff either purchased potable water or chlorinated well water though not always. This site was first visited by Water Charity in 2018 however we were told they would receive a municipal water system. Agoulou reappeared on the Ministry of Health list of clinics  for 2022. Agoulou is one of the few sites with a dense population close to the clinic. The current goal of the Caton head is to find funding (mainly from the Diaspora in Europe) to equip each of the neighborhoods with a manually driven borehole well. One such well was established about 100 meters from the clinic. With the approval of the Chef de Canton, after determining the water yield was adequate to supply both clinic buildings and the neighborhood, we revamped the borehole well into a dual pumping system, i.e. inserting an immersible pump at depth and leaving the manual pump at the surface. The clinic also had a 5 m high metal water tower which was also functional with some reinforcement to accommodate a 2,000-liter polytank. Given the distance from the borehole well to the water tower, more piping was needed here than at other sites, in addition to plumbing two buildings. We added cement markers to delineate the buried pipes knowing in the future what is now open space could be cultivated or the site of a new building, as some erosion control work. As with all the sites, Agolou also lacked a disposal system in the birthing room.

Work Accomplished: retrofitting a newly drilled community borehole well to accommodate an immersible pump while maintaining the hand pump for community access; reinforcing the existing 5m metal tower, removing the metal tank and replacing it with a polytank; plumbing from the water tower to the main clinic and the maternity center; installing cement line markers for the buried pipes; afterbirth discharge system; replacement of old faucets and sinks and plumbing where needed; mitigating erosion near the buried septic tank from roof-top drainage.

Work Completed: May 9, 2022