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# Northern Senegal WASH Tour – Senegal

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Location
Spanning communities within the St. Louis, Matam, and the Louga regions of northern Senegal.  The villages in question are:  Dahra, Afe, Kallasane, Agnam Tongel, and Ranerou.

Community Description
The 5 sites chosen for the tour vary in language, culture, geographies, and demographics. They all share a need for increased hygiene, though, and a resident Peace Corps Volunteer is willing to make the effort.

In the region of Northern Senegal, most people acknowledge that sanitation is a “good practice,” but still many lack the knowledge of how to properly prevent sickness. There are high incidences of entirely preventable pathogen-caused diarrhea etc.

Project Description
Peace Corps Senegal is ready to implement the first-ever “sanitation tour” of northern Senegal. The goal is to visit five different sites to demonstrate how to build a Tippy Tap hand-washing station, how to make and market soap, how to prevent and treat diarrhea, along with behavior change discussions and family finances in relation to disease prevention. After doing numerous small trainings in these communities and seeing the positive response, it was clear that these topics needed more attention throughout the northern region.

The tour will spend one full day in each volunteer’s site, working with an organized women’s group, or a group of women and children.  Based on the actual audiences, the training will be catered to their interests.

The 5 villages chosen for this WASH Tour, their regions, and the local PCV working with the tour are as follows:

Region Village Volunteer
Louga Dahra Melissa Michel
Louga Afe Sarah King
St. Louis Kallasane Emilie Nusse
Podor Agnam Tongel Jill McIntosh
Matam Ranerou Emma Martz

A baseline survey for hosting volunteers to complete before the training in order to properly monitor results will be distributed.  For evaluation, a comprehension assessment for immediately after the trainings and a follow-up survey to be completed one month after that are being formulated.

The entire tour is based on the hope that we will be building capacity within each community. We will be teaching specific technical skills such as building Tippy Taps, making soap, and basic marketing techniques, as well as improving knowledge on “germ theory,” diarrhea prevention and treatment options,and the financial benefits of sanitation. While the trainings will be facilitated by Peace Corps volunteers, we also hope to work with the community leaders in order to ensure that the information is understood, both linguistically and culturally. This will not only help the Peace Corps facilitators with local language and cultural nuances but also empower these leaders within their specific group and the entire community.

The total cost has been calculated at 288,150.00 CFA (or $499.74 USD). This will include all the materials needed to build one Tippy Tap hand-washing station and make one batch of soap in each site, as well as lunch (complete with Senegalese tea!) and certificates for each participant. For more information on the Tippy Tap hand-washing station, visit www.tippytap.org. Project Impact About 100 people will be directly involved. However, upwards to 895 will be indirectly affected as the women go on to teach their children and families what they learned. Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project Melissa Hallisey (Dieynaba Ba) Monitoring and Maintenance Tools to survey the groups one month after completion to assess knowledge retained and practices adopted have been adopted, and each host PCV will work with their local women’s group to see that the information is adopted. Comments This model of a sanitation training “tour” could prove efficient and become a beneficial standard practice with Water Charity’s Training & Support Initiative. This tour’s focus on Tippy Taps could be switched to latrines or rainwater catchments in future iterations, and the entire concept is scalable up to the entire PC presence in any country or region.$50 has been added to the basic project cost to allow for management and support.

Dollar Amount of Project

$550 Donations Collected to Date$550

Dollar Amount Needed

$0 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of the Sullivan Family, of Palos Verdes, CA, USA. Any further donations to this project will go to other water & sanitation projects in the region. This project has been completed. To see the results, CLICK HERE. ## Conclusion of Fimpulu Primary School Water Project – Zambia # Conclusion of Fimpulu Primary School Water Project – Zambia This project has been completed under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Emily McKeone. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE. We would like to thank Emily and Water for Zambia once again for executing many fine projects. Here is Emily’s conclusion summary for Fimpulu Primary School: The project aimed to relieve the water crisis that Fimpulu Primary School was facing. There was an old play pump structure at the school that had not worked since 2009. After demolition and removing the piping of this structure, a new, improved hand pump well was installed. Then, a soak away apron and soak pit were dug to catch any run-off. The primary result of the project is improved access to clean water and improved health. The borehole will provide access to clean, safe drinking water for 807 people daily, for an expected lifetime of 50 years. As a result of this clean drinking water source, communities will experience improved health and sanitation. School attendance for teachers and pupils will improve, resulting in a better quality education for all. Other community impacts could include improved food security, as the school will be able to create small gardens and orchards. This new water source will allow easy watering of plants and improved knowledge of gardening for students, as well as a convenient food source. These overall project impacts include, but are not limited to: improved health and sanitation, improved school attendance and education experience, increased knowledge of gardening and agriculture, food security, and community development. Remarks from Fimpulu Primary School: “The school is very happy about the construction and installation of the new borehole. This borehole will serve as the school’s main source of water. Previously water has been a challenge for this school as our only well dried up this dry season. With the construction of this new borehole, we are happy that finally, we will have the life we always have cried for. Lastly, we will take care of this borehole and we thank the management who brought this water source to our school.” with gratitude, Emily McKeone Returned Peace Corps Volunteer ## Fimpulu Primary School Water Project – Zambia # Fimpulu Primary School Water Project – Zambia This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association. Location Fimpulu Primary School, Mansa District, Luapula Province, Zambia Community Description The Fimpulu community is rural and there is no electricity or running water. Community members live in mud huts with grass thatch roofs. Most community members rely on farming as their source of income. Fimpulu Primary School is about 26 km or about 16 miles from the Provincial Capital of Mansa. Problem Addressed Fimpulu Primary School had no functioning source of water on their campus. Work on Fimpulu’s new borehole began in the thick of the dry season, and their open well near the school had dried completely. Identical to other schools that the Water for Zambia project has targeted, there was a merry-go-round play pump that had not worked since 2009. This pump was intended to pump water through the energy created by children playing on the merry-go-round. Unfortunately, the project failed and the pump quit working after just one year. The Water for Zambia project will remove the merry-go-round and all the rusted piping below. The merry-go-round will be installed elsewhere for children to play. Next, the piping will be replaced with PVC pipes. Each section of the PVC piping is 3 meters. The pipes will be securely connected with solvent cement. Then, a rope will be utilized to connect all piping together. Under the Water for Zambia project, all targeted schools require borehole rehabilitations. These rehabilitations require no further drilling. The borehole at Fimpulu Primary School is 30.6 meters deep, with a static water level of 9 meters. At the bottom of the well there will be a sand layer. At the end of the piping will be a sand screen to prevent any sand and debris from coming up through the pumping. The pedestal will then be attached to the concrete and a hand pump is installed. The construction process will take a total of 5 days. The pumping will allow water to flow at a rate of 10 liters per 21 seconds. The pump will be easy for students to utilize and the water will be potable without purification. The new borehole will allow for students and teachers to improve the cleanliness of all school facilities, including toilets. The convenient source of water will allow student hygiene to also improve. Girls will be the most impacted by this development. Many young girls would once drop out of school after reaching puberty. The new water source will allow the girls to remain in school. Additionally, the surrounding villages and community members will come to the school to access the new source of water. There are certain hours when the borehole is open to the community. During open hours, the borehole will be a center of activity. Men, women, and children of many ages will come to collect water, chat, and laugh. All community members utilizing the water source will pay a small fee to the school that will then be saved in a spare-parts fund for future repairs. The above-ground improvements will include the creation of a cement apron around the pump and a drainage way to direct overflow to a soak pit. The soak pit will collect all runoff water. Students will be provided with fruit trees to plant near the new water source. Project Description All construction carried out by the Water for Zambia project will be done in partnership with the local government council. The construction team will come from the Mansa Municipal Council located in the district capital, Mansa, in the Luapula Province. There are five men who will be involved in the project. Swala Mumba will oversee the work on the ground in Zambia for Fimpulu Primary School. Swala Mumba is certified as a trainer of trainers in borehole construction and maintenance. He is a counterpart to Emily who assists with directing the team and administrative tasks. Emily has trained Swala in record-keeping, program planning, and accounting. He has an advanced diploma in project management from the Institute of Commercial Management (located in UK). He started working at the Mansa Municipal Council in 2008 as a rural water supply and sanitation assistant. Bernard Chansa is also certified as a trainer of trainers in borehole construction and maintenance. He is also the only plumber at the Mansa Municipal Council, and is, therefore, always needed for countless tasks. He started working at the council in 2006. He leads the construction team in the field. Patrick Chabu is a skilled bricklayer. He is in charge of the soak pit construction and plastering at all the schools. He started working for the council in 2007. Michael Mpana and Daniel Impundu are half-brothers. Michael is 20 years old and Daniel is 19. They are both handymen and help with all the labor-heavy tasks. They are in training with Mr. Chansa in borehole construction and maintenance. Project Impact This project will directly impact 807 people; 797 students enrolled at the school and a teaching staff of 10. It also will impact surrounding villages (who will have access to the borehole), visitors and future students. A Conservative Estimate of the total impact is closer to 3,000 people. Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project Emily McKeone Monitoring and Maintenance The school and surrounding communities have been involved in every step of this project’s progress. It is a long-held belief, that development without community engagement is not sustainable. These boreholes have an expected lifetime of 50 years. It is the hope of many that the communities will sustain their borehole for that lifetime. During the construction process, the community will provide labor, sand, and stone for the project. The value of these contributions is about 20% of the full project cost. The students will be engaged in the process of sensitizing the community. Teachers will prepare a course about water, sanitation, and proper utilization of the borehole. Class discussions will include information about boiling drinking water, chlorine usage, washing hands after latrine use and proper hygiene. Following the course, students will create sketches, poems, dances, and songs of various scenarios around water and sanitation. The performances will demonstrate proper and improper borehole use. The students will present to the community at large for a day of sensitization and celebration. Lastly, Fimpulu Primary School has formed a maintenance committee to monitor and protect the borehole. Teachers and the Parent Teacher Association are involved in the committee and will ensure proper regulation, operation, and maintenance. This committee will meet regularly to address any issues that arise. The committee will be responsible for determining hours of operation for the borehole (and locking the borehole on off hours), as well as collecting community fees. All community fees will be safely secured for a spare parts fund. Spare parts are available in the district capital of Mansa. Additionally, rural area pump minders are trained to repair the Afridev boreholes. Area pump minders (or APM’s) are equipped with toolkits and bicycles to reach rural areas and assist with repairs. Comments The school will now have a reliable source of drinking water. The struggle to find water and the time spent searching will be eliminated. Since the task of fetching water mostly falls on young girls, this project will most impact them. The students will have more time to dedicate to their studies and other tasks. The impact of a clean water source on campus is expected to improve health and sanitation at school, resulting in improved school attendance. The school has been instructed to plant fruit trees near the borehole, to also assist with the issue of food security in the area. While this is not an official Let Girls Learn project, it does fall into Water Charity’s LGL+ grouping of projects that have a pronounced element involving helping girls go to, and stay in, school, and being part of Water Charity’s Let Girls Learn Initiative. Emily McKeone worked with Water Charity as a PCV, directing the prototype project, which created boreholes for three schools. With the assistance of Water Charity, she was able to come back to Zambia as an RPCV and continue her work. Now we are completing 13 more school boreholes with Emily, of which this is #10, bringing the total to 16 schools’ boreholes in Zambia. This project is part of our Water for Zambia Program. It also falls under our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Program. This project has been fully paid for by an anonymous donor. This project has been completed. To see the results, CLICK HERE. If you like this project, please donate to the Water for Zambia Program so that we will have money available for similar projects. ## Sinthiang Cherif Latrines Project – Senegal # Sinthiang Cherif Latrines Project – Senegal This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association. Location Sinthiang Cherif, Velingara District, Kolda Region, Senegal Community Description The small village of Sinthiang Cherif is located in the region of Kolda in southern Senegal. This particular region is known as the Fouladou in which the population speaks various dialects of Pulaar; Sinthiang Cherif’s inhabitants speak both Fulakunda as well as Pulafuta. While the village may be young at 26 years old, Sinthiang Cherif has been able to secure for itself vital resources such as robinets (running water from a spigot), a paved national road, numerous fields for farming, and 3 boutiques in which people are able to buy basic necessities. While these victories may seem small, they are in fact large hurdles overcome by a village of 240. Geographically speaking Sinthiang Cherif is located at the top of a hill, safe from flooding during the rainy seasons (May-Sept). However, the village faces another challenge: rocky soil, despite this the population has managed to acquire several corn, millet, peanut, and cotton fields. In addition to this, the village also generates its income by way of charcoal, lumber, and livestock such as goats, chickens and cattle. Regardless of the size of the village, the population has placed importance on education. Therefore, a primary school exists in Sinthiang Cherif to educate the young children, who account for about half of the population. Since the celebration of birthdays is non-existent within the culture, it is difficult for the population to know their exact age. However, it is easy to note that there exists one child for every adult, and the population is continually growing with a new birth approximately every month. The senior population is less evident. However, the village does have a sort of “retirement” compound in which a few senior citizens live together and divide responsibilities among themselves. The entire population of Sinthiang Cherif is overseen by the chief who intervenes when issues arise between individuals; holds meetings to maintain the village aware of new projects or problems arising within the village; represents the village at various events, and other responsibilities that may arise. Since the village is entirely Muslim, the chief also participates in leading religious holidays such as Korite and Tabaski. The village of Sinthiang Cherif is continually seeking ways to better the quality of life for its citizens, including the addition of electricity in the future as well as latrines. Problem Addressed Since it was founded 26 years ago, Sinthiang Cherif has lacked the proper facilities necessary to dispose of human waste. All 29 compounds are in need of latrine improvements, completion, or have no latrines at all. Approximately 13 compounds had initiated the construction of a latrine for their household. However, these latrines are unsafe for use, especially for children. Since many of these unfinished toilets are simply deep holes in the ground, a falling risk could create devastating consequences. Sixteen compounds lack any sort of facility to use. Therefore, they resort to open defecation in wooded areas. The lack of an appropriate latrine leads to behaviors such as open defection, a lack of dignity and privacy, and the transmission of sanitation-related diseases such as diarrhea. Project Description A meeting was held in October 2015, with the head of every household to discuss the budget of the project as well as the logistics. It was collectively decided that every compound in Sinthiang Cherif was in need of latrine improvements, completion, or needed a latrine built since there was none available to them. The village was divided into compounds that have a latrine but needed vast improvements; compounds that started to dig, but had not finished; and lastly, compounds that did not contain a latrine, as such the prices would vary between the three groups. A discussion of the different costs was held and their respective contributions were calculated and everyone was informed of these expectations. Approximately 29 Turkish toilets will need to be completed before May 2016, as that is when the rainy season begins. Water Charity funding will cover the cost of materials and mason wages. The village’s contribution is to complete the construction of an enclosure around their new latrines for privacy, in addition to 25% of the cost of the latrine (amount varies per household). Two masons will be hired for the timely completion of the project, and the masons will be paid the same amount for each latrine that he/she completes. These masons are well known by the village chief who has assured us that these individuals will do a fine job of constructing the latrines. Furthermore, the masons will be in charge of providing their own working materials. However, the village and the masons will work together to bring in the materials needed for the completion of the latrines (i.e. sand, rock, cement). The rocky soil is an issue that the village would like to resolve by using a power auger from an outside source. This cost has been included in the project, but if a compound wished to save money, the individuals will dig the hole itself. Other technologies for the construction of the latrines include a donkey charette for the transportation of sand and rocks, shovels, trowels, string line and line pins, and water and buckets. Lastly, the village is expected to participate in the WASH, soap making and latrine maintenance trainings that will be held and facilitated by a counterpart and World Vision. After the successful completion of these trainings as well as the privacy enclosure, each compound will receive a certificate of completion which will serve as a reminder to each compound of their commitment to maintain their latrines and ensure sustainability. Project Impact This project will impact 240 villagers as well as all visitors. Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project Raquel Bautista Monitoring and Maintenance While it is important that each compound receives a latrine, the need for good WASH practices is also important. To start, a WASH mural was created depicting hand washing with the use of soap and running water. Next, Raquel held a soap formation in which she cross-collaborated with a Community Economic Development volunteer who taught the women of the village how to make simple soap for hand washing, then educated the women about the proper hand washing times. This training will be repeated upon the completion of the latrines to reinforce this information. Furthermore, there will be training on latrine maintenance so that the population feels confident in maintaining their latrines and for the longevity of the latrines themselves. A latrine committee within the village and a partnership with World Vision will assist in the sustainability of the latrines and provide support for the population concerning their latrines as needed. Dollar Amount of Project$3,950

Donations Collected to Date
$0 Dollar Amount Needed$3,950

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# Bubazi Health Center Water Project – Rwanda

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

Location
Bubazi & Gitwa Cells, Rubengera, Karongi, Rwanda

Community Description
The project community is the Bubazi Health Center Catchment Area. The Bubazi Health Center’s catchment area encompasses two cells, 15 villages, and has a population of approximately 8,700 people. The two cells are: Bubazi Cell and Gitwa Cell.  Bubazi Cell has a population of approximately 3,436 people and 7 villages. Bubazi Cell Villages: Kavumu, Kigarama, Gakomeye, Nyagahinga, Makurungwe, Gitwa, and Kabuga.  Gitwa Cell has a population of approximately 5,271 people and 8 villages.  Gitwa Cell Villages include: Rubona, Bizu, Muremerea, Kibande, Gaseke, Rwakigarati, Gitega and Rusegeya.

History of Area Water Sources
In the early 1970’s, a Swiss NGO (the name is unknown) established an Agricultural Project in the area of Bubazi Cell. They helped establish plantain farms and formal agriculture. To this day the people of the community are extremely knowledgeable about farming. Vegetables are abundant. Between 1972 -1976 the Swiss (that is how the locals refer to them) constructed the buildings of the compound that is now the Bubazi Community Health Center.  In 1990 the Swiss built two extensive and efficient water distribution systems. Locally they are known as Gakoma Source and Gatunguguru Source. Both of these water sources seem to be prolific in their water supply. However, Gatunguguru Source appears to be especially vast.

The Gakoma Water Source distribution system originates from an underground source of water located at Gakoma Springs in a remote area of Gitega Cell. This distribution system, when in good working order, provides clean water, suitable for drinking, to four Cells (Gitega, Rohinga, Ruragwe and Bubazi) and thirteen villages.

The Gatunguguru Water Distribution System originates from an underground source of water located at Gatunguguru Springs in Muvungu Village, Gitega Cell. This distribution system, when in good working order, provides clean water, suitable for drinking, to four cells (Kayenzi, Ruragwe, Gitega and Bubazi) and eighteen villages.

The people of the Bubazi/Gitwa community are hard workers. They love to cultivate and dig. There is rain in the area nine months out of the year with a 3-month dry season. The climate is moderate and the terrain is lush. There is an abundance of underground, quality water at the Gakoma and Gatunguguru sources. The problem is access.

Both the Gakoma and the Gatunguguru water distribution systems were built in 1990. Sometime in the early 1990’s the Swiss NGO left Rwanda. Therefore, since the construction of these systems, 25 year ago, there has been very little maintenance of these systems. This system consists of large, main water lines coming directly from the sources, with feeder lines branching out from the main line. These feeder lines supply water tap systems where villagers can easily fetch clean water. Many of the feeder lines have broken and most of the taps systems have deteriorated and are unusable.

At one time these distribution systems provided water to 31 villages, possibly more. Most of these 31 villages no longer have access to these abundant water sources due to the deterioration of the distribution system. Just recently the main water line from Gakoma Source broke due to a mudslide. In Bubazi Cell there are only three villages that now receive water from these sources. Another problem is that these water distribution systems never reached Gitwa Cell, which, is one of the two cells in Bubazi Health Center’s catchment area. The citizens of Gitwa Cell (population 5,271) are still fetching their water from the Cyimbiri River.

Project Description
The Bubazi Water Project is divided into 2 projects, Bubazi Water Project 1: Gakoma Source and Bubazi Water Project 2: Gatunguguru Source.  This project will implement the larger of the two, Bubazi Water Project 1: Gakoma Source.

The work will be completed as follows:
1. The entire Gakoma Source main line will be repaired and protected.
2. All the water catchment tanks, and feeder lines to these tanks, that are supplied by the Gakoma Source will be repaired and put in good working order.
3. The water taps directly on the entire main line will be repaired and made operable.
4. All of the water taps (water fetching stations), and distribution lines supplying these taps in the 7 villages of Bubazi cell, that are fed by the Gakoma line, will be repaired, made in good working order, and made available for the all people of the community for water access.
5. All feeder lines to the Bubazi Health Center will be repaired and holding tanks on Health Center grounds will be repaired and made in good working order.

The Project 1: Gakoma Source should take approximately 8 weeks to complete, progressing as follows:
Week One: Site Installation – 5 days:
1. Engineer on site
2. Material storage and security arranged
3. Organization of the labor force
4. Materials ordered
Week One – Week Three – 12 days: Site Preparation
Week One – Week Three – 14 days:  Supply, installation and laying of pipes and fittings from the tank to terminals fountain
Week One – Week Five – 30 days:  Trench Excavation on the total length of GAKOMA Source system
Week Three – Week Five – 21 days:  Backfilling and compacting for the entire length of 500 m x 0.5 x 0.6 m
Week One – Week Seven – 40 days:  Rehabilitation of Tanks and Water Taps (15 single fountains (size 3 m x2 m, h=1.2 m, thickness = 0.20 m)
Week Six – Week Eight – 7 days:  Site cleaning

Claude Kaliza, the Engineer, will be the project manager.  He is reliable and efficient, and has already created an extensive report, at no cost, with pipeline maps, cost analysis, and a project timeline.

The community will be providing the labor for trench excavation of the total length of the Gakoma line, 500 m of excavation, and 40% of the backfilling and compacting of the entire length of 500 m.

Project Impact
This project will directly benefit 8,700 people.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
April Zachary

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Bubazi Health Center will be taking responsibility for the maintenance of the Gakoma Source Water Distribution System. The Bubazi Health Center’s maintenance plan for the Gakoma Source distribution system is as follows:
1. Each March, when the Health Center’s budget is planned, the health center will request funds for the year’s maintenance/repair of the water distribution system.
2. The health center will create a contract with a local plumber who will work for them on an on-call basis for any repairs or maintenance needed for the system.
3. The Executive Secretary of Bubazi Cell and the Bubazi Health Center Titulier will require each Village to create a Village Water Security Committee (VWSC). The committee will have a minimum of 3 people (more if possible) who will be responsible for the Water Security in their villages. They will provide quarterly Water Security Awareness Training to the people of their village. The training will have the purpose of inspiring the community to take ownership of the water distribution system and to participate in keeping it secure and strong. Parents will be asked to talk with their children about the importance of keeping their water system functioning efficiently (this will help prevent the occasional vandalism that happens to the water lines by the children). Parents and children will be asked to report to the Water Security Committee any broken pipes, non-functioning tap systems or anything that could be related to water security
4. The Water Security Committee will do a monthly inspection of all of the water catchment tanks and tap systems in their village areas. They will report any problems (or potential problems) to the health center.
5. Quarterly, the people will clean (de-weed, etc.) the exterior of all water catchment tanks and taps systems, and the grounds around them, in their village area. They will report to the VWSC anything that looks unusual or could become a problem to water security.
6. The plumber will do an annual inspection of all water catchment tanks and taps in the Bubazi Cell.
7. The Health Center Titulier will have an annual meeting with the Village Water Security Committees in order to discuss any potential problems to the water security, any improvements needed to the reporting systems and any changes that need to happen within the committee (member rotations, etc.)

Peace Corps Volunteer April Zachary reports: It is imperative that leadership be a driving force behind a project this extensive and complex. Anastase Ntezimana has been the Titulier of the Bubazi Health Center for 10 years. He is passionate about bringing about positive behavior change within the lives of the people on the village level. He has made great progress within his community in the area of nutrition and prenatal care. Waterborne illnesses and hygiene continue to be urgent problems within the community due to the lack of access to quality water. When Anastase was informed that in order for the water project to be a possibility he would be required to bring in a qualified engineer to do a study of the water distribution system he did not hesitate.

Within one week he had an engineer, Claude Kaliza, brought onto the site to make the initial assessment. A day later we had his assistant, Emile, a Water Distribution Technician, brought in. Together, the water technician, a local plumber, and I walked the entire Gakoma Source distribution system (a five-hour round trip hike) The water technician had a special water system GPS system that identifies underground water lines. Three days later the water technician returned and we, along with the plumber, walked the entire line of the Gatunguguru Source distribution system (a four-hour round trip hike). During these exploratory hikes, local people familiar with each area and the locations of the water catchment tanks met us to show the way. This required coordination of the people through phone tagging. We had support every step of the way.

During the months of August and September 2015 a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) was done in the Bubazi Health Center catchment area (Bubazi and Gitwa Cells) through interviews, surveys, conversations and observation. Through the CNA inquiry of the people of Bubazi and Gitwa Cell, water quality/ access and hygiene were consistently found to be the most urgent problems in the Bubazi area. The majority of the Bubazi Health Center staff (10 out of 13) rated water quality/access and hygiene as the most urgent issues in their community. Home visits were made during the CNA and at the end of each interview, families were asked if there was anything they would like to add.

Here are some of their answers:  “Water is a big problem. If you could try to help us get materials, the people could work together to bring water.” “We need help in teaching the people good hygiene. Are you able to help and support us in teaching the people good hygiene? The water is a problem.” The toilets are a big problem. If you could try, if there is a way that materials could be provided the people would build the toilets.”

During these visits it became very apparent that the people were willing to provide their labor in order to solve the problem of water quality/access and hygiene. They were offering their services before being asked. It was through these conversations with the people at the village level that we became conscious of this fact.

The holistic goal and desired outcome of the larger Bubazi Water Project (Project 1: Gakoma Source, Project 2: Gatunguguru Source and possibly Project 3: Gitwa Extension) is to provide the people of the Bubazi (and Gitwa) communities the means to create healthy, vital lives for themselves. In the Bubazi/Gitwa Communities, quality water is the foundation of good health, followed by education and behavior change. It is difficult to ask people to change behavior when they do not have the resources to do so – this is a set up for failure.

By making quality water accessible to the community we are setting the community up for success in the areas of good hygiene and good health. We will be following up this technical project with education projects:
1. Water Sanitation and Hygiene (W.A.S.H) program
2. Permagarden Training
3. Community Finance Initiative (CFI)
4. The First Thousand Days Program (working with the education of pregnant mothers and mothers in prenatal care and infant/child nutrition, the first thousand days of a child’s life).

Friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer April Zachary may contribute using the donate button below.  Funds in excess of the project amount will go to other projects in Rwanda.

If you would like to help us with similar projects, please donate to the East Africa Water and Sanitation Program.

# Sil Latrine Project – Senegal

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

Location
Sil, Department Koupentoum, Region of Tambacounda, Senegal

Community Description
Sil Village has a population of approximately 2,000 people, although this fluctuates quite a bit when the farming season ends. The main form of income generation is selling peanuts as cash crops.

Sil acts as a logistic, religious, and social hub for the surrounding communities which are populated by about 10,000 people. The people are 100% Muslim, mostly split between two different “brotherhoods”. One of these brotherhoods, the Maurids, is headed by a Marabout whose family started the village three generations ago. This family holds the hereditary title of both the positions of Village Chief and Marabout.

PCV Derek Rush reports that, “Living in Sil has been an extraordinarily trying experience for me. Not only have I experienced a great difficulty with language, but the culture has given me more than a few moments of frustration. For example, when I first arrived in the village I tried desperately to find meaningful work and to get people organized. Meetings would start two hours late some days and others would not happen at all because I would plan them on days such as Sunday, which also happens to be the day of the weekly market. Slowly, as my language and understanding of the people improved, both my work and integration into the community have become easier, though daily challenges still exist.”

Traditionally, most latrines in the village have been constructed by digging a pit and then covering the top with either a cement platform or logs that are then topped with soil. Due to the sandy condition of the soil though, these latrines frequently experience collapses when the rains come and families commonly resort to open defecation in the bush until a new one is constructed. What is needed is brick-walled pits to support the latrine to prevent this.

Some of the difficulties facing this community are its geographic location and the difficulty of accumulating capital for such projects. The village is located 30 kilometers from the main highway and is mostly reliant upon the sale of peanuts for income. Because of this, financing construction projects is a difficult prospect.

Project Description
After doing a brief survey of latrines at the site, and having several discussions with village leaders, a plan was formed to build simple lined pit latrines for families that were willing to come to the planning meetings and related trainings. Of the more than 50 families who initially showed interest in the project, only fourteen have consistently come to all the trainings and meetings.

The trainings consisted of two 45-minute to one-hour-long talks covering the importance of latrines, how diseases spread from open defecation, hand washing, and how to build a Tippy Tap.

The objective for this project is to provide fifteen latrines; fourteen to families and one installed in the Health Post that is meant for the mostly Pulaar women who refuse to use the Turkish toilets and have frequently dig cat holes in the facility to defecate into.

The intent is that these latrines will lead to a more sanitary environment that has fewer cases of diarrhea and other illnesses caused by open defecation. In addition, I hope that families will also adopt improved handwashing techniques for the same end.

Community Organization
Sil Latrine Group and Sil Health Post

Project Impact
This project will impact 75 people.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Derek Rush

Monitoring and Maintenance
Derek will be personally supervising this entire project from the purchase of the materials, construction of individual latrines, and follow-up home visits. These visits will be conducted to see how families are using the skills and knowledge which were taught at the community meetings.
This project has been nearly six months in the making. Derek admits that he learned a lot through this project and considered canceling it several times due to lack of community participation and lack of experience.  After he engaged in several long conversations with his community work counterpart, participating families, and health post staff in the village, they successfully collected all of the community contributions. People are beginning to collect the necessary sand and gravel to make the cinder blocks that will be used.

Dollar Amount of Project
$660 Donations Collected to Date$0

Dollar Amount Needed
\$660

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Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

# Conclusion of Kwamtoro Secondary School Water Tank Project – Tanzania

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Eric Pfeifer.

The project was designed to increase the capacity of a current water tank at the school by 3,000 liters using the Stabilized Soil Brick technology. In actuality, much more was accomplished.

Eric reports:

I just wanted to inform you that we have successfully completed the Water Charity project that you funded for us. The project brought a Stabilized Soil Block (SSB) press to my village secondary school and provided funding for the training and materials to build a 9,000-liter water tank extension.

The advantage of such a machine is to make stronger blocks at a lower cost while preserving trees that would have been used in the firing of conventional bricks. This technology can be used for more than just the construction of water tanks and has given the school the flexibility to plan its own projects in the future.

The Headmaster is particularly excited about his new capacity to “lead construction projects without the need of outside help.” This is no doubt the kind of result that we are looking for in the communities that we volunteer in as Peace Corps volunteers.

Thank you again for providing this service to those of us who want to do small-sized projects.

We are grateful to Eric for completing this excellent project, and again send our thanks to the Paul Bechtner Foundation for providing the funding.

# Conclusion of Bubazi Health Center Water Project 1: Gakoma Source – Rwanda

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer April Zachary.

The following is April’s conclusion report:

Bubazi Water Project 1: Gakoma Source
We implemented Bubazi Water Project 1: Gakoma Source on February 8, 2016 and it was completed on March 8, 2016.

The successful and quick completion of Project 1 was possible due to the passion and commitment of Bubazi Health Center Titulier, Anastase Ntezimana, the professionalism, experience and organization skills of Engineer Claude Kaliza, great crew supervisors, and because of the community members who donated their time for much of the labor.

Three days after the project was funded, by Peace Corps and Water Charity, our team had our first meeting and created a plan of action.  Crew Supervisors were on site by day four and I walked the entire waterline with them from Bubazi Health Center to Gakoma Source, a five-hour round trip hike.  Crews traveled with us that first day of work and began clearing brush away from all the tanks and water fetching stations (called fountains).

When I traveled the water line again on week two I found multiple work crews working simultaneously on different projects such as building retaining walls to protect main water lines where they passed across small ravines, repairing water fetching stations that were located along the main water line, digging to find broken lines, etc.

The organizational skills used, the efficient crew management and the implementation of this project were all done in an extraordinarily professional manner.  My job was to bear witness to the work as it progressed, to keep tabs on the money and receipts and to make sure all the work was done to specifications.  And it was.

On March 10th, two days after the completion of Project 1, Rhoda Kanyesigye, our Peace Corps Rwanda Grant Coordinator and Scott Wilhelm, our Communications Coordinator, came to visit our community in order to see the work accomplished on the water distribution system. What a privilege it was to have the complexity of this project witnessed by two people outside of the community.

Anastase began by giving Rhoda and Scott a tour of the health center where they were shown that every faucet on the grounds now worked and that the flow of water was abundant and the pressure was amazing.  After the tour, we piled into an AWD Peace Corps vehicle along with one of our local water source experts, Naphtale, who works at the health center doing cleaning and maintenance.

Scott drove us as far as we could go by a vehicle on steep, rugged roads. This was some of the most rugged four-wheel driving I’ve ever experienced.  After that, we walked.  We saw efficiently functioning water fetching stations being used by the locals all along the waterline.  We were greeted by villagers with smiles and a feeling of celebration.

In Senga Village, Rhoda asked one of the locals where they fetched their water before the fountain was repaired.   He pointed off into the distance and said “That creek down there.”
“How many families now fetch water here?” Rhoda asked.  “About 250 families,” the man replied.  I am happy.

Goals Achieved
1.    We achieved the primary goal of repairing the entire main water distribution system from the Gakoma Source to Bubazi Cell and all water fetching station (fountains) along the mainline as well as all water fountains within the Bubazi Cell that are supplied by the Gakoma Source. A total of 16 fountains have been repaired supplying quality water to six villages: Three villages in Getega Cell: Kamihaho, Kagali and Senga and three villages in Bubazi Cell: Kavumu, Gitwa and Kigarama.  This supplies water to approximately 3,116 village people.

2.    We achieved the goal of repairing all distribution lines that provide water supply from the Gakoma Source to the Bubazi Health Center thus allowing four holding tanks to be full at the health center to be full at all times.

3.    Bubazi Cell community members have access to quality water at fountains supplied by Gakoma Source

4.    Create a Water Security Committee within each village of Bubazi Cell by May 2016.  This objective will be complete by May 2016 as stated.

Changes in the Initial Objectives
1.    3 villages from Getega Cell (Kamihaho, Kagali and Senga) have access to fountains within 5-30 minutes walking distance providing quality water to 1,708 village people in Getega Cell. This was not stated in the objectives.  These villages are provided with fountains because they are located along the Gakoma Source main distribution line.

2.    The goal of 20 mothers having access to water fountains within 5-30 minutes walking distance from their homes will not be achieved until Project 2: Gatugunguru Source is completed (a project that is an extension of Project 1: Gakoma Source).

3.    20 mothers from Kavumu, Gitwa and Kigarama Villages have access to quality water within a 5-60 minutes walking distance from their home.

Community Feeling
The communities of Bubazi Cell and Getega Cell are excited and grateful. This is revealed when workers at the health center turn on a faucet at a fountain and clear water shoots out and smiles appear on many faces followed by the words “Amazi menshi! Ni biza cyane!”   (“Abundant Water!  This is good!).

I see children fetching water with smiles on their faces and women often stop me, grab my hand, and begin talking so fast in Kinyarwanda that I cannot understand them. Then I hear the word “amazi” which means water and I know they are talking about their repaired water fetching station and they are smiling. People approach me, whose water problems have not been solved yet, and ask if we will be bringing them water too.  I tell them we have a second water project coming and that one will bring quality water to their village. “Murakoze!” (Thank you!”) they respond.  The feeling of the community is one of excitement and hope.

Unexpected Events and Recommendations *
The most profound unexpected event that happened during this project was that it was completed very quickly.  I could not have wished for a more efficiently operated project.

We did discover as we repaired the Gakoma Source line that the majority of the water fetching stations in Bubazi Cell are supplied by Gatugunguru Source (Project 2).  Six villages have repaired fountains with a total of 16 refurbished fountains. Three of those villages are in Getega Cell along the Gakoma line and the other three are in Bubazi Cell.

There are 26 fountains left to be repaired in Bubazi Cell.  This work is projected to be completed through the implementation of Project 2.

Also, we cut our budget very close.  I would recommend having a small cushion of funds to allow for unexpected work that needs to be done that only reveals itself once a project is started.

Lessons Learned and Promising Practices *
1. Good teamwork makes for an efficiently run project.

2. Breath. Regroup. Stay present with the work that is happening, but let people do their jobs

3. When a community truly wants something and is ready for it, then the project works itself.

4. Keep track of the money.  Have receipts coming in on scheduled timelines…not at the last minute.

5. Observe the work being done at least 1-2 times a week, even if the trek there and back kicks your butt. Your presence means everything.

6. Take lots of before and after photos

7. Have regular meetings to talk about the progress of the project, to collect receipts and to review the budget.

8. Be happy and committed.

We would like to give thanks to April for her diligence and for the successful completion of this project.

# Call to Nature Permaculture Project – Ghana

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

Location
Kunkunuru, Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Community Description
Call to Nature Permaculture has a general site for its school garden that is a two-acre piece of land offered by the elders of Kunkunuru community.  The site has a small dam that was created through sand winning activities (illegal sand mining) many years back. Due to a high water table and a good amount of clay, the existing dam is suitable to store water for gardening.

It takes students many hours to scoop enough water from the dam to water the whole field. This does not give them enough time to engage in other activities, which include preparing beds, planting, weeding, staking, and numerous other tasks. Better water storage and distribution system are needed to improve effectiveness.

Project Description
This project is to greatly increase the water storage capacity and build an extensive water distribution system.

Currently, the size of the dam measures 20 × 30 feet with a depth of 1 meter. An excavator will be hired to open it up to 50 × 70 feet depth of 2 meters.

After excavating, vetiver grass will be planted on the banks of the dam to keep it firm and compact since its root travels many meters into the soil. After this, water plants will be introduced into the dam to prevent evaporation and also to improve aquatic life in the dam.

An irrigation system will be set up to allow many hours of watering will be done in just 5-10 minutes, thereby giving the community enough time to engage in other activities. The main system will consist of PVC pipes running through the middle of the farm. Attached to these are the spray tubes, which run between the planting beds. A water pump will pull water from the dam and distribute it through the spray tubes to water the plants.

Through this project, students are able to learn how to grow their own food using permaculture, a method that cares for the earth, people and fair trade. At the beginning of every week, the produce is harvested and shared among the schools for their meals, the surplus is sold at a well-organized farmers market, and money is saved to support poor students to further their education. In addition, surplus food is donated to the orphanage and the disabled institutions.

The project accomplishes many objectives, including the development and proliferation of the permaculture technology, teaching useful skills to students, improving food security in the community, assisting in small business development, and providing humanitarian aid.

Community Organization
Call to Nature Permaculture, led by Solomon Amuzu, its Founder and Director

Project Impact
This project will benefit more than 3,000 people.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project

Monitoring and Maintenance
Michael and Solomon will supervise the construction.  The improvements will be maintained by Call to Nature Permaculture

This project is made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

To donate for similar projects in West Africa, use the Donate button below.

# Conclusion of Call to Nature Permaculture Project – Ghana

This project, to increase the water storage capacity and build an extensive water distribution system, has been completed under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Michael McGaskey and Call to Nature Permaculture Founder and Director Solomon Amuzu.

A summary of Michael’s report is as follows:

In the initial project, the Call to Nature organization wanted to excavate a dam to store more water for the dry season and to install a water pump and related piping. The objective was to keep the children from having to spend 3 hours carrying water to their large school garden.

In the Kunkunuru community, this was accomplished through the highly motivated team in charge of the school garden. Although the rainy season was starting, the work was completed, without regard to the weather. The pipes have now been installed along with the water pump.

The existing dam measuring 20 × 30 feet has been opened up to 50 × 70 feet, to a depth of 2 meters. Along the banks of the dam are vetiver grass, planted to keep the dam in shape, strong and firm, as well as to introduce water plants into the dam to help reduce evaporation and to preserve aquatic life.

The main irrigation piping system was built by connecting PVC pipe and fittings using glue. The pipes were positioned along the edges of the beds running through the middle of the land. Attached to the pipes are the upward-spraying tubes, running between each 5-foot × 70-foot planting bed. Attached to the pipes are stop corks to regulate and to direct the showering of the beds during the process. The system is powered by a Koshin water pump, with a 3-inch-diameter inlet. As soon as the pump is on, a pressure is built first in the main pipes and then distributed through the spray tubes.

The irrigation system has caused a great positive impact on the management of the facility and the community at large. Formerly, it took many students about 3 to 4 hours to water the field twice a day; now this same size of the land is watered just in 5 to 10 minutes. This has given time for the students to engage in other activities and has resulted in an expansion of the garden size.

The improvements provide additional benefits to nearby farmers, as the additional water resource will enable them to boost productivity.

We are grateful for Michael and Solomon for carrying out this important project.