RPCV

Malawi Borehole Program

Clean Water For Rural Malawi!

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis Malawi Program is a component of the East Africa Water and Sanitation Program, and is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the National Peace Corps Association.
 

Malawi Borehole Program

Malawi has suffered through a terrible and unprecedented drought that has made life very hard for the people there. Many rural villages were forced to trek long distance to gather meager water supplies from sources unfit for human consumption. This program has been enacted to cobat this tragic situation, and has been emminently successful.

In concert with our friends at Village X, Water Charity embarked on a program to provide wells to 7 villages in Malawi. At this point, we have done 10 projects so far, and intend to keep doing more! You can use the donate widgets below to allocate funds specifically for this program.

Each well project has its own project page, links to which can be found at the bottom of the page.  The conclusion pages to each project are linked to their project pages.

Check out this video to get a better idea of the situation in Malawi, and what Water Charity & Village X are doing about it:

Water Charity Malawi filmed by Gareth Burghes

Village X is a Malawi aid organization run by RPCV Michael Buckler, with whom Water Charity has worked on projects in the past. Malawi Country Rep, Myson Jambo, went out to visit villages within the Village X network that had identified a serious water/sanitation problem. Many of these communities are in dire need of clean water. Like Mlenga Village used to (the first  well/ pilot of this program, already completed) prior to March 2015, they fetch water from streams and shallow holes in the ground. Community members suffer from inordinate rates of waterborne illness and women (the primary water fetchers) have been subjected to domestic abuse, rape and, in one case, even death from drowning in a flooded river, because of commutes to and from polluted water sources.Finishing up a new well

Myson has found a number of communities in need of a new borehole installation, spanning three districts and 225 square miles in the Upper Shire Highlands of Southern Malawi (see map) -- Siyabu, Nachuma, Likoswe, Kazembe, Bakili and Mwanga. We have been making boreholes in them one by one. Now, in all, the boreholes have benefited nearly 10,000 people, mostly sustenance farmers and their families living in areas far from government services and significant NGO assistance. All of the original projects have been completed, and many villages have access to clean drinking water for the first time!

Not only have we finished the original 7 village wells successfully and continue to do new wells in new villages, we have enacted a Training Program to increase the number of trained borehole drillers in the region. Many of the wells being done in the region now are made possible by this effort, even if they are not specifically Water Charity projects.  You can find an updated list of projects at the bottom of this page, below you can see the original outline of the program when we started it. Please take the time to click through to the individual projects and their conclusions to see the true scope of this important work!

Original Program Outline:

Locations and Community Descriptions 

See above. Click on the map to expand it, or click here. Each village is marked on the map, and main roads (dirt and asphalt) are shown in yellow. 

Siyabu Village, Zomba District, Malawi. Siyabu is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, about a two-hour walk from the city of Zomba. Linesi Masala, a mother of two and resident of Siyabu, was abused by her husband for taking too long to retrieve water from a shallow well, where wait times were very long. He accused her of using that time to sleep with other men. Her husband subsequently died of dysentery. Approximately five couples in Siyabu have divorced over this issue.

Nachuma Village, Zomba District, Malawi. Nachuma is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, about a two-hour walk from the city of Zomba. Nachuma, an usually large village (two to three times larger than other Village X partner villages), has one operational borehole, built in 1993, that frequently has maintenance problems. Most of the village doesn't use this borehole due to long walking distances. Frola Nachuma, a mother of three and Nachuma resident, was stripped naked by her husband and tied to a pole in the village market. He was angry that she fetched water from a shallow well near their home instead of walking long distances to and from the village's sole borehole. Her husband has since fled the village.

Likoswe Village, Chiradzulu District, Malawi. Likoswe is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located about a twenty-minute walk from a rural stretch of paved road, connecting Blantyre and Mulanje. A 13-year-old girl in Likoswe, Mphatso, was recently raped by a man from an adjacent village, while fetching water from a stream. She now has HIV.

Kazembe Village, Mulanje District, Malawi. Kazembe is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, a great distance from any paved road or urban area. Kazembe residents fetch water from the Nalada River. Consequently, infant morality rates are high and, on average, 4 cases of cholera are diagnosed in Kazembe each month.

Bakili Village, Mulanje District, Malawi. Bakili is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, a great distance from any paved road or urban area. Bakili lost a 14-year-old girl who went to fetch water from the local river and presumably drowned. Her body has not been recovered. 

Mwanga Village, Phalombe District, Malawi. Located along a rural stretch of paved road that connects the cities of Zomba and Phalombe, the commercial center of Mwanga has electricity, but many households lack it. In Mwanga, women often ask their husbands to fetch water using their bicycles, from a borehole located far from the village. The men usually resist, leaving wives with no choice except fetching water from nearby, unsanitary sources. 

Problems Addressed

There is no clean water accessible for residents of the villages (except Nachuma, a huge village with one borehole for 1487 people, located far from where most of them live). This leads to illness and, in some cases, death, particularly among children under the age of 5. Residents currently fetch water for drinking and cooking from dirty shallow wells or waterways like streams or rivers. Women, in particular, are vulnerable in the absence of clean, nearby water sources. As described above, in our partner villages, women fetching water from sometimes distant, unsanitary sources have experienced domestic abuse for taking too long (husbands suspect infidelity), rape (when women venture into remote areas), and death from drowning in flooded rivers during the rainy season.Water drum transported by bike.

Project Descriptions

These projects involve building boreholes. Borehole locations were chosen by village project committees, acting on behalf of entire villages. All sites are in publicly accessible places. Construction of all boreholes will be done by EZ Borehole Drillers, a company located in Blantyre, with substantial experience in the area, including the Mlenga borehole funded by Water Charity in February 2015. The installations will take three days to complete. It is expected that water will be reached at about 45 meters, but the wells will be drilled to depths of about 60 meters. Before drilling, a hydro-geographical assessment using electrical measurements will be conducted to find the depth of the underlying aquifer. The boreholes will be guaranteed for one year by EZ Borehole Drillers. The Mlenga borehole is functioning well, with no reported breakdowns or complaints. Above ground, the boreholes will include a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, a cement spillway to direct water into a nearby vegetable garden, and a clothes washing station. Water Charity funds will be used to pay for the skilled labor as well as for the materials that cannot be found locally, such as piping, fixtures and fittings, and concrete. Communities will contribute volunteer labor, materials, including bricks and sand, and about $400 in cash.

Project Impacts

Siyabu Village, Zomba District, Malawi. 104 households; 512 people.

Nachuma Village, Zomba District, Malawi. 302 households (258 of whom don't use old borehole due to distance); 1487 people (1270 of whom don't use old borehole due to distance).

Likoswe Village, Chiradzulu District, Malawi. 187 households; 738 people.

Kazembe Village, Mulanje District, Malawi. 179 households; 704 people.

Bakili Village, Mulanje District, Malawi. 97 households; 474 people. 

Mwanga Village, Phalombe District, Malawi. 112 households; 671 people.

Totals: 937 households; 4,369 people.
 

Project Administration

These projects will be administered by Michael Buckler, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Malawi from 2006 to 2008. He is the founder and CEO of Village X, a social enterprise located in Washington, D.C. dedicated to improving community development work in sub-Saharan Africa.  He is a member of the National Peace Corps Association, Friends of Malawi, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C.

Monitoring and Maintenance

EZ Borehole Drillers will conduct 2 days of community-based management training per borehole. Trainees will include village chiefs and members of two borehole management committees, a technical committee (responsible for upkeep and maintenance) and a sanitation committee (charged with keeping the borehole tidy and planting a vegetable garden that utilizes excess water from the well). The technical committees will collect a maintenance fee of 100 MK (about 20 cents) per month per household to ensure that there are sufficient funds to adequately maintain the facility and repair it when needed. These are important infrastructure projects that will improve the health and wellbeing of the communities. They are well planned, with strong management and fiscal safeguards in place. They incorporate elements of oversight and buy-in by the residents to make them sustainable into the future.

Fundraising Target

$8,000 per project ($56,000 for all seven)  Although these wells have been funded by an anonymous donor, further donations will go for additional wells. We are currently raising funds for wells 11 - 20, so donate generously!

Comments

EZ Borehole Drillers has already completed half of these wells, with plans to complete these projects in the Southern Region before traveling with their equipment for an extended trip to the Northern Region.  We have also now started our Malawi Borehole Training Program as a subprogram of this one, with the goal of having this team train 2 other teams to operate in other regions of Malawi... The end result will be that we will have 3 teams operating all over Malawi soon, and, thus, be able to do 3 wells at a time!

MALAWI BOREHOLE UPDATE:

2015 in Review: All 7 of the original borehole projects were successfully completed!  Water Charity & Village X validated and improved the model for this program in 2015. We demonstrated donor demand for direct giving and the capacity (time, intellect, know how) of local people to accomplish development faster, better, cheaper, and more transparently.  Communities contributed cash, labor and materials, and project costs were based on local prices. Consequently, this program had up to 8 times more charitable impact per dollar than status quo NGOs.

2015 Village X Infographic

2016 and Beyond:  Water Charity & Village X continue to assess water conditions in rural areas and have continued to create new boreholes for villages in need. The campaign has been very successful, and we even started a Borehole Training Program to increase the number of people trained in making boreholes there. The "ripple effect" from this (more villages getting wells and less time waiting) is just one of the happy side effects of this work. We are happy to say that improved health, and substantially less time spent collecting water from unimproved (often dangerous) sources, has led to increased productivity and improved well being. We hope to continue replicating this success until all villages in need are served. 

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Water For Zambia Program - Zambia

Water For Zambia Program - Zambia

NPCA - WC Logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location: 
Mansa District School, ZambiMansa District, Luapula Province, Zambia
 
Community Description: 
The primary schools where this project will take place are located in and around Mansa District in the Luapula Provnice of Zambia. These communities and schools are often without electricity and running water. The villages surrounding the schools consist of mud huts with grass thatch roofs. The main source of income in these communities is subsistence farming. 
 
Problem Addressed: 
The lack of safe drinking water at the middle schools of the district is the main problem to be addressed.  
 
Another community need is for food security, as schools are not currently able to create gardens and orchards due to the long distance to reach a water source.  A new water source will allow easy watering of plants and provide improved knowledge of gardening for students, as well as a convenient food supply.
 

Project Description:

This project is to restore water to 13 schools through the installation of a new water pump and associated improvements at each school. 

During Emily’s time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, she recognized the problem of inadequate access to safe drinking water sources throughout her 20-km catchment area. She was shocked to discover that all of the three schools in the area lacked an on-site, working water source.

Borehole and Pump - ZambiaThere was an existing play pump structure at all three schools, but the pumps had not worked since 2009. With the help of Water Charity, she was able to work with a local government group (similar to a Public Works Department) to renovate the water systems at all three primary schools. Each borehole now functional, and is expected to provide access to clean, safe drinking water for 300 people daily for a lifetime of 50 years.

Emily was informed of 13 other schools in Mansa District, with the identical play pump structures, currently facing water crises. She determined that the problem could easily and affordably be solved with the demolition of the existing structures and installation of new Afridev borehole pumps.

 
When she returned home after her Peace Corps service, she vowed to find a way to return to Zambia and renew her efforts to bring safe water to schools in the country.  She reached out to Water Charity to assist her in this endeavor, and a plan was developed for her to go back to Zambia and do this series of projects as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.  Water Charity decided to send her back with enough funding to accomplish this ambitious goal. 
 
This is one of the rare cases where WC paid to send someone to a location, and foot their living expenses while there.  The fact that she is doing 13 schools, and will also be sharing her experience with currently serving PCVs to develop their own WASH development work, makes this cost effective.
 
The work will be supervised by Emily and done by skilled technicians.  At each school, on the first day, there will be some demolition and installation of the pedestals. Then, after one week, allowing the pedestals to cure, the pumps and PVC piping will be installed
 

Each installation will include a runoff area, drain, soak pit, and other improvements as necessary.Mansa School Borehole Project - Zambia

 
Each community will provide the sand and perform the unskilled labor.
 
Each community will create an action plan regarding borehole maintenance, budgeting for spare parts, security, and sensitization of students, teachers, and surrounding communities.
 
Each school will host an orchard and garden.  The project will allow schools to complete other projects which may have been delayed due to a lack of water.
 
During Emily's stay in Zambia, as mentioned above, she will work with serving Peace Corps Volunteers to assist them in developing additional water and sanitation projects.  She will help them with all phases, including conceptualizing with the community, planning and budgeting, implementation, and maintenance and evaluation.  Her efforts in training and support on behalf of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association will result in a continuing flow of needed development projects. 

Project Impact: 
3.900 people will benefit from the project.  
 
Mbaso SchoolEach borehole will provide access to clean, safe drinking water for 300 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 absences for teachers and pupils (especially girls) will decrease, improving education for all.  There will be an increased knowledge of gardening and agriculture, food security, and community development.
 
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project: 
Emily McKeone, RPCV
 
Monitoring and Maintenance:
Local Community Maintenance Committees, School Administration, and Mansa District Municipal Council will play roles in the monitoring and maintenance
 
Comments:
In 2014, during Emily McKeone’s Peace Corps service, new boreholes were installed at an initial three primary schools within Mansa District in conjunction with Water Charity, as mentioned above. To read about that project CLICK HERE.  Not only did the communities report improved health and sanitation, but schools were also able to complete construction projects and further develop their infrastructure. This project and its 3 schools/ boreholes served can be considered the pilot project, or 1st project of this program.  Thus, when finished, a total of 16 schools and their defunct boreholes will have been served.
 
Dollar Amount of Project: 
13 additional schools at a cost of $28,000
 

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been funded by a major Water Charity donor, who prefers to remain anonymous.

 
Any additional donations will be utilized to fund additional projects in Zambia.
 
Emily at her first borehole project for WC
Water For Zambia

 

Country: 
Funds Needed : 
Progress: 

East Africa Water & Sanitation Program

Water Charity and National Peace Corps Association East Africa Water and Sanitation Program

NPCA & WC LOGOSWater Charity and the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) have begun a program to implement dozens of water, sanitation, and public health projects in East Africa.

This program is set for $2 million.  The first phase, in the amount of $215,000, resulting in at least 25 new projects was funded by an anonymous donor, and we are into the second phase.

The countries included in the program are Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, South Sudan and Madagascar.

Project planning is well underway, and work on the ground has begun on several projects. Individual projects will be phased in for implementation as planning for each is completed.

All projects are scheduled to be completed within a year, and it is anticipated that further funding will be available as the first phase is completed.

UPDATE:  The program has been extremely successful, spawned 6 sub-programs thusfar, and expanded into 2 new countries.  Many of the projects have been completed, and a host of new projects are on the way.  Look at the list at the bottom of the page for links to the various projects.

East Africa Water and Sanitation ProgramThe Partnership 
Water Charity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in 2008 and headquartered in California, that does water, sanitation, and public health projects around the world. It has implemented over 2,500 projects in 67 countries to date, about 95% of them under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs).

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a mission to championing lifelong commitment to Peace Corps values. The goals of NPCA are to help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be and help Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and RPCV groups thrive.

Averill Strasser, Co-Founder and COO of Water Charity, and Glen Blumhorst, President of National Peace Corps Association initiated a partnership in early 2015, that has led to this program and others like it.  The projects themselves continue to be done one at a time under our traditional, super-efficient model, managed by our volunteers on the ground.  While the scope has been expanded, these projects are the same great, high "bang for the buck" projects you have come to know and love from us.

Methodology
The program follows a unique methodology of utilizing the services of PCVs and RPCVs for project management. This imparts a level of cost-effectiveness that is many times that achieved by other organizations doing similar work.  Some of the projects in this program are done in concert with partner NGOs at work in-country.

Within the 8-country program area (now 10), individual projects will be planned and implemented one-by-one, rather than following an imposed and fully-developed plan. The model is based on the premise that there is great need in the entire program area, and the most cost-effective way to save lives and prevent and cure illness is to quickly address those needs in the order in which they arise organically from the communities.

Incorporation of Peace Corps Volunteers
The major portion of the on-the-ground administration of projects will be carried out under the direction of serving PCVs. These are all college graduates who have been trained in country, and possess language, technical, social, and community development skills.

East Africa Water and Sanitation ProgramThere are about 7,200 PCVs serving in 64 developing nations at any point in time. They live and work with members of the community and are involved in all stages of community organization, project conceptualization, planning, implementation, completion, and evaluation.

PCV's often work together in specific areas of the country, and there will be opportunities to aggregate projects that are being done in close geographic and temporal proximity. PCVs working together offer assistance to each other in planning and execution, economies of scale, camaraderie, continuity, sustainability, and ease of evaluation.

All projects will be funded using the normal channels through the Peace Corps Partnership Program after proper review.  This serves to ensure that each project meets a set of stringent requirements, and brings needed resources to assist the Peace Corps in its mission. 

The Role of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Approximately 215,000 people have served as PCVs since the Peace Corps was started about 54 years ago. They represent an important and valuable resource to assist in the role of community development in the world.

NPCA is a partner of Peace Corps, and is the designated organization to represent all RPCVs, and engage to amplify the power of the Peace Corps.

In the past 7 years, many RPCVs have worked with Water Charity to directly implement projects. RPCVs return to their country of service because of a lifelong commitment, and bring with them their prior skills, education, and training.

RPCVs will continue to directly implement projects, but will also be utilized to provide training and support to serving PCVS to assist them in all phases of their projects.

A good example is the Malawi Borehole Program with RPCV Michael Buckler.  In this program we are doing a slew of wells in concert with the NGO he founded when he decided to go back to Malawi (his country of service as a PCV), with the help of Water Charity.

East Africa Water and Sanitation ProgramTypes of Projects
All projects will fall under the categories of water, sanitation, and public health.

Typical projects will be water systems, wells, pumps, tanks, small reservoirs, rainwater catchment systems, irrigation systems, water purification installations, latrines, and handwashing stations.

All projects will require the community participation of labor, materials, and/or money to the extent of about 25% of the project cost.

Where feasible, small costs will be imposed on the villagers for use of newly-created water facilities, such that there will be funds available for maintenance, repair, and replacement when the need arises.

All projects will have community training and education components to teach villagers the technologies employed in the project, the use, maintenance, and repairs of the improvements, and necessary hygiene and public health concepts.

All projects will include a job training component whereby technical skills are imparted on villages such that they will be able to utilize the acquired knowledge and apply it in other communities. The formation of small businesses to proliferate the technology in nearby areas while creating employment and economic incentives will be encouraged. Where feasible, tools will be left behind to serve in this effort.

Sustainability will be ensured by serving PCVs and their replacements, who will visit the project sites at intervals after completion and facilitate needed repairs and improvements.

Implementation

This program is up and running, with 6 major sub-progams and a large number of single projects already.  These subprograms are collections of individual projects in a given country, utilizing a specific technique (i.e. borehole drilling or well rehabilitation) to help the people in need.  We are set to surpass all our goals with this umbrella program.  At the bottom of the page you can find links to everything we're doing.  Directly below, are links to the subprogram pages which showcase all the various projects being done under the auspices of each.

Summary
The program offers unmatched cost effectiveness to implement vital projects using appropriate technology for people across this entire region of Africa. It benefits from our unique model and past knowledge of and experience in the chosen countries. It eliminates the expenses of travel, in-country headquarters and administrative costs, and allows for most project dollars to be directed to materials and skilled labor.

The implementation is already well underway, with most of the original projects already completed, and the phase-in of new projects rapid.  There is a constant flow of new projects in areas of need, and new regions and countries are being added to the program as we are able to create worthy new projects and expand on the successes we have already achieved. A sister program is underway in West Africa which was able to receive funding due to the success of this initiative.

Funds Needed : 
Progress: 

Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program

Clean water or Dirty water

NPCA & WC LOGOSWater Charity and the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) have begun a new program to replicate the ongoing success of our East Africa Water & Sanitation Program in Western Africa.  It involves the implementation of dozens of water, sanitation, public health, and environmental projects in a number of West African nations.

The initial countries included in the program were:
Senegal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Morocco, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Guinea was later added.

Si Kunda, The GambiaIt is likely that we will add other countries in the region to the program as it expands, and as security can be ensured..

This program is open ended, and will consist of individual projects both large and small.  These will include our "normal" projects in the region, as well as even larger, more comprehensive efforts.

Project planning is well underway, and work on the ground has begun on several projects. Individual projects will be phased in for implementation as planning for each is completed. 

The Partnership
Water Charity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in 2008 and headquartered in California, that does water, sanitation, public health, and environmental projects around the world. It has implemented around 2,000 projects in 65 countries to date, about 95% of them under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs).

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a mission to championing lifelong commitment to Peace Corps values. The goals of NPCA are to help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be and help Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and RPCV groups thrive.

Averill Strasser, RPCV, Co-Founder and COO of Water Charity, and Glen Blumhorst, President of National Peace Corps Association, are working together in the implementation of this program.

open wellMethodology
The program, along with much of the work done by Water Charity, follows a unique methodology of utilizing the services of PCVs and RPCVs for project management. This imparts a level of cost-effectiveness that is many times that achieved by other organizations doing similar work. In this way, travel and administrative expense are eliminated, as there are capable, local-language-speaking, highly-motivated PCVs already living in the villages where the projects are taking place.

Most often, these projects arise out of the relationship between the PCVs and their host communities, and an effort to bring these villages together on their water & sanitation issues.  This generally involves the formation of a local water committee, the use of entirely local labor, local materials sourcing, and a real commitment on the part of the people who benefit from the projects to monitor & maintain them. 

This is a sustainable and successful model in which the community is invested in the outcome and members are motivated to preserve the improvements.  With the community contributing materials, labor, and money, villagers have a sense of pride and ownership, leading to long-term success.

Within the 10-country program area, individual projects will be planned and implemented one-by-one, rather than following an imposed and fully-developed plan. The model is based on the premise that there is great need in the entire program area, and the most cost-effective way to save lives and prevent and cure illness is to quickly address those needs in the order in which they arise organically from the communities.

 Making soap    Incorporation of Peace Corps Volunteers
The major portion of the on-the-ground administration of projects will be carried out under the direction of serving PCVs. These are all college graduates who have been trained in country, and possess language, technical, social, and community development skills.

There are about 7,000 PCVs at any given time worldwide, with about 1,200 in the designated program area. These PCVs live and work with members of the community, and, in the implementation of our WATSAN projects, they are involved in all stages of community organization, project conceptualization, planning, implementation, completion, and evaluation.

Where there are opportunities to aggregate projects that are being done in close geographic and temporal proximity, we aim to get PCVs working together and offering assistance to each other in planning and execution. This has benefits of economy of scale, camaraderie, continuity, sustainability, and ease of evaluation.

All in all, Water Charity projects serve to strengthen the Peace Corps, and allow PCVs to contribute meaningfully to the health and wellbeing of their host villages.  Projects are often secondary to the primary program assignment of a PCV.  However, such projects always add to the value of the Peace Corps service by bringing needed resources to the village, and creating tangible community development results. 

     The Role of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Approximately 215,000 people have served as PCVs since the Peace Corps was started about 54 years ago. They represent an important and valuable resource to assist in the role of community development in the world.

Senegal woman in project groupNPCA is a partner of Peace Corps, and is the designated organization to represent all RPCVs, as well as to amplify the power of the Peace Corps.

In the past 7 years, many RPCVs have worked with Water Charity to directly implement projects. RPCVs return to their country of service because of a lifelong commitment, and bring with them their prior skills, education, and training.

RPCVs will continue to directly implement projects, but will also be utilized to provide training and support to serving PCVs to assist them in all phases of their projects.

Types of Projects
All projects fall under the categories of water, sanitation, public health,and environment, and many of these serve double duty, in that they also cover multiple areas like education, disaster relief, drought & famine aid, as well as the new Let Girls Learn designation. Running water to a school that never had access to water, and building a number of bathrooms, water fountains, and handwashing stations, for instance, is a water, sanitation, education and women's empowerment project all in one!

Typical projects will be community water systems, wells, pumps, tanks, small reservoirs, rainwater catchment systems, irrigation systems, water purification installations, latrines, and handwashing stations.

All projects will require the community participation of labor, materials, and/or money, to the extent that the community is able to contribute, often as much as 25% of the project cost.

The local water committee, in some cases, may decide to impose small fees on the villagers for use of newly-created water facilities, such that there will be funds available for maintenance, repair, and replacement when the need arises. These fees will always be affordable for all residents,

Water Charity is prepared to return to a community and aid the residents in repairs or expansion when local resources do not permit such work without assistance.

All projects have community training and education components to teach villagers the technologies employed, the use, maintenance, and repairs of the improvements, as well as any hygiene and public health concepts that might aid them.

Mass transit in Senegal Where the skilled labor needed to complete a job doesn't exist, Water Charity is pleased to engage in job training, whereby technical skills are imparted to locals looking for work, and thus enabling them to form small businesses which allows them to utilize the acquired knowledge, and apply it in other communities. This creates a rather profound "ripple effect" to our projects, whereby the new (or even pre-existing) businesses of the skilled laborers can proliferate the technology in nearby areas while creating employment and economic incentives.

Where feasible, tools are left behind after completion of our projects to serve in this effort.  In this way, many Water Charity projects have spawned dozens of other similar projects in a given area, without us having to be directly involved... and while boosting the local economy to boot.

Sustainability is ensured by serving PCVs and their replacements, who visit the project sites at intervals after completion and facilitate needed repairs and improvements.  Local water committees and skilled laborer businesses also contribute to the overall sustainability. Water Charity projects have an outstanding success rate because of these elements, and considerably greater longevity than comparable projects, while being an order of magnitude cheaper to implement in most cases.

Implementation
At the bottom of the page is a listing of projects that have recently been started under the program. The list will be updated as new projects come on line. A little triangle next to the project name indicates that it is already completed and a conclusion page has been posted and nested underneath the original project page.

Summary
The program offers unmatched cost effectiveness to implement vital projects using appropriate technology. It benefits from our unique model and past knowledge of and experience in the chosen countries. It eliminates the expenses of travel, in-country headquarters, and administrative costs, and allows for most project dollars to be directed to materials and skilled labor.

Donation to this program is a sure-fire way to aid and assist a large number of people with great water and sanitation needs, speedily and efficiently.

This program is targeted for funding of $2,200,000 over 3 years, rolled out as follows:

  • $440,000 for Year 1
  • $660,000 for Year 2
  • $1,100,000 for Year 3
 


Women carrying water, Senegal

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Sierra Madre Water Program - Mexico & Guatemala

Sierra Madre Water Program - Mexico & Guatemala

NPCA - WC LogosWATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS, together with The SEXTO SOL Center for Community Action, announce the implementation of the SIERRA MADRE WATER PROGRAM - MEXICO & GUATEMALA.

The program is designed to provide safe water, effective sanitation, and public health services for 300 villages in the Sierra Madre Region of Chiapas, Mexico, through an unprecedented collaboration of the three organizations.

With a target budget of $2,100,000, the program will be implemented in 15 phases, each addressing the needs of 20 villages. Phase 1 is budgeted for $140,000 in improvements.  Phase 1 is already well underway!

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexico

The program focuses on supplying drinking water using the appropriate technology for each village, with the objective of also providing water for sanitation, hygiene, and agriculture. Benefits will be sought in reducing morbidity and mortality, improving quality of life, improving food security, and providing economic opportunities for direct participants and the community at large.

The projects to be implemented will be those requested by the individual villages to address their specific needs. A complete needs survey for the entire program is well underway, while specific project planning for Phase 1 villages is nearing completion, and preliminary planning continues for each successive village.

The design of each project will incorporate measures to maintain the improvements after completion, thus ensuring sustainability far into the future.

Sexto Sol will provide on-the-ground management of the program and the individual projects. The National Peace Corps Association and Water Charity will raise money for and publicize the program, and recruit Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to assist with project implementation. Water Charity will participate in the planning, execution, and evaluation of the program, train the RPCVs to perform their tasks, and provide for their deployment.

Edward James OlmosValued Support and Endorsement
We are honored to receive the recognition, support, and endorsement for this program from Edward James Olmos, renowned director and actor of stage and screen.

Mr. Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film Stand and Deliver, the only Hispanic-American to be nominated in that category. His career encompasses another 22 wins and 24 nominations. Among his great achievements, he is also recognized for his roles in Battlestar Galactica, Miami Vice, Selena, El Pachuco, and both the stage and film versions of Zoot Suit.

Mr. Olmos is known for his social activism, especially involving the U.S. Hispanic community. He narrated a portion of the movie Zapatista, showing the plight of the campesinos in Chiapas in the mid-90s. 

I am pleased to endorse the work being done by the Sexto Sol Center in partnership with Water Charity to bring potable water and sanitation to impoverished communities in Chiapas. I have stood behind the Sexto Sol Center since they began their service in Chiapas 17 years ago. I know what they are capable of doing. Water Charity is an experienced leader with an impressive track record of bringing clean water and sanitation to under-served communities in 63 countries worldwide. This is the ideal team to efficiently make these much needed improvements in the quality of life for people in the remote mountain villages. I encourage you to support this effort by Water Charity and the Sexto Sol Center. Your support will help them improve the lives of thousands of people. The world will be better for it.
Edward James Olmos

Program Location
This program is being implemented in the Municipalities of Motozintla, Siltepec, El Porvenir, La Grandeza, and other locations in Chiapas, Mexico as well as culturally and linguistically contiguous communities across the border in Guatemala.

300 villages have been chosen for consideration at this time.  As the program winds through its various phases, a specific list of target communities will be compiled.  To see a complete list of the municipalities in Chiapas, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexico

Needs
The Sierra Madre mountain range rises from the coastal plain, reaching over 10,000 feet in elevation. This important watershed has 98 rivers that flow to the mangrove forests on the Pacific Coast and feed the Grijalva River on the inland side. The land is very rugged with steep slopes and countless sharp ridges that fall away on all sides into canyons.

The watershed was severely clear cut about 20 years ago with no reforestation implemented. This left the region extremely vulnerable to natural disasters that have causeed great hardship for the people living there.  Most notabe were the disasters of 1998 and Hurricane Stan in 2005, both of which devastated the region with material losses that are still felt to this day.

Seasonal flooding causes damage regularly to deforested slopes resulting in major landslides that have become a "normal" occurrence. An active fault and volcanic rumbling create a lot of seismic activity which in July, 2014, resulted in damage to thousands of adobe homes in the poorest areas.

The region is dotted communities of people engaged in agriculture (campesinos). They depend on raising subsistence crops and small scale farming of potatoes, wheat, or coffee to sell. It is considered to be the most impoverished region in Mexico. When then-President Fox visited the region he made the sad announcement that El Porviner town was the poorest town in the country.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - MexicoThe people are Maya from three language groups, Mam in the high country, C'atok or Mocho in Motozintla and Tusantan, and Kaqchikel in the Mazapa area. The majority of the people are Mam.

In the 1960s a government program attempted to force acculturation on the population through a form of institutionalized racism that prohibited the people from speaking their language. Elders still speak Mam, but the middle aged population for the most part does not. Children and youth, therefore, have some confusion about their identity. This history has caused great pain and it leads people to not admit to being indigenous. Very few people wear the traditional clothing.

Malnutrition is the norm and is most evident in the children who do not reach normal height and often have trouble paying attention in school. Drought, loss of cultivated land to landslides, and the failure of the coffee crop all have contributed to the furthering of poverty for households in recent years.

When a family member falls ill, the expense can be devastating, sometimes forcing a family to have to sell their land. People die from curable diseases and illnesses that have been eradicated in most of the world are still a problem.

Adult illiteracy is common, with many people over 40 years of age having only attended 2 years of formal schooling. This has improved for children now with better access to rural schools, but typically the teachers are students who have not completed their teacher training.

The Sierra Madre is a mineral-rich region with foreign mining companies eager to strip mine a variety of minerals on the lands inhabited by the people. The tension caused by this looming future is worrisome for the people.

The Sierra Madre region has not received development assistance from the government or from international organizations. The Sexto Sol Center is the only international NGO with a long-term presence in the Sierra Madre.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - MexicoTypical Projects
This program is working toward ensuring water for all household uses, including for drinking, cooking, sanitation, and hygiene in 300 communities. It also provides for irrigation of the family and community gardens.

Typically, a community has an old water system that was built years ago, but many households do not receive water, and the system does not meet the needs of the population. The appropriate technology is to capture the water at the source and build a holding tank, and then install a water line over rough terrain to the village.

Typical projects include wells, pumps, rainwater catchment systems, aqueducts, water storage systems, water purification solutions, erosion control, reforestation, flooding prevention, and irrigation systems.

An effort will be made to encompass all of the water, sanitation, and public health needs of each village in a village-designated project. Within the project, there may be several stand-alone sub-projects, say, for example, at a school and at a clinic.

Hygiene and sanitation are inextricably tied to the goal of achieving a safe water source. Handwashing stations are crucial to allow for effective hygienic practices, especially in the schools clinics, and community centers. Bathrooms, erosion prevention, and flooding prevention and remediation are necessary to protect the water sources.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - MexicoProjects Underway & Completed
The program was begun with overall planning ascertaining village project needs and moving forward with project-by-project implementation. The first project was implemented in December, 2014, and we have already completed 8 village wide projects!.

This list will be updated with links to the project pages as new projects begin, and there is another list at the end of this posting:

Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico

Xelajú Chico, Hector Paniaguas y Barrio Reforma, Water System Relief Project - Mexico

El Progreso Water System Project – Mexico

Niquivil Water System Project - Mexico

Miguel Aleman Water Project - Mexico

Esperanza Water System Project - Guatemala

Santo Domingo La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Agua Prieta Water System Project - Mexico

Checute Water System Project - Mexico

Program Management
The program is being be managed by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, which serves impoverished communities in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico, near the border with Guatemala.

Sexto Sol previously completed the School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico in 2010 in partnership with Water Charity.

The Incorporation of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The program introduces the groundbreaking concept of utilizing Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) in the direct implementation of the projects in each of the communities. RPCVs are people who have returned home after having completed 3 months of training plus 2 years of service in a developing country. They have considerable experience in the community development process and the management of water and sanitation projects.

Water Charity has previously worked with dozens of RPCVs in the implementation of projects. These are dedicated people who have decided to remain in the country after their PC service, people who went to work for local NGOs, which they bring into the process, or people who return to the country after they have been home for a while. We have also collaborated with RPCVs who have Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexicogone on to serve in the Peace Corps Response Program, a short-duration commitment to a specific project assigned by the Peace Corps.

This program is completely unique in scope: It will be the first time that a significant number of RPCVs are being deployed on a large-scale program as volunteers, funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations, to serve under the direction of a local nonprofit.

The RPCVs will be recruited by the NPCA, trained by WC, and deployed to Motozintla for a set, but renewable, term.

The recruitment process will utilize the structure of 139 NPCA Member Groups, which are determined by country of service and hometown. 

It is anticipated that several RPCVs will come from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles (RPCVLA), one of the Member Groups with close ties to Water Charity.

The RPCVs will be fluent in Spanish and have substantial knowledge of and experience in community development. They will “hit the ground running”.

The RPCVs will train the villagers and work side-by-side with them in the detailed planning, implementation, and evaluation of the projects.

The RPCVs will volunteer their time. WC will provide funds for their travel. Sexto Sol will provide management, lodging and in-country transportation.

Benefits 

 

Entire Program

Phase 1 of 15

Budget

$2,100,000

$140,000

Population

70,000

4,666

Number of Villages

300

20

Number of Projects

900

60

Cost/Project

$2,333

$2,333

Cost/Person (3 projects)

$10

$10

This program will benefit about 70,000 people in 300 communities by providing each of them with a reliable supply of safe water and access to effective sanitation, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of all who reside in the region. Phase 1 will help 20 of those communities, and will serve as a proven model for the rest of the program, developing a skilled labor pool and a reliable and economical supply chain for materials and equipment.

Program Funding
Donors may contribute to the whole Phase1 effort, to be allocated where needed for projects by clicking on the DONATE button below, or by donating on the individual project pages, as new projects are started under the program.

Corporate and foundation donations are welcome and encouraged, and amounts and attribution rights will be negotiated.

Individual donations of any amount are encouraged. Every donation of $100 or more toward the overall program will be recognized on this page.

If you wish to donate “in honor of” or “in recognition of” or “in appreciation of”, please include the wording on your donation form or in an email directed to mail (at) watercharity.org If you wish for your donation to be anonymous, just let us know.

Fundraising Target

$140,000 for Phase 1 ($2,100,000 for the 15-phase program)

You can make a difference by helping us improve the lives of thousands of families in the Sierra Madre with your tax-deductible contribution. 

*****

Water Charity
Water Charity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in 2008 and headquartered in California, that does water, sanitation, and public health projects around the world. Since that time, 1,800 projects in 65 countries have been implemented.

National Peace Corps Association
The National Peace Corps Association was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a mission to championing lifelong commitment to Peace Corps values. The goals of NPCA are to help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be and help returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and RPCV groups thrive.

The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action
The Sexto Sol Center serves impoverished communities in Chiapas and Guatemala, where a change of vision and specific technical assistance can help people create a better life.  Since 1997 Sexto Sol has assisted people to create success with cooperative businesses, grow health-giving food, improve neglected schools for their children, regain cultural pride, protect the watershed, create eco-villages and heal from the trauma of disaster and conflict.

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Njie Kunda Latrine Project - The Gambia

Njie Kunda Latrine Project - The Gambia

NPCA and WC logos

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

Njie Kunda Latrine Project - The GambiaLocation
Njie Kunda, Fulladu West, Central River Region, The Gambia

Community Description
Until 2015, there was no school in Njie Kunda and parents felt that the nearest Lower Basic Cycle School, in Fula Bantang, was too far for young children to walk to school.

In 2015, the alkalo of the village provided GambiaRising with a list of more than 100 children from Njie Kunda, Sinchu Sambuldu, and Sinch Yerro villages who were not in school, along with a map of the land the village had set aside for a school. If GambiaRising could provide the materials (corrugate, cement, wood for roof frames, benches, blackboards), the community would build itself a two-classroom school.

In September, 2015, the school opened with two Nursery classes (Nursery 1 and Nursery 2) and two 1st grade classes. Already, it was in double shift. A total of 114 students were enrolled; 50 boys and 64 girls. The school hoped to add a 2nd grade and 3rd grade, after which students would be able to walk to Fula Bantang, where there are schools going all the way to 12th grade. In September, the 2nd grade was added, and the school's enrollment swelled to 176.

Njie Kunda Latrine Project - The GambiaProblem Addressed
While there is a village well not far from the school, there are no toilets. With 176 students currently enrolled, and plans to add a third grade next year, this is not acceptable. The school has erected a screen for partial privacy but only boys use it and students need to go to "the bush" when they need to relieve themselves.

Project Description
This project is to build three girls' pit latrine toilets and two boys' pit latrine toilets for the school. These will be located above two different pits, separated by 5 meters, for privacy.

Two handwashing stations, consisting of a stand and a water barrel with a spigot, will be located between and close to both toilet facilities.

Community members will dig the pits, mold bricks from local materials, strengthened with cement, and build the holding tanks and the houses for the toilets. They have already demonstrated that they are motivated and capable, having built the school itself in 2015.

Project Impact
181 people will benefit from the project, consisting of 176 students and 5 teachers.

Njie Kunda Latrine Project - The GambiaProject Administrator
Mike McConnell, Managing Trustee, GambiaRising, and Former Country Director for Peace Corps in The Gambia from 2007 through 2009.

Mike previously directed the Fula Bantang Senior Secondary School Well Project - The Gambia

Monitoring and Maintenance
The UpCountry Program Coordinator for GambiaRising, Kebba Sanyang, is the Principal of St. Therese's Basic Cycle and Senior Secondary Schools in nearby Fula Bantang. He has worked with the community before and oversaw the construction of the school in 2015.

Mike will oversee the project, and verify that the facilities are being used correctly and kept in the proper repair during his frequent visits to the school.

Let Girls Learn
Of the 176 students enrolled currently at Njie Kunda Lower Basic Cycle School, 106 are girls. The addition of latrines will make it easier for the girls to remain in school. While this is not an official Let Girls Learn project, it carries with it the same attributes, providing for the sanitation and hygiene needs of girls. Therefore, we designate it a Let Girls Learn + project.

This project is part of our ongoing Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program.

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

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Colombia Lifewater Project - Estacion Villa - Colombia

Colombia Lifewater Project - Estacion Villa - Colombia

This Colombia Lifewater Project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity, the National Peace Corps Association, and Superstar WC Volunteer RPCV Jeremy Mak.

Location
Estacion Villa, Colombia

village woman and waterCommunity Description
Estacion Villa, a small underserved community in Northeast Colombia located at N 10°17,794’ W 74°11.444’. The population is comprised of approximately 375 people from an estimated 45 households that straddle an unpaved dirt road located 35 kilometers from Fundacion Magdalena, the nearest town. Surrounding the village are ranches, but most of the families in the village itself are of modest means and extremely poor. The area was also terrorized and deeply affected by a 10-year period of violent occupation and abusive control by FARC guerrillas.

Signs of poverty are apparent in many forms in Estacion Villa. Several houses are of basic stick framing and mud houses, and some sleep as many as 8 to a room. Secondly, while there is electricity, most houses can afford only very dim ambient light and there is no running water or plumbing in the conventional sense. The majority of households rely on open wood fires for cooking. In terms of employment, several families are landless and struggle to find work. While there is a small primary school, there is little else in terms of public services, programs, or safety nets. Some households resort to temporary jobs on surrounding ranches or migrant work in places like Barranquilla or Fundacion.

POOR Water Quality of Estacion Villa, ColombiaProblem Addressed
One of the village’s biggest problems is water—both in terms of access and quality. Villagers drink contaminated rainwater, but when it is depleted, they rely on consuming unfiltered pond water. Rainwater is collected off corrugate metal roofs and stored in makeshift cisterns and storage containers, mostly located outside of the home. The government delivered 1,000-liter water tanks to households recently, but without proper training on how to install the tanks with fittings or how to correctly place, use, and maintain them, the tanks either are not being optimally utilized or not being used at all.

Moreover, due to their rudimentary design, homemade rainwater collection systems using these tanks and other containers lack “first flush” mechanisms that remove roof contaminants like dust, leaves, and bird droppings. Many water storage containers and tanks are uncovered and exposed to the elements, insects, and animals, further compromising the purity of rainwater with visible pollutants.

In 2006, the government dug an unlined catchment pond (the local names for pond arejaguey and represa) beside the village and installed a gravity-fed water system that delivers water to each house along the main road. The pond has a diameter of about 100 yards, but the depth and water catchment capacity is unknown. The pond--full of microorganisms, fish, and aquatic plants—is unfit for direct consumption. Cattle and roaming animals freely access it, and run-off from cow tracks drain into the pond.

An electric pump draws water up to an uncovered ferro-cement tank. A local told us that it holds 45,000 liters, but our estimate puts its max capacity closer to 10,000 liters, which is then gravity-fed to houses in the street below. The storage capacity of the central tank is relatively low compared to the approximately 45 houses it serves. In comparison, most homes have one or two 1,000 liter tanks.

The water system itself provides no filtration or disinfection/purification, and house pipes have no faucets, but rather are open-ended thin flexible hoses crudely connected to larger PVC feeder mains. The system’s pump is turned on every few days without pre-indication of time, and households must store water whenever it comes. The water that reaches homes has a brownish color to it, and sediment and organic bits of material is dispensed as well.

WATERING CROPSAt focus groups held with female heads of households, all mothers stated that they didn’t boil their water or otherwise filter it first, as no health authority has ever advised them to do so. (Secondly, boiling water would be incredibly labor intensive for those needing to collect firewood, or exorbitantly expensive for those households using gas stoves). Unfortunately, skin infections, hives, and stomach ailments attributed to the water are a widespread problem, which the community has largely been relegated to accepting as a fact of life.

When the jaguey dries up (as it does seasonally), the village relies on trucked water that is delivered at no cost by the government. This water comes from nearby towns of San Angel, Algarobo, Santa Rosa, and Fundacion, but villagers complain of the salty taste. They can buy more palatable river water, but each 40 liters cost 2,000 Colombian pesos (approximately USD 65 cents). Resorting to dirty pond water or trucked and bagged drinking water is becoming more of a constant reality as rains decline and when the jaguey dries. Especially over the past few months, a painful rain shortage has been felt.

Project Description
This project aims to provide all families in Estacion Villa with access to Sawyer Point One household filters, along with training required to install, use, and maintain them. Each filter is long-lasting, incredibly durable, and extremely effective at removing bacteria down to 0.1 microns—the same ones that cause dysentery, diarrhea, E. Coli, cholera, and typhoid. With proper care, they may never need to be replaced. You can see more information on these filters HERE.Assessing the situation

Following a house-to-house verification survey, and a mandatory two-hour long interactive training, we aim to distribute the filters along with hermetic water containers, solar lights, and mosquito nets.

Community Organization
Columbia Lifewater Project

Project Impact
It is anticipated that this project will serve up to an estimated 375 people with a durable solution to clean water for improved health outcomes.

RPCV Directing Project
Jeremy Mak

Monitoring and Maintenance
While the recipients of the filters, solar lamps, and mosquito nets will be responsible for their maintenance, Jeremy and his fiancé will be in contact with and check up on them.  As the villagers will be trained in proper upkeep (backflushing etc.) for their filters, it should be relatively problem-free for many, many years to come.

Comments
A comprehensive collection of pre-project photos can be found HERE.

This project is being led by Gambia RPCV Jeremy Mak, who has successfully completed several water and sanitation projects with Water Charity support over the past 6 years, including Sawyer filter distribution projects in Gambia (2015), and Uganda (2016). You can see previous examples of his Water Charity projects HERE (Gambia) and HERE (Uganda).  This is Jeremy’s first project for Water Charity in Columbia.  All 30 or so pages worth of Jeremy Mak projects can be perused by following this link: http://watercharity.com/Jeremy-Mak.

This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

Village Familia
Preparing FILTERS

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Pap Onditi Pump Restoration Project - Kenya

The pump needing repair in Pap Onditi, Kenya

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

Location
The town of Pap Onditi, just outside Kisumu, Kisumu County, Kenya
Current water source
Community Description
The Kisumu area is fairly dry, like a lot of the Nyanza region.  The town relies on water from a dammed stream from Lake Victoria that is not potable and is drying up.

Problem Addressed
This area is being hard hit by the current drought in most of western Kenya. Water for the people in the immediate area is taken from a filthy dam shared with animals. This dam is also slowly drying up as it is not replenished. Drinking water is either purchased or sought some distance away. The pump on the local well that had supplied water to the community became non-functional.

Project Description
The project will repair an existing Afridev Reciprocating Hand Pump.
 
This project is being done in concert with the local Franciscan friars.  The village committee under the leadership of Fr. Jabedo has purchased the land parcel upon which the pump sits.  As such, its use will be controlled and safeguarded.
 
For several reasons, the pump has had the pipes removed as well as the pumping mechanism. The PVC pipes were stored in a home that burned and they are gone.

In short, the project will:
  1. replace the missing pump housing parts
  2. install the 110 feet of PVC pipe
  3. reinstall and replace (as needed) the pump components
  4. secure the completed pump.

Pumps across Africa receive a lot of abuse, and generally end up with handles broken, parts needing replacement, and more. In recognition of this, nominal sums will be collected from all of the users to have enough on hand for mainenance and repairs.

Collecting WaterProject Impact
The number of persons served is over 250 in the area and another 50 or so within one mile.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Dave Rowson, RPCV

Monitoring and Maintenance
The local friars and the village committee will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the pump, and performing repairs as needed.

Comments
Dave was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya until 2013. He and his wife Rebecca, first as PCVs, and then as RPCVs, have done many water and sanitation projects in Kenya in partnership with Water Charity.  CLICK HERE to see a collection of the work they have accomplished to date.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.
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Saiti Village Borehole Project - Malawi

Saiti Village Borehole Project - Malawi

NPCA and WC logos

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

Saiti Village Borehole Project - MalawiLocation
Saiti Village, Zomba District, Malawi

Community Description
Saiti is a typical rural Malawian village, without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, about an hour away from the city of Zomba. Saiti has one broken borehole, built in the 1990s, that was hand-dug to a depth of only 6 meters. Saiti also has a shallow, hand-dug well capped with a cement silo. Residents currently walk 6-8 kilometers to fetch clean water.

Problem Addressed
There is no accessible clean water source for residents of Saiti Village. This leads to illness and, in some cases, death, particularly among children under the age of 5. Most residents currently fetch water for drinking and cooking from dirty wells or waterways like streams or rivers. Women, in particular, are vulnerable in the absence of clean, nearby water sources.

Project Description
This project is to construct a borehole in Saiti Village.

The borehole location was chosen by a village project committee, acting on behalf of the entire village. The site is publicly accessible.

Construction will be done by EZ Borehole Drillers, a company located in Blantyre, with substantial experience in the area, including other boreholes funded by Water Charity.

The installation will take three days to complete. It is expected that water will be reached at about 45 meters, but the well will be drilled to a depth of about 60 meters, if necessary. Before drilling, a hydro-geographical assessment using electrical measurements will be conducted to find the depth of the underlying aquifer. The borehole will be guaranteed for one year by EZ Borehole Drillers.

Above ground, the boreholes will include a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, and a cement spillway to channel excess water.

Water Charity funds will be used to pay for the skilled labor as well as for the materials that cannot be found locally, such as piping, fixtures and fittings, and concrete.

The community will contribute volunteer labor, materials, including bricks and sand, and about $300 in cash.

The project will be administered by RPCV Michael Buckler, founder and CEO of Village X Org, a social enterprise located in Washington, D.C. dedicated to improving community development work in sub-Saharan Africa. He is a member of the National Peace Corps Association, Friends of Malawi, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C.

Saiti Village Borehole Project - MalawiProject Impact
2,035 people, living in 402 households will benefit from the project.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Michael Buckler, RPCV Malawi (’06-’08)

Monitoring and Maintenance
EZ Borehole Drillers will conduct 2 days of community-based borehole management training. Trainees will include the village chief and members of two borehole management committees, a technical committee (responsible for upkeep and maintenance) and a sanitation committee (charged with keeping the borehole tidy).

The technical committees will collect a maintenance fee of 100 MK (about 20 cents) per month per household to ensure that there are sufficient funds to adequately maintain the facility and repair it when needed.

Village X will gather data from nearest health clinic to evaluate the impact of the borehole, comparing rates of waterborne illness before and after installation.

This is an important infrastructure project that will improve the health and wellbeing of Saiti. It is well planned, with strong management and fiscal safeguards in place. It incorporates elements of oversight and buy-in by the residents to make the project sustainable into the future.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

This project is the ninth to be implemented under our Malawi Borehole Program, which is a part of our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Program. If you would like to help us with more projects such as this one, please click the Donate button below.

 

Saiti Village Borehole Project - MalawiSaiti Village Borehole Project - Malawi

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Kole Forest Garden Project - Uganda

Kole Forest Garden Project - Uganda

NPCA and WC logos

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

Location
Kole District, Northern Uganda

Community Description
The Kole District in Northern Uganda is home to rolling hills of farmland that is plowed by hand or oxen. The Langis and Acholis tribes make up the majority of people in this region, extending to the west and north toward South Sudan. Life in Kole was significantly disrupted in the mid-1990s when Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rose up against the government and attacked civilians in the northern half of the country. During this time, almost two million residents were affected and forced to flee their homes or lose their lives.

When the LRA insurgency ended, there was widespread international support for farmers and other displaced people returning to Kole, but since then large NGOs such as World Vision, Care International, Action Aid, and the United Nations have ended their programming in these regions. The majority of agricultural programming over the past 30 years by the international community has encouraged mono-cropping of one or few crops on farmers’ lands, ultimately contributing to the loss of agricultural and ecological biodiversity across the landscape.

Problem Addressed
Many Kole households continue to rely on open streams for domestic water collection. However, because of pollution and agricultural runoff from the villages along the streams, much of this water is unsafe for domestic use. Farmers need to improve water quality, build soil health, and conserve precious resources.

Despite the fact that the Lango culture prevalent in Kole is male-dominated, women are responsible for nearly all of the domestic and agricultural family activities. It is the women that grow food, collect water, build and maintain houses, educate children, and generate income for the home, and have the greatest need for improved techniques.

Formerly displaced persons are very much affected by the use of improper farming techniques in their effort to earn a living. Farmers who left their lands during the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency have returned now and are practicing conventional, destructive farming techniques. As farmers continue to clear brush and trees to plant crops year-round, soil fertility is quickly depleting. Tree cover is disappearing in Kole , Uganda due to human encroachment on forests.

Project Description
The overall goal of the Kole Forest Garden Project is to increase food security and income of 282 families in Kole, Uganda, by transforming their degraded fields into sustainable Forest Gardens. This project will help farmers and their families break the cycle of poverty.

The Forest Garden system is a multi-tiered mixture of trees, shrubs, and crops that is grown on one to two acres of land. Trees have long been a vital resource for smallholder farmers since, once established, they require very little labor and resources to be productive. Centering farms around trees is not difficult, but most African farmers are resource- and technology-poor and are stuck in a losing battle growing short-term cropping to meet short-term needs.

Locally-based technicians will work on-the-ground with farmers to design Forest Gardens which will maximize yields and provide a consistent income, while also improving the quality of the land being farmed.

Key objectives over the next 12 months of this project include:

1) Provide support and training to 282 farmers in Kole, Uganda on Forest Garden design and nursery development and maintenance,

2) Plant approximately 600,000 trees on Forest Garden sites to protect and fertilize soils through establishment of green walls, contour lines, and planting of nitrogen-fixing, fertilizer trees; begin out-planting, and conduct training events on composting, integrated pest management strategies, and perma-garden growing techniques, and

3) Establish 282 garden beds—one for each farmer—with a diverse mix of nutritious vegetables and fruits surrounded by fodder and timber trees.

The activities will include:

● Out-planting trees
● Composting and Integrated Pest Management training
● Tree and vegetable nurseries
● Farmer sample survey and evaluations
● Gardening training
● Annual review and planning meeting
● Tree and vegetable out-planting
● Fruit tree nursery training
● Fruit tree nurseries
● Fruit tree out-planting training
● Out-planting fruit trees

The work is being carried out by Trees for the Future, founded in 1989 to combat unsustainable land use practices in the developing world. Its mission is to improve the livelihoods of impoverished farmers through revitalizing degraded lands.

Water Charity funds will be used to pay for agroforestry tree seeds, fruit tree seeds and cuttings, vegetable seeds, materials, tools, and transport.

Project Impact
1,700 people in 282 families, from 13 different small farmer groups, will benefit from the project. Combined, these families will transform 277 acres (112 hectares) of previously degraded land into prolific, diverse, and permanent Forest Gardens.

Kole Forest Garden Project - Uganda

Project Manager
Ashleigh Burgess, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Sengal (2011-14), Trees for the Future

Monitoring and Maintenance

To measure the overall impact of the Kole Forest Garden program during the entire project term (estimated to be completed by March 2020), the measurable objectives are to:

1) Increase sustainability of rural landscapes for 282 Kole farmers by establishing environmentally responsible agricultural systems—indicated by the number of farmers who have established Forest Garden sites,

2) Increase household food security for Kole farmers through increased access to food over an annual period—indicated by USAID's Household Food Insecurity Access Score, and

3) Increase household resilience to economic instability for Kole farmers over an annual period—indicated by USAID's Household Resilience Capacity Score.

Comments
The Forest Garden approach is designed to help farmers improve water quality through conservation practices, decrease reliance on costly and environmentally harmful pesticides and fertilizers, build soil health, and conserve precious resources. In addition, the project will provide the entire community with the tools and resources to be successful in growing food and preserving the environment for years and generations to come.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

If you are moved by this model, that has lifelong impact on the wellbeing of the community while protecting the environment and improving the water supply, please Donate using the button below. Your contribution will be allocated to similar projects in nearby locations.

 

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