RPCV

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.

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

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

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

This 9th Project in the Malawi Borehole Program has been completed.  The Conclusion Report follows the project description below. #CONCLUSION

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 through the generosity of Susan Coppa, in honor of the memory of her mother, Rose D. Mooradian. Rose served for 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, starting in 1985, and as a medical officer in Malawi from 1988 to 1991.

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


Water Is StruckCelebration

CONCLUSION of the SATI VILLAGE BOREHOLE PROJECT

The Borehole was successfully completed in April of 2017.  There was a bit of delay on this project en route to its successful completion as project manager Mike Buckler explains:

Getting ReadyThe delay was that Saiti Village elected to postpone drilling of the borehole until after the maize harvest, as the chosen location of the borehole imperiled some of the maize crop. Hope you are well. Our report follows.

Using funds from Water Charity, EZ Borehole Drillers drilled a borehole at Saiti Village, Malawi, starting on April 8, 2017, and finishing on April 12, 2017. The borehole was drilled to a depth of 47 meters. The water was tested and declared clean for drinking purposes. EZ Borehole installed a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, and a cement spillway to channel excess water. On May 13, 2017, after letting the cement around the borehole dry and harden, the community and Village X Country Representative, Myson Jambo, gathered to open the well. The well is in use by the community (see pictures below), serving 402 households and 2035 people. The borehole has a one-year guarantee against equipment malfunctions and other failures to harness clean water from the underlying acquirer.


The Malawi Borehole Program's ninth project is complete. Thank you!

 

All the best,

Mike

DrillingThe New Pump

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Komiguéa Borehole Project - Benin

Komiguéa Borehole Project - Benin

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

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninLocation
Komiguéa, Commune of N'Dali, Department of the Borgou, Benin

Community Description
The village of Komiguéa is 5 km from the large city of Parakou, in the northern half of Benin on the main road towards Niger. The population is composed of a mix of ethnic groups including Bariba, Biali, and Zerma, practicing religions including Islam, Christianity and animism.

Situated close to the equator, the climate is characterized as tropical savanna and is hot all year around. There is one rainy season from June to October, and a dry season from November to May.

Almost all of the residents earn a living in agriculture and animal husbandry, their main crops being soy, maize, cassava, yams, and cashews, and the domestic animals being cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and guinea fowl. Many people also process agricultural products, primarily soy into tofu, cassava into gari, and shea nuts into shea butter. A smaller number of people practice market gardening during the rainy season, producing chili peppers, carrots, cabbage and lettuce among other things. Many people sell their agricultural products in nearby Parakou.

Komiguéa has a primary school, a secondary school serving the surrounding area, and access to electricity. However other infrastructure such as municipal water, health centers, and financial institutions are lacking.

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninProblem Addressed
While many students do attend primary school, far fewer enter and complete secondary school because of lack of financial resources and administrative documents (namely birth certificates), and failure to perform well enough on the periodic entrance tests. Girls are particularly vulnerable to dropping out of school early because domestic obligations lead to them perform worse on tests, and because families tend to prioritize limited resources on boys' education.

Poverty and malnutrition are on the rise in the Komiguéa compared to previous decades due to drops in soil fertility, leading to falling agricultural productivity and reduced family income. Many families are forced to sell their land assets and venture further to find fertile land. Growing poverty and stagnating education combine with an exploding youth demographic, resulting in increases in challenges like youth unemployment and undesired pregnancies (leading to more girls leaving school).

These problems mean Komiguéa struggles to keep up with the regional, national and global pace of development, and they are all exacerbated by the lack of reliable potable water sources. While there are many wells and rainwater storage tanks due their low cost of construction, none of them provide potable water and they all run dry at the onset of the dry season.

The village has three boreholes equipped with foot-powered pumps, but they are laborious to operate, have a low flow-rate, suffer from frequent mechanical failures, and are also prone to running dry. As a result, especially during the dry season, the village's water sources are overcrowded and the acquisition of water becomes excessively burdensome.

Those looking to save time, money and effort resort to drawing drinking water from the wells and rainwater storage tanks, or even marshes and stagnant pools to satisfy their needs. These sources are often contaminated and cause illness, reducing physical capacity to farm and diverting financial resources to pay for treatment.

Women and girls are the ones who bear the greatest burden in acquiring water and therefore suffer the greatest consequences. The time and energy spent acquiring water is time and energy that could be spent on income generating activities or studying, so women are less able to afford essentials like food and education, and girls perform worse at school and are prone to dropping out.

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninFinally, as Komiguéa is close to the large town of Parakou, the market gardeners have access a large market for their produce. Unfortunately, water is only sufficient for gardening during the rainy season when produce prices are at their lowest and the gardeners end up profiting little from the activity.

Project Description
The goal for this project is to alleviate the burden of water acquisition and create new economic opportunities for community members. This will be accomplished by constructing a borehole as a permanent water source that quickly and efficiently delivers potable water to community members for drinking and other domestic uses, as well as other activities such as irrigated market gardening and fish farming.

A location for the borehole has been chosen near the northern edge of the town in a low-lying area where drilling costs and the risk of running dry will be reduced. There is ample available land nearby which is already used by market gardeners and fish farmers. The water storage tank will be approximately 200 meters from the borehole in a spot along the main road that is convenient for community members to access water for domestic uses.

The first step is to drill the borehole, which will be done by a team based in Parakou. Next, a plumber will install the associated pumping and water storage equipment, which includes a 750 W submersible pump at the bottom of the borehole to bring water to the surface, a 750 W surface pump to move water horizontally to the location of the water storage tank and up into the tank, and the 5,000-liter water storage tank itself. A mason will construct a 6-meter-high tower made of reinforced concrete on which the tank will be situated.

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninFinally, community members will install a 5 kW gasoline-powered generator to provide the electricity to power the pumps, and will construct a security fence to protect the borehole, generator and surface pump.

Echelle Africaine de Développement is a local organization that will assist in project implementation and long-term maintenance.

Project funds will pay for the drilling, plumbing equipment and labor, and water tower materials and labor. The community contribution will cover materials and labor for the security fence, pay for the gas-powered generator, and contribute to materials and labor costs for the plumbing.

Given the frequent power cuts in the community, the use of a gasoline-powered generator will ensure that there are no breaks in water access. The high-capacity elevated water storage rank will make water extraction easy and quick for domestic users. And the proximity of the borehole to ideal gardening and fish farming land will provide a substantial economic opportunity, making highly-profitable off-season vegetable and fish production possible.

This project will directly or indirectly benefit all members of the community. Many will use the water storage tank as their primary source of potable water due to its rapidity and ease of use, while others who use one of the other water sources will benefit via reduced traffic at the other sources.

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninProject Impact
5,901 people will benefit from the project.

Volunteer Directing Project
Clinton Lee is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Benin from 2012 to 2015. He is a member of the National Peace Corps Association and the affiliate groups Friends of Benin and Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Monitoring and Maintenance
In order to know whether this project has attained its goals of alleviating the burden of water acquisition and creating new economic opportunities, and in order to ensure sustainability of the project, the partner organization Echelle Africaine de Développement will perform a baseline and follow-up survey of households, as well as manage water sales and long-term maintenance of the equipment and infrastructure.

For the household surveys, they will gather information on the sources and costs of water acquisition. In addition, they will observe existing water sources to gather information on wait-times and monthly water source functionality. These surveys will be performed at monthly intervals before the completion of the water source proposed in this project, as well as after its completion to provide a view of the impact of the project.

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninLong-term sustainability of the water source will be ensured by the partner organization, who will hire an employee to manage the sale of the water and perform basic maintenance of the equipment. Sales revenue will be used to pay for the employee's salary, maintenance and repairs requiring a technician, and future improvements.

Let Girls Learn
In this community, women and girls are the ones primarily responsible for the acquisition of water. When water becomes scarce and acquisition becomes more onerous, women and girls suffer the most. Worse, the time period when water is most scarce coincides with the school year. For girls trying to perform well in school, water acquisition is a significant drain on time and energy better spent studying.

Many girls are forced to begin collecting water well before sunrise in order to finish before school. Others, upon arriving home at the end of the school day go directly to the pump and work until after dark. Meanwhile, their male counterparts are free to study during these hours, and girls fall behind their brothers at school. This phenomenon creates the false impression among community members that girls are less intelligent or not worth the investment in their education, and the gender gap persists.

Komiguéa Borehole Project - BeninMuch needs to be done to achieve gender equality in Benin, but as long as women and girls are weighed down by poor water access, they remain handicapped from attaining their educational and economic potential. This project aims to reduce the burden placed on women and girls by allowing much faster and less energy intensive water acquisition. Girls will have more time to spend more time studying, they will perform better in school, they will begin to change the perception of their potential, and they will move closer to gender equality.

While this project is not a part of the official Let Girls Learn program, it contains the same elements.  Therefore, we have given it our Let Girls Learn Plus designation, and made it a part of our Let Girls Learn Initiative - Worldwide.

Fundraising Target
$5,800

Donations Collected to Date
$5,800

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been paid for through the generosity of Judi and Jack Quinn.

Additional donations will be used for new projects in Benin.

 

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Kazingo and Karangura Water Project - Uganda

Kazingo and Karangura Water Project - Uganda

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

Kazingo and Karangura Water Project - UgandaLocation
Kazingo and Karangura parishes, Kabarole district, Bukuuku and Karangura sub-counties, Western region, Uganda

Community Description
Kazingo and Karangura are located about 16 km from Fort Portal town, 10 km off Bundibugyo road.

Twerwaneho Orphans Community Initiative (TOCI) works with over 220 vulnerable families in 26 villages of Bukuuku sub-county Kabarole district in areas of child protection, water, hygiene, health, sanitation, education and income generation.

TOCI has been supporting and empowering the community since May, 2006, and has been working with Peace Corps Volunteers and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers since 2010.

Problem Addressed
Bukuuku and Karangura sub-counties are remote areas bordering and in the middle of Rwenzori Mountains, where families commute long distances (2-3 km) in search of clean water.

During annual assessment and community visits, out of the 8 schools in and around Rwenzori Mountains, none has a nearby water source. Children in schools survive and drink dirty water from far rivers. This poses a risk of contracting waterborne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and cholera for school-going children.

Kazingo and Karangura Water Project - Uganda		Lack of nearby water sources affects and lowers household incomes as people take time searching for clean water that could have been used for productive work, such as farming, business or any other family income generating project.

TOCI organized meetings with community members and local council leaders to gather information, ideas and solutions to address the long-time water shortage and associated problems.

Project Description
This project is to build 3 rainwater harvesting systems in 2 communities.

Two tanks will be constructed in mountainous Karangura sub-county and one in Bukuuku sub- county. The school water tanks will each have two locally-made handwashing facilities fitted on the tanks so children can access safe drinking water.

The work will be done by Water for Hard to Reach Areas (WAHARA), an organization with considerable experience in similar projects.

Each system will consist of a 5,000-liter storage tank, gutters attached to building roofs, and piping.

In addition, 200 water collection and storage containers will be distributed at 2 schools, and to 150 vulnerable children from families affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and special needs children.

Tank Specifics
The tanks will be 10-12 mm thick plastic, with a capacity of 5,000 liters each. The tanks are guaranteed to last 30 years (when well protected).

Stand Construction
A base will be constructed of bricks, cement sand mortar of 1:3, concrete of 1:2:3 (cement sand and aggregates), constructed 2-3 feet above the ground.

Provision for Runoff
A soak pit will be constructed to capture runoff. A pit of 3 feet diameter will be dug and filled with hard stones, protected against breeding of mosquitoes by covering with taupline (polythene).

Gutters and Piping System
4 inch gutters will be installed on the face board to collect water from the roof surface. They will be connected to the down pipe and then to the tank.

Water Purification
Water will be collected in a clean container and mixed with water guard to make it safer for human consumption. Families will be encouraged to boil drinking water to kill germs when stored for long periods.

Kazingo and Karangura Water Project - UgandaProject Impact
2,700 people will benefit from the project.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Tiffany Tai, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Uganda, 2011-2013), Regional Recruiter for Peace Corps / West Coast Region, and active member of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles, will lead the project.

Tiffany previously completed the Kazingo, Kiguma and Karangura Water Project - Uganda

Monitoring and Maintenance
The local council leaders and water user committees will be equipped with skills to safeguard the systems, raise funds for repairs and improve sanitation around the water source.

The completed projects will be officially launched with the support of a sub county community development officer and health assistant who will help in the ongoing monitoring and support.

Let Girls Learn
The project targets over 800 girls faced with water, hygiene, and sanitation challenges that make it difficult for them to remain in school. Since girls bear the major burden of retrieving water, they will most benefit from the improvements.

While this project, administered by an RPCV, is not a part of the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn initiative, it embraces the same values. Hence, it is given the Let Girls Learn Plus (LGL+) designation, and included as a part of our Let Girls Learn Initiative - Worldwide

Fundraising Target
$4,900

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$4,900

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been fully funded by an anonymous donor.  Additional donations using the Donate button below will be used for other projects in Uganda.

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

 

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Call to Nature Permaculture Tree Planting Project - Ghana

Call to Nature Permaculture Tree Planting Project - Ghana

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

Call to Nature Permaculture Tree Planting Project - GhanaLocation
Oyibi - Legon in Accra and Nsawam - Adaeso, in the Eastern region, Ghana

Community Description
This project will be implemented by planting trees along roadsides from Oyibi - Legon in Accra and Nsawam - Adaeso in the Eastern region of Ghana. These two locations were identified through a search to determine the areas of greatest need.

Problem Addressed
Many urban areas of Ghana are devoid of trees. Trees are a necessary part of the water cycle, whereby rainfall is captured and finds his way down into the water table.

In addition, trees are needed to:

o Help to combat climate change

o Clean the air

o Provide oxygen

o Cool the streets and city

o Increase energy conservation

o Prevent water pollution

o Prevent soil erosion

o Shield children from ultraviolet rays

o Save water, as shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty grasses

o Provide food and medicine

o Provide canopy and habitat for wildlife

Project Description
This project is to plant and maintain 20,000 trees in two areas of Ghana.

Call to Nature Permaculture Tree Planting Project - Ghana

The project is being implemented by Call to Nature Permaculture (CTNP), a Ghana-based NGO, led by Solomon Amuzu, its Founder and Director. CTNP previously implemented Water Charity’s Call to Nature Permaculture Project - Ghana, which resulted in a great increase in the scope of operations of CTNP by facilitating water storage and distribution. 

CTNP has already begun planting the seedlings, and is readying them to be transplanted. Once this is done, the trees will be maintained for one year by CTNP and selected community members. The responsibility for the trees will then be handed over to the various communities and the state.

The Albizia tree was chosen for this project because it is fast growing and strong, provides a heavy canopy, and produces huge numbers of flowers for pollination.

The trees are to be planted along roadsides for stretches measuring 25 km each from Oyibi - Legon in Accra and Nsawam - Adaeso in the Eastern region of Ghana. With the rising levels of heat worldwide this is a move toward alleviating effects of climate change.

The lack of trees has made the ground in many areas very hot and dry. Trees recharge ground water, and when it rains, water pours onto the plant leaves and follows the root structure. Surface water is able to make its way deeply into the ground and finally into the water table, thereby increasing the amount of water stored in the ground.

The project will require a mobile water supply to initiate and to maintain the trees, through periodic watering, for a period of one year, the time needed for the trees to develop a strong root system.

Water Charity funds will be used for the purchase of a used pickup truck, water tank, hose, and fuel for one year.

CTNP is providing the seedlings, and the labor for implementing the project.

Project Impact
3,850 residents will directly benefit. In addition, all the travelers to and from the nation's capital, Accra will indirectly benefit.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Michael McGaskey

Call to Nature Permaculture Tree Planting Project - Ghana

Monitoring and Maintenance
Solomon Amuzu will perform the regular monitoring and maintenance of the project in order to ensure its sustainability. He will document the results with an eye toward creating a model that can be replicated.

RPCV Michael McGaskey will assist with monitoring and maintenance of the project.

Comments
The project has as one of its major objectives the improvement of capacity of an active, successful, and forward-thinking local NGO. The effectiveness of the tree planting effort can provide a model for expansion of the concept to other areas of Ghana, and other countries in Africa.

A second project like this has been undertaken for Water Charity by Solomon.  Read about the 2nd Call Of Nature Permaculture Tree Planting Project, and consider supporting both of these worthy efforts.

Fundraising Target
$5,950

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$0

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF PROJECT

Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you "naming rights", if that is something you would like.

Dollar Amount Needed
$5,950

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

 

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Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

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

Location
Cipresal La Cascada, Municipio Siltepec, Chiapas, Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCommunity Description
Cipresal Cascada is home to 146 families with 590 residents. The community is located deep in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico. Homes are spread out over the north-facing slope of rugged mountains. The community is located across a deep canyon that separates it from Santa Domingo La Cascada where Water Charity and the Sexto Sol Center successfully completed a water project in April.

The standard of living in this remote community is very poor. People make their living by growing coffee on small plots on the steep mountainside. In good years, coffee farming provides a meager income. Many families depend on the funds sent home from relatives working in the United States, leaving women to head the household.

Unfortunately, unusually high temperatures in recent years have resulted in the proliferation of a serious blight that has devastated coffee production, with serious economic consequences for peasant farmers throughout Chiapas and Guatemala.

Problem Addressed
Cipresal La Cascada is another of the many communities that have still not recovered from the devastation caused by Hurricane Stan in 2005. In their case, the disaster caused major landslides that effectively changed the landscape by blocking the course of the river they had previously used for their water source. The drought of the past couple of years has reduced the flow of springs and creeks near the communities that a few families were able to rely on previously.

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

At the time of this writing, the community is experiencing the extreme hardship of living without water while hoping for rain to bring temporary relief. The lack of water is a major factor contributing to the hardship of living in impoverished conditions in the Sierra Madre. When water becomes available, people immediately realize a better quality of life. It allows them to grow food gardens which help alleviate the malnutrition that is rampant in the region.

There are two schools in the community: an elementary school and a kindergarten that serves children aged 3 to 5 years old. The schools do not have water, which causes a lack of adequate sanitation for students, and makes life hard for the teachers who live there.

The community is concerned about retaining teachers given the remoteness of the location. They hope that by improving living conditions for them, specifically providing water for their needs, they will be more likely to continue teaching in the community. The water project will also provide water to the schools.

Project Description
This project is to build a system to provide water for the community. Fortunately, the river 3 km away from the community is a reliable source of good quality water. The water will be brought to the community through 2-inch poly-duct hose, connected to their existing holding tank.

Cement will be used to reinforce the interior surface of the tank, to build a catchment dam at the source and to build "rompedores" - small tanks that are necessary to slow the flow and reduce the pressure created when water races down steep grades. These structures also allow for the release of suction that builds in the hose.

To carry out the project, the Sexto Sol Center, a non-profit organization with 20 years of experience in the region, will coordinate and supervise the project until completion. The Sexto Sol Center team has already been working with the existing community committee responsible for overseeing water for the community for several months. This was done to reinforce the commitment of members to participate and strengthen leadership of the group which had not functioned in the recent past since they had no communal water system.Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Labor will be done by the men from the community who will work together to open a path through the steep forest, lay down the hose and build the structures needed. They have a plan in place to maintain the water line in the future.

Sexto Sol will organize the logistics of transporting the large rolls of hose from the factory on the coast and to the remote village of Cipresal La Cascada. The hose has a life span of at least 20 years, and is a low-cost material that conforms to the contours of the rugged terrain. The Sexto Sol Center sources the hose from a factory that uses recycled plastic to make it as part of their commitment to reduce solid waste in the estuaries and mangrove forests on the coast. The community will bury the hose several inches deep to prolong its life and protect it from animals and vandals.

As part of the support to be offered to the community Dr. Tamara Brennan will teach the women in the community how to manage their water wisely. Typically, the waste water from washing dishes and clothes is allowed to pool on the ground causing odors and other problems. She will encourage them to channel the waste water to feed plants and use it to expand their gardens. She will also teach the women how to turn discarded plastic into useful things for the home as a way to help the family economy and keep toxic plastic waste out of the watershed.

Project Impact
590 people will benefit from the project.

Project Manager
Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The people of the community, and their water board, will be responsible for care and maintenance of the new water system.

Sexto Sol will return to the village on occasion to monitor the system and assist with maintenance as needed.

Comments
This project is part of the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort to improve water access in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala. These projects are designed and implemented by Water Charity and local NGO the Sexto Sol Center for community development. (This is the seventh project directed by Sexto Sol.)

Fundraising Target
$5,700

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$5,700

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Any additional donations will go to future projects in Mexico and Guatemala.

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

 

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

 

 

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Chitimbe Borehole Project - Malawi

Chitimbe Borehole Project - Malawi

NPCA and WC logos

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

Chitimbe Borehole Project - MalawiLocation
Chitimbe Village, Mulanje District, Malawi.

Community Description
Chitimbe is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, about an hour away from the city of Blantyre. Chitimbe has one broken borehole, built 30 years ago, that is not operational. The depth of that well is only 6 meters.

Problem Addressed
There is no accessible clean water source for rural residents of Chitimbe 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 entails constructing a borehole in Chitimbe 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.

Chitimbe Borehole Project - MalawiIt 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.

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.

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

Project Impact
2,721 people in 623 households will benefit from the project.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
The project 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.

Chitimbe Borehole Project - MalawiMonitoring and Maintenance
EZ Borehole Drillers will guarantee the borehole for one year, and be available to respond to any problems that arise.

Villagers will be charged a nominal amount for water usage to have funds available for maintenance and repairs.

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 project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

This project is the eighth 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.

 

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

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Djelibakoro Well Project - Guinea

Djelibakoro Well Project - Guinea

NPCA and WC logos

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

Djelibakoro Well Project - GuineaLocation
Djelibakoro, Republic of Guinea

Community Description
Djelibakoro is a village of 12,000, situated where the Niger River and the Sansando River meet. It experienced rapid growth during the past decade after the construction of a major bridge over the Niger, and now hosts the largest weekly market between the major Guinean cities of Kankan and Siguiri.

The citizens of Djelibakoro have prospered from this growth, but it has also been a source of pressure on the area’s natural resources, including groundwater. The two great rivers dominate life in Djelibakoro, which partners annually with neighboring villages to host of one of Guinea’s oldest and largest fete de mars or lake festivals. Still, Djelibakoro sits at the edge of the Sahel, and it knows thirst every year.

Problem Addressed
During the wet season, Djelibakoro’s location is optimal for easy access to groundwater, and the majority of families have access to shallow hand dug wells. Unfortunately, this situation changes dramatically during the 4-6-month dry season. Hand-dug wells dry up and villagers are left to rely on potentially contaminated surface waters (classified as “unimproved” by the U.N Millennium Development Goals), or on the 5 functioning machine-dug tubewells.

For 12,000 residents, 5 tubewells is clearly insufficient. Women closest to the tubewells wait in line for hours to access water while the majority of villagers walk long distances (some more than a kilometer) to access surface water. Families drinking from surface waters are at particular risk from diarrheal diseases, which account for an estimated 10% of deaths in children under 5 worldwide.

Djelibakoro Well Project - GuineaProject Description
This project is to build a well in Djelibakoro.

Action Terrestre International will drill a deep borehole (estimated to be about 50 meters deep), and will install a manual hand pump of Indian manufacture. Piping will be installed and the well will be sealed. Surface improvements will include a concrete slab, drainage indentation, and soak pit.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Shreyan Sen will work closely with Mr. Fofana, a local school teacher and former Peace Corps counterpart, and the Djelibakoro water committee to ensure successful completion of construction. Mr. Fofana or a water committee member will visit the construction site at least four times per week.

Project implementation will also be monitored by local Peace Corps Volunteer partners. Two current Peace Corps Volunteers, Kathryn Boyle and John Leaderman, will physically visit the site and confirm construction progress.

The project is expected to take 10 days to complete. The well will be managed by the Djelibakoro Water Committee after completion.

Project Impact
12,000 people will benefit from this project.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Shreyan Sen, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Djelibakoro from 2012 to 2014, will administer the project.

Djelibakoro Well Project - Guinea

Monitoring and Maintenance
After completion of the well, Shreyan and Mr. Fofana will continue to monitor the project for one year. Mr. Fofana will check in with the community water committee on a biweekly basis, in person or via telephone. If any significant maintenance issues are reported, then the well construction company will be consulted.

If a problem requires significant expense for remediation, then the construction company will be required to return to Djelibakoro and perform repairs as per their one year performance guarantee.

Comments
There is a gender discrepancy among Guinean students--over 80% of the junior high school students in Djelibakoro are male. The water burden is a contributor to this disparity. Young women may be withdrawn from school to compensate for the long wait times or long distances required to access water during the dry season. Water scarcity causes women to lose time that could be spent studying or engaging in after school clubs.

Water Charity has designated this project with a LGL+ tag, as it is in the spirit of the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn program. Improved health facilities, especially for adolescent girls and pregnant women, will improve the ability of girls to remain in school.

This project is being funded by an anonymous donor. To allow us to pay for more great projects like this one, please donate to our Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program by clicking the Donate button below.
 

 

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

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Kaole Primary School Water Project - Zambia

Site of the Well at Kaole Primary School

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

Location

Kaole Primary School, Mansa District, Luapula Province, ZambiaKaole Primary School Sign

Community Description
The Kaole 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.  Kaole Primary School is about 10 km or about 6.2 miles from the Provincial Capital of Mansa. This school serves the most students of any of the other schools assisted by the Water for Zambia project.

Problem Addressed
Kaole Primary School had no functioning source of water on their campus.  There was an open, shallow well, over 100 meters from school.  Since there is no lid or cover, the well is easily contaminated.  The water cannot be trusted as a safe drinking water source and often dries up completely in the hot season. 

Like all the 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. 

Project Description
This project is to renovate a well to bring it to full functionality. As part of the Water for Zambia Program, this project will remove the merry-go-round and all the rusted piping below. The merry-go-round will be installed elsewhere for the children to play on. The rusted piping will be removed and replaced with PVC pipes.  Each section of the PVC piping is 3 meters.  The pipes will be securely connected with solvent cement.  

Under the Water for Zambia Program, all targeted schools require borehole rehabilitations. These rehabilitations require no further drilling.  The borehole at Kaole Primary School is 11.9 meters deep, with a static water level of 6.1 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 will be installed.  The construction process will take a total of 5 days. 

Site of Well at Kaole Primary SchoolThe pumping will allow water to flow at a rate of 10 liters per 21 seconds. The pump is 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 are 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 will be 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 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 collects all runoff water.  Students will be provided with fruit trees to plant near the new water source.

All construction will be carried out by the Water for Zambia project in partnership with the local government council.  The construction team comes from the Mansa Municipal Council located in the district capital, Mansa, in the Luapula Province. There are five men involved in the project. 

The schools and surrounding communities have been involved in every step of this project’s progress. 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 provided labor, sand, and stone for the project. The value of these contributions is about 20% of 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.

Project Impact
This project will impact 2,150 people directly, 2,098 students and a teaching staff of 52.  This project will also impact any visitors and future students.

broken pumpReturned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Emily McKeone

Monitoring and Maintenance  
Kaole 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 is 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 should 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 will be instructed to plant fruit trees near the borehole, to also assist with the issue of food security in the area. Finally, the school is in the process of constructing an additional classroom for students. It is expected that construction will be completed sooner as a result of the new, convenient source of water. 

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 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.  This project is #13 of 13 school boreholes with Emily, bringing the total to 16 schools boreholes in Zambia.

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

This program is part of the Water Charity and National Peace Corps Association East Africa Water and Sanitation Program.

This project has been completed, marking the end of the Water for Zambia program.  To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
 

Kaole Primary SchoolSchool group

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