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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Managing Water: Guinea

Water for Africa

Africa, Guinea

by Jesse Thyne, Mamou, Guinea Conakry, Guinea

There is generally enough water in my village, so the water more or less manages itself. Usually water is collected or drawn by women and children. Tradition dictates how the water is used. A village girl will use as much water for washing and cooking as her mother did and her grandmother before that.

In fields, water is often managed by trenches and barriers constructed from mud and used to divert rainfall and small creeks to the fields. During the rainy season, farmers plant according to the strength of the rain. For most of the dry season, fields lay fallow, because only fields near large water sources can support vegetation.

by Jennifer Akers, Boké, Guinea

In Boké, there is a governmental group in charge of purifying water. They have a tower next to the river that serves several pumps in town. Their means of purifying the water, however, is not up to U.S. standards. In families, the women are almost solely responsible for managing the water supply. They fetch it, bring it to the house, use it for cleaning, and decide how to divide up the rest.

I am not familiar with the situations of farmers, except to say that their crops are mostly dependent upon the climate. There seems to be no form of irrigation except the rain. Most vegetables and fruits are available only during particular seasons.

by Shad Engkilterra, Banko, Guinea

In families, the women and children are in charge of getting the water to meet the family's need. There is one family who is in charge of the maintenance and repair of each pump. There is a government-paid agent in charge of water and forests. I have seen his work—planting trees to protect the source of waters in Banko.

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