Well Construction Water
- Community Growth
- Water & Sanitation
This project proposal is to construct a new well water pump within the village for the citizens to have year-round access to clean water. This project is not only necessary because water is essential for life, but the installation of a pump in the village will save massive amounts of time and energy for the villagers. During the dry season people have to walk all day and go three or four villages over to find water. This time and immense physical strain could be better used on income generating activities and farming for the family. Access to clean water is an essential base for development and the village is struggling to advance without it. The village has the tools to solve and manage most developmental problems with the exception of one: accessibility to clean water. Lack of clean water for drinking and household use is the chief complaint among the people of the local community. Upon my arrival in village, I conducted several meetings asking the community members to write out a schedule of their day-to-day life and of their general cultural, seasonal, and work related activities throughout the span of one year. What I found is that on a daily basis, women spend the majority of their morning and another two to three hours in the evening fetching water. During the dry season, women will spend entire days searching for water. The water that is accessible is not potable and usually comes from rivers. Based on the information I gathered in these meetings, the village will not be able to truly advance until they are given quick access to clean water.
The problem in the local community is not a lack of motivation and involvement, but rather that the village does not have enough money to hire qualified technicians and properly finance a project large enough to address the needs of the entire village. The village has previously installed water pumps that have rested broken for years due to a lack of a trained technician readily available. Our newly trained village technician will address this issue, and the financial trainings will ensure that the money paid by the community is being properly saved to repair any future damages. Due to the severity of the water shortage in village, myself with the help of a village development committee brought in a state hydrologist to fix one of our broken pumps so that the community will have at least one temporary source of water. The community paid 20.000F to repair the broken part as an act of dedication and good faith towards this project to show how serious they are about its sustainability. Now, the community is energized about the potential of a new clean water project in the village. The development committee has agreed to finance the training of a new technician in the village to ensure that the new project will last. We also have a group of builders in the village who have agreed to assist with any work that can be done by an untrained group such as digging, pouring cement, and preparing the land where the well will be built. The president of the committee and I have been meeting with a state hydrologist who will help us manage the project and training to ensure everything moves as it should. The hydrologist came and did some initial testing to find the spaces in the village where we are most likely to hit water. He selected three potential locations, two of which are on privately owned land. The committee has reached out to each land proprietor and all three have accepted to donate the land should their location best serve the village.
The two primary risks to sustainability in a project such as this are: a lack of money to maintain the pumps after completion and smaller villages not having anyone capable of performing maintenance and fixing breaks. The village plans to address both of these issues within this project. The community will pay a 25FCFA/50 liters fee to ensure that the village always has money available to sustain the pumps. The problem is what happens after the villagers have paid. We have included a financial training element for the major groups in the village responsible for managing development. The development committee and the bureau of the chief have agreed to attend the training to learn how to manage the money brought in by the villagers. In the training we will cover the importance of directly depositing all income for the project and how to properly save it based on predicted maintenance and having emergency funding. The bank records for the development committee account will also be accessible to the chief to ensure that records are being properly kept and the money is well accounted for.
We will also be training a technician who is a native of the village to perform maintenance. Having someone in village whose family uses this project will also ensure that it is heavily monitored to prevent possible damage before it occurs. When large-scale, difficult to fix problems occur it is usually beyond the scope of a village technician to perform those repairs. It is usually necessary to contact a hydrologist, but most small villages have no idea where to begin searching for that information. All throughout the construction of our project, we will have a state technician and his team present in the village to ensure everything runs according to plan. The state technician will also be highly involved in the training of the new village technician. They will be able to build a relationship and forge a point of contact in the event of a problem that our village technician cannot solve.