Peace Corps Volunteers Provide Clean Water to 16 Togolese Communities

July 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 23, 2015 – Peace Corps volunteers Lauren Saint-Erne of Temecula, California, and Kelsey Jo Corey of Flower Mound, Texas, are working with local community members to replace broken water pumps in 16 Togolese villages. The new pumps provide clean water to more than 25,000 villagers and help reduce water-borne illness and infant mortality rates.

“Access to clean water is not only the basis of development work; it is the foundation of a productive and fully functioning community. This is what makes The Togo Clean Water Project of insurmountable importance,” said Lauren Saint-Erne, a graduate of San Francisco State University who has been living in Togo since 2013.

Prior to the project, some of Saint-Erne and Corey’s community members had to travel more than 20 miles to the nearest clean water source. Others were forced to drink water from rivers, springs, and, in the dry season, from holes dug in stream beds. In collaboration with the volunteers, each of the 16 villages formed a village pump committee responsible for providing oversight of the pump replacements and solidifying the structural health trainings presented by Saint-Erne and her fellow volunteers.

“Two months after the initial instillation of the pumps, we returned for monitoring and evaluation. In one village we saw a man carrying water on his head from the pump. In Togo this is literally a head turner and a great sign of progress from the trainings,” said Saint-Erne.

A portion of this project was funded through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), which helps fund Peace Corps volunteer projects worldwide. In order to receive PCPP funding, a community must make at least a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for each individual project. One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project.

About Peace Corps/ Togo: There are 77 volunteers in Togo working with their communities on projects in education, the environment and health. During their service in Togo, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including: Bassar, Ewe, Haoussa, Kabiyé, Kotokoli, Mina and Moba. More than 2,800 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Togo since the program was established in 1962.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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