The community does not know of a clean water source in any of the surrounding communities. The poor water conditions within this community have caused mothers to fear for their children’s lives. Many children under the age of five do not live due the high number of waterborne illness within this region. Most of the members do not know what it is like to have clean water as they have never experienced it before. This will be the first safe well within the region. During the dry season, the hand dug wells begin to dry up causing families to limit what they drink or use. These are farmers and without water, many times their crops wilt and the cycle of famine can easily begin without access to food. Water is the first step to economic security and better health.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
The water crisis was severe in the community of Mpikwa. Water access was a gamble. All 162 residents used water from hand-dug wells. In the hot months, the water dwindled and the main danger facing the community members was dehydration. In order to preserve as much water as possible for survival, the community members would forgo household and hygienic uses.
Another ambient fear that consumed the community members’ minds was water-related illness. Even on days when they did feel blessed to have enough water, they feared the effects of the contagions in the Water. Stomach illnesses and parasites were commonplace. Furthermore, mosquitoes were drawn to the water in the wells. This put those who collected water, women and children, at greater risk of contracting malaria.
The community members lived their entire lives with this water crisis as a constant. It was hard to imagine water access as being different. They
continued to orient their lives around the collection and hauling of water, at the mercy of weather patterns. Yet they knew that something
needed to change.
A local community leader named Joseph Mutale was familiar with Living Water International’s mission. He decided to reach out to request their help. Living Water Uganda responded by agreeing to make a visit to the community. Once they had witnessed the dire situation, they agreed that a safe water well construction project would be invaluable to the community. Furthermore, they were assured that the community leaders were willing to sustain a new safe water well responsibly. Thanks to your generosity, Ingomar Living Waters, the project could begin soon!
The staff soon returned to begin the project. The team drilled until they reached a safe water aquifer at 60 meters deep. They flushed out the borehole to clear it of sedimentary rock debris. Once the team
cased the borehole with PVC, they formed a gravel pack and sanitary seal and mounted a hand pump. The well was complete!
|TOTAL WATER USERS||162|
|MAIN WATER COLLECTORS||women and children|
|PUMP TYPE||hand pump|
|PROJECT TYPE||new simple system|
|DEPTH OF WELL||60 mm|
|WATER QUALITY TESTS|
|TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS||381 ppm|
The Living Water Zambia staff guided the community members into a new season of stewardship. They helped them learn some essential lessons about safe water management and assisted the formation of a management plan. With their guidance, the community members nominated a water caretaker who will oversee the use and upkeep of the pump. The caretaker will collect a small, voluntary fee per household for use of the water. This money will be saved as a fund to cover the cost of future repairs to the well. The caretaker will remain in contact with the Living Water staff about the functionality of the well and will also encourage the community members to work together to keep their water access sustainable.
Before the new well was constructed, waterborne diseases were common among children under five.
It caused panic among the mothers in the community. Now things will improve!