The mission of Water Charity is to implement immediate, efficient, and practical projects around the world to provide safe water and effective sanitation to those in need.
Sipo, Communaute Rurale of Toubacouta, Region of Fatick, Senegal
Sipo is an island village located in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal. The village has a year round population of approximately 116 people, but it increases considerably during the tourist season.
Sipo is one of the 14 villages that make up the community managed MPA (Marine Protected Area) of Bamboung. The Bamboung MPA spans approximately 7,000 hectares, and is comprised of fourteen villages (for a total population of 30,000), each chosen for being located at the periphery of the Bamboung bolong (a Saloum Delta specific saltwater channel).
The area is known for its unique and rich mangrove forest ecosystem, over 30% of the surface area of the delta being covered by mangroves. These mangroves provide a habitat for a diverse array of tropical and subtropical animal and plant species and sustain the livelihoods of many coastal communities.
Mangrove branches, trunks, and roots provide a naturally effective form of flood and erosion control. They process and filter water, and treat and absorb waste (sewage) and toxins, thus reducing human disease.
The Senegalese population has increased from 3 million in 1960 to 10 million in 2000. This dramatic population increase has brought many complications, especially in the realm of sanitation and hygiene.
In Senegal, waterborne diseases are the main cause of mortality, particularly among children under five years old. There is an infant and child mortality rate of 160 per every thousand in rural areas of Senegal, with more than 17% of these deaths attributed to diarrhea.
Sine-Saloum island communities, such as Sipo, are particularly vulnerable to sanitation and hygiene issues because it is difficult to transport materials from the mainland to the islands. With over half of the population being under 15 years old, this problem is bound to escalate.
Mangroves have provided a natural method of erosion control and have kept waterways and water resources uncontaminated. However, due to its resistance to salinity and termite attacks (a major issue in Senegal), mangrove wood is sought after to be used in construction. It is often preferred by villagers as firewood because it burns longer and hotter, and the cutting of mangrove roots to remove oysters is an often-practiced, yet highly destructive occurrence.
The rate of decline in mangrove forests in Senegal has been greater than the rate of appearance, and the cutting intensities of mangrove wood are estimated to be between 1,500 and 5,700 individuals per hectare. This exploitation of mangrove resources exacerbates the problem of sanitation.
Without mangroves, there will be an increase in erosion, and waterways and water resources will increasingly become contaminated.
This project is to participate in and expand upon a larger mangrove reforestation project in the village of Sipo.
Approximately 50 Senegalese nationals and Peace Corps Senegal volunteers and staff will participate in a mangrove reforestation effort. Over 74 hectares of mangroves are expected to be planted.
A Peace Corps Small Project Assistance grant will cover the cost of 80 sacs of mangrove propagules (approximately 10,000 seedlings per sac).
Water Charity is funding the purchase an additional 37 bags of propagules (at 7,000 cfa per sac), and the transportation of the sacs from the mainland to the island.
116 people will directly benefit from the increase in mangroves on their island. The project will also indirectly affect the lives of all the people living in the Saloum Delta.
This project is being implemented under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Coberly.
During her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2010, Laura completed the Sokone Women’s Garden Well Project – Senegal.
She is now back in Senegal, working for 4 months with the Peace Corps on reforestation.
Please donate for this project by clicking the Donate button below.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
This project was to construct two ferro-cement water tanks for rainwater collection, each with 30,000 liter capacity.
The project was to build 2 tanks and rainwater collection systems in Picos Village. In accordance with the plans two 30,000 liter tanks were built and are now in service.
IDV was able to empower institutional leaders, together with local leaders from school and community, to work together to accomplish the task.
The results of the project can be seen in the following video.
The work was performed in less than three weeks, particularly thanks to community support of the people of Picos Village, the Secretary of Education, and the City of Itiúba.
Previously, water had to be supplied to the town as needed by water truck. The new tanks allow the community to store water brought in by truck, but also to capture rainwater.
According to Prof. Jairo, 110 families are now benefiting from the completion of the cisterns and collection systems.
Meanwhile, the project "Water for Life" was selected in the category field experience by Mandacaru Award. The award is part of the set of actions of the Cisterns Program, coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS), through the National Secretariat for Food and Nutritional Security, in partnership with the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID) and the Brazil Sustainable Environmental Institute (IABS).
We are very glad to be able to bring new possibilities for better living in the semi-arid region of Brazil.
We thank Rosângela and IDP for completing this excellent project, the latest in an important series of projects in Itiúba. We again extend our gratitude to the Elmo Foundation for providing the funding.
The project was to provide the people of Bendikwai with a sustainable source of clean drinking and cooking water through a community-wide network of rainwater harvesting systems.
The project was intended to reduce waterborne illnesses in the village of Bendikwai by providing every man woman and child with a clean and sustainable source of water. This goal was achieved in that the entire community now has access to clean drinking and cooking water.
Forty-five 400-gallon rainwater catchment tanks have been installed, and are now accessible to everyone, even during the long dry seasons.
For each installation, a wood or concrete stand was built upon which the tank was placed. Gutters and piping, along with tank structures where necessary, were then installed to capture the runoff.
The community contributed all labor for the tank installations and lumber for the tank structures.
Villagers have been instructed in, and will be responsible for, the maintenance of the installations.
The people of Bendikwai are deeply grateful for the assistance of Water Charity, and will continue to use and maintain the rainwater catchment tanks for years to come. Thank you again for your donation to this project.
We extend our gratitude to Caroline for completing this ambitious and important project, and again wish to thank the Paul Bechtner Foundation for providing the funding for the Water Charity participation.
Ndima Homestead, Maseysini Community, Shiselweni Region, Swaziland
Maseysini is located on the main road between Mahamba and Nhlangano. The area of the community this project will affect is a close-knit section on top of a hill.
The nearest water source for this area of the community is in the garden, fifteen to twenty minutes away. The water source is small hole made dirty by cows, and people frequently get sick from the water. The homesteads in the area collect water daily, but rarely garden or keep animals because of the labor required to obtain water for these projects.
This project is to drill a borehole in Maseysini.
The project will be implemented under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Cuddy Egbert.
The borehole will be placed on the homestead of the Ndima family, headed by Make Angelina Ndima who is a primary school teacher and a resource for many families in the community. (It is not possible to put the borehole on communal land because the costs of electricity and maintenance cannot be undertaken by the community at large.)
The Ndima family will run the borehole on their electricity and charge each homestead 15 emalangeni a month (about 1.50 USD) to access the tap. This small fee will cover the electricity costs of running the borehole. Because this water source will be privately run, the family will be able to set aside money for electricity and maintenance.
The borehole will be used by at least ten homesteads, and will benefit upwards of seventy people.
This is an important project for the community. It utilizes the appropriate technology under the circumstances, and provides a solution for sustainability within the means of the participating families.
The major portion of the funding for this project came from a $500 contribution from CannedWater4Kids, Sussex, WI, USA.
However, the project became infeasible and was terminated with no expenditure of funds. All donations have been re-allocated.
The project, comprised of a 10,000 liter water tank and an 8-faucet handwashing, was designed to provide a steady source of water for two buildings at the school. In actuality, much more was accomplished.
After just five weeks, two masons and a total of 120 parents successfully completed the construction of a 10,000 liter ferro-cement water tank, an 8-faucet handwashing station, a 4-faucet handwashing station, and all the required piping/tubing to make it a rain-water catchment system.
With extra materials and three days left of work, the masons were able to install the extra 4-faucet handwashing station, which was not in the original plan.
With the help of Water Charity in the first phase of this project last year, we were able to install a water storage tank, a water basin, and a rainwater catchment system. This system is still in use in one of the three buildings of the school.
The 10,000-liter tank was constructed at the building located at a higher elevation between the other two, and therefore has tubes that run the water from the tank to the other two schools that have smaller water storage tanks.
With the help of Water Charity, the school has experienced a miraculous transformation. The first phase of this project really motivated them to do more for their school, thus allowing this second phase to take place.
Now, upon the completion of this second phase, the three school buildings all have access to water. The teachers were trained to practice daily hygiene with their students each day. Each class was then trained by their teacher when and how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth. Furthermore, the teachers decided to require each student to bring soap, a towel, a toothbrush, and toothpaste, so that they can incorporate these daily hygiene practices into their class schedule. The participation of the teachers in this project was a very rewarding aspect of working with this school.
It has been an amazing experience watching the transformation of the school’s water system. A year and a half ago, the students were bringing 2-liter bottles filled with well water from their homes to fill metal barrels that held the school’s water. Now, not only do they have the infrastructure to allow for increased access to water but also the education needed for healthy living and sustainability.
Once again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you to Water Charity and Michael and Carla Boyle for helping fund this project. Your support has completely transformed a rural village’s elementary and middle school’s sanitary infrastructure as well as the employees’ participation in identifying the needs of their school and creating solutions to acknowledge their needs.
We are grateful to Chelsea for completing this project as she ends her Peace Corps service, and we wish her the best.
Cajolá is a town of 16,000, located in the department (state) of Quetzaltenango. 93% of the people are Maya Mam. The Mam are one of the largest Maya groups of Guatemala, and still speak their own language.
Cajolá was founded more than 500 years ago. The name means “Son of water” because of the rivers. 25% of the people live in the central, urbanized section while the other 75% live in the outlying rural area. 41% of the residents are less than 15 years old, and many are unable to attend school. Agriculture is the most important economic activity.
The community is located less than 10 miles from a nearby city that was deeply affected by the devastating 7.2 earthquake that shook Guatemala and killed dozens of people in November, 2012.
The culture of Cajolá is very traditional. Sadly, Cajolá has a very high poverty index, 94% of the people live in poverty, 57% in extreme poverty (which means that there isn’t enough to eat each day). Half of the children are chronically malnourished. 69% of the people are illiterate, 77% of the housing is in bad condition, 41% of the houses are overcrowded, 49% lack potable water, and 46% lack sanitary services.
Twenty latrines will be built on the property of the participating families deemed most in-need of sanitary infrastructure in the municipality of Cajolá. They are families that currently have no access to a latrine or toilet.
Building standards indicate that the latrine must be located far enough from any well or water source so as not to risk contamination. Each latrine pit will be at least 8 meters deep, and will not interfere with any other water source or construction.
Group History and Family Selection
In April, 2012, Health Center workers approached the municipal leaders about forming womens' groups to educate the community in preventive health. Hogares Saludables groups were formed in May, 2012, and have met 12 times to receive health classes and plan and develop this project.
Participants took part in the Hogares Saludables Preventive Health course. The groups elected their own leaders, who decided on the graduation requirements of the course (that the same family representative must attend at least 8 of the first 10 classes in order to graduate the course).
Together, the Health Team and Conejos Communitarians de DeBartolo de Cajolá (COCODE) designed this project in order to educate and empower the participants.
It was determined that 20 latrines and 20 concrete floors would be built for the 40 families of Canton Xetalbiljoj who upon graduation of the health course, were found most in-need.
Womens' group leaders approached the municipal government to request financial support for the project in October, 2012. From October to December, 2012, Health Center Staff, COCODE, the Peace Corps volunteer, and womens' group leaders collaborated to visit the houses of each family who graduated the course to complete the Plan Para Vivir Mejor diagnostic and give each participant guidance on how to improve the health of their family.
The families who met all project requirements were prioritized by Health Center Staff, and the 20 neediest families who lack a latrine were selected.
Participants are of Maya Mam descent, and the majority of group members are single mothers or widows. 94% of the municipality falls below the poverty line, and the project includes many of the poorest families of the entire community. These families live in sub-standard housing with very little income, and struggle to keep food on the table.
This construction of pit latrines will be carried out according to the recommendations of Peace Corps Guatemala staff. The model is sometimes referred to as the “Peace Corps Guatemala, Healthy Homes Model.” A specific design is utilized and the masonry workers are trained using the designated manual. In mid-March, 2013, mason workers will participate in two days of training on this particular latrine construction.
Steps to be Taken
The year of educational health courses has already been completed. Project design and management has been led by Peace Corps Volunteer Kathryn Lee, and supported by community health worker Julissa Garcia (Tecnica en Salud Rural) and community leaders Arnulfo Vail (COCODE de Caserio Los Vailes), Juana Melchor (Presidenta de Hogares Saludables), and Efrain Vail (Secretario de Asociacion APROEM).
Julissa Garcia will lead the purchase of materials from collaborating hardware store Ferreteria Colima, and families will receive the materials only upon completion of excavation of their latrine pit and providing their share of the materials.
The latrines will be built by masons who have been trained in the Peace Corps-approved design. Each family will be responsible for digging the latrine pit to a depth of at least 8 meters.
The masons will construct the “casita” or house of the latrine, consisting of the floor, walls, seat, roof and doors.
The masons will coordinate with the families to have all latrines constructed within three weeks.
Kathryn Lee will lead a team of health workers through house visits to ensure that the construction was completely satisfactorily and that the family is well-educated in the use and maintenance of their latrine, as well as reminded of the proper handwashing and hygiene techniques necessary to achieve a decrease in incidence of diarrheal disease.
Use of Water Charity Funds
The Water Charity funds will be used to pay the qualified and trained masons. They will also be used for materials, including wooden frames, toilet seats, sheets of zinc laminate for walls and roof, and nails.
209 people will benefit from this project, comprised as follows: Age 25+: 26 Male, 31 Female. Age 15-24: 8 Male, 20 Female. Age 0-15: 63 Male, 61 Female.
The Water Charity participation in this project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.
You may continue to contribute using the Donate button below. Any contributions in excess of project amount will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.
Itiúba is a town of about 10,000 people in the state of Bahia in the North-East region of Brazil.
Picos Village has over 106 families, comprised of 450 inhabitants. It suffers from a lack of an adequate water supply, especially during the dry season.
The project will be implemented by Instituto Diamante Verde (IDV) under the direction of Rosângela Araújo, Vice President. Under Rosângela’s direction, IDV previously completed the Gregorio Ferro-Cement Tank and Rainwater Catchment Project – Brazil and the Ponta Baixa Ferro-Cement Tank and Rainwater Catchment Project – Brazil.
IDV is an active nonprofit in the region, having completed a total of 9 rainwater catchment systems. In addition, they have engaged in a number of educational, environmental, social service, business generation, and cultural programs. They also participated in the construction of a school, road improvement, and a new health post.
The Colégio Estadual Agrário Soares de Araújo, located in Picos Village, serves over 160 children, youth, and adults in three shifts morning, afternoon and evening. It suffers from extreme water shortage in trying to satisfy the needs of the students and staff for drinking, cooking, sanitation, as well as gardening, especially during the dry season.
This project is to construct two ferro-cement water tanks for rainwater collection, each with 30,000 liter capacity.
The area for the tanks will be cleared, and steel frames erected. Pre-molded concrete plates will be fabricated, fitted, and cemented in place. Additional layers of cement will seal and finish the tanks.
Gutters will be fabricated and attached to the school building. Piping will connect the gutters to the two tanks.
The skilled workers who successfully completed the two prior projects will again be responsible for the implementation of this project. It is anticipated that construction of the tanks will take two weeks.
Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the materials, including cement, sand, rebar, sealant, pipe, fittings and fixtures, wire, zinc sheeting, and wood. The money will also be used to pay for the skilled labor.
Because of the emergency need to immediately begin to collect rainwater during the current rainy season, IDV has raised sufficient funds to start the project. They have already bought the materials, and starting the digging, with machinery procured from the municipality.
Chlorine will be provided for maintenance by the municipality. IDV will provide a seminar on maintenance of the system and various public health subjects.
The project will provide an ample supply of safe water for all of the needs of the 160 people attending classes at the school.
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of the Elmo Foundation.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and funds will be used for similar projects in Brazil.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
Under the leadership of Peace Corps Volunteer Lyzz Ogunwo, a latrine was built for the elementary school in Teugue-Ndogui. It now serves 90 students, teachers, and people living in surrounding households.
To date, we have helped 200 Peace Corps Volunteers in Senegal to better serve the communities in which they live. Please help us do more.
In July, 2012, Darlene became Country Director of Peace Corps Mongolia!
Darlene has had an amazing career as an author, researcher, professor, motivational speaker, and singer, leading to this current stop on her journey. In December, 2012, Darlene gave an inspirational presentation at TEDxUlaanbaatarWomen. Enjoy this video of her talk.
The project was to build a rainwater catchment and storage system in Ponta Baixa Village, Itiúba City, Bahia, Brazil.
In December 2012, the Instituto Diamante Verde´s project "Água para Vida" built and delivered two more ferro-cement water tanks, of 20,000 liters each, in the village of Ponta Baixa, Itiúba, Bahia.
Both are full thanks to the rain that fell in the second half of January 2013.
The collection of water is being carried out by gutters around the roof of the Colégio Estadual José Francisco dos Santos, incorporating 100% of the catchment area of the roof.
The tanks are being maintained by the college administration. Water for consumption is being treated with chlorine, offered by the municipality.
All 120 families who live in the village of Ponta Baixa are receiving benefit from the project.
The IDV thanks Water Charity and its donors for enabling the construction of an important system which will change in the lives of the residents.
We are grateful to Rosângela and to IDV for completing this terrific project, and are pleased to have played a part.