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.
This project was to construct 25 pit latrines for low-income families in the community. Although there were delays, and the number of latrines had to be reduced, the project was a huge success.
The goal of the project was to improve the hygiene and sanitation of the community through construction of 25 family latrines, thereby reducing the incidence of preventable fecal-related illnesses. The families were chosen through a survey produced by the PCV and members of the NGO.
To be eligible for the project, each family agreed to the following:
- Subscribe to yearly trash collection and make monthly payments.
- Collect gravel, sand, and water for the cement mixture,
- Dig a 3 m hole.
- Provide the initial mason payment.
- Build the latrine superstructure.
- Provide space for the construction (minimum of 15 m between latrine and nearest water source).
The project began in January, 2011, and was not finished until April, 2012. The delay was due to weather, family participation, mason availability, cement access, and cost increases.
Benin experienced a particularly long rainy season, during which digging had to be suspended and the masons were not able to line the pits.
Some families discontinued the project due to family matters and the delays.
Mason availability became a problem when it was determined that there were only 3 masons available in the community who had been trained in the design of this type of latrine. Dividing the work and scheduling the labor presented a problem. A major problem was acquisition of the needed cement. A major cement factory went bankrupt, causing cement shortages throughout the country and a resultant increase in price.
In the end, the goals and objectives of the project were met, although only 20 latrines were completed.
Through project training sessions, all participants learned the basics of latrine construction, the benefits of latrine usage, as well as the essentials of latrine maintenance.
Project participants are expected to help spread the information on low-cost latrines to other families in need of hygiene and sanitation assistance, and the program is expected to continue.
We are grateful to Brigitte for completing this project, and again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
This project was designed to secure access to clean water for Choya, Si Kunda, and Kalikajara Villages by installing 3 Blue Pumps. Although the beneficiary communities changed over time, the result was another remarkable success.
I want to let you know that three (3) new Dutch Blue Pumps were installed in Choya, Medina Wallom, and Brikama Lefaya. Fairwater's partner, Swe-Gam, installed them.
Fairwater Foundation was able to offer both Si Kunda and Kalikajara only one Blue Pump each to spread the beneficiary area. Although this was clearly stipulated to their village leaders in our initial meeting with them and that they originally agreed and welcomed receiving one hand pump each, the village chiefs declined the pumps. They insisted that they would only accept two pumps each, because they were worried about having a long wait time with just one pump. While I hate leaving communities to draw water from open wells, with such a short time period left, I had no choice but to defer to willing villages, lest I risk losing the three donated Blue Pumps (each valued at more than $2,500).
While I was unable to help Si Kunda and Kalikajara this time, Choya, Medina Wallom, and Brikama Lefaya were each experiencing acute water problems prior to installation of the Blue Pumps. You may recall that in a prior Water Charity project, I rehabilitated Choya's one surviving Mark II pump. But even with that one in working order, with 380 people depending on it, water security was at risk. By supplying a second and more robust pump, we were able to significantly reduce women's pumping and waiting times.
At Medina Wallom, the whole community depended on one Mark II pump. The Blue Pump replaced the residents' second Mark, which broke down last year, severely affecting their dry season gardening. Now, the community has two pumps on which to rely to grow early season bitter tomato, which is their cash crop.
At Brikama Lefaya, 40 residents relied on one Mark II to supply all their domestic water needs, gardening, and cattle watering. By replacing their Mark with a Blue Pump, the higher water output better enables the community to meet all their water demands. Before, women needing to water their gardens in the evening would have to wait extensively so that the cows could drink.
The beneficiaries of this project are:
With some leftover funds for new parts and by recycling some old parts from decommissioned Mark II's, I plan to repair four more Mark II hand pumps in the following communities before I leave:
We wish to thank Jeremy for completing this terrific project, and again extend our gratitude to the SLOW LIFE Foundation for providing the funding.
Under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Jesse Coker, a large-capacity water tank will be built to serve the needs of the Kanoni Bible College, located in Kanoni Sub-County, Kiruhura District, Uganda.
The school is a small three- year-old college that trains individuals to become church leaders within the Christian faith. There are 96 students currently attending the college, most of whom are district residents. The college works in association with Kanoni Archdeaconry, just next door to the college.
Kanoni Bible College and Kanoni Archdeaconry are both part of the small trading center of Kanoni, which occupies a stretch of dirt road less than a kilometer in length in a very rural part of a generally rural district.
The project to be undertaken is the construction of a 25,000 liter rainwater harvesting tank. This tank will be built using Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks (ISSBs).
The business of tank construction was started both to provide communities with clean drinking water and also to support the operations of Engari Community Health Centre, PCV Jesse Coker’s host organization.
The project also provides some community members with employment opportunities, as seven local builders have been trained in the ways of using this methodology. So far, the project has constructed three water storage tanks, all of 20,000 liter capacities. Two were built at the Engari Community Health Centre, and one was built at Sya Bright Future Primary School.
It is believed that the proposed project will be the catalyst for the business to gain momentum, on its way to becoming self-sufficient. The location of the tank is ideal for marketing, as all of the bricks will be made on site, next to a road filled with passers-by throughout the day.
The tank will be built just on the downslope side of Kanoni Bible College. The now- experienced team of five masons, with two alternates, will be constructing the tank over a period of three weeks. This includes making all of the bricks needed (about 1,200), digging and setting the foundation, laying the bricks and supporting apparatus, roofing, plastering, and finishing processes.
The bulk of the project costs are being paid by donations from local community members, with Water Charity funds making up the necessary balance. The community will also be providing assistance throughout the project with labor, such as helping to carry bricks from the roadside down to the building site, or by sifting murram in preparation for making the bricks.
Ninety-six students of the college, in addition to twelve faculty members, will be the main beneficiaries.
During holidays, or in times of need, the tank will be available to other community groups, such as the adjoining primary or secondary schools.
The project is being implemented in Kayunga Town, Kayunga District, Central Uganda, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Rebecca Workman. Rebecca previously completed the Kayunga District Handwashing Station Project - Uganda.
Kayunga District is a rural district located in Central Uganda along the River Nile. The residents of the District are very ethnically diverse: There are 52 different tribes that comprise Kayunga District. The majority of the population belongs to the Buganda Tribe of central Uganda, the Banyala Tribe, and refugee populations from other East and Central African countries fleeing hardship.
Most of the population earns their living through farming a variety of crops, herding livestock, and fishing along the River Nile and in Lake Kyoga, located in northern Kayunga District.
Kayunga Town is located in roughly the center of Kayunga District. It is a major trading stop between Uganda’s capital city of Kampala and Jinja Town.
Kayunga Town also contains Kayunga District Hospital. The trading, the daily influx of people, and the District Hospital all lead to increased population and a considerable water shortage on a regular basis within the town.
Most residents of Kayunga Town in Kayunga West and Nakaliro have access to the town water system, which pumps water from the swamp outside of Kayunga Town, through a tap system, and into people’s homes. The main tank that stores this water is located just outside the property of Kayunga District Youth Center. The tank is not big enough to meet the needs of the people who rely on its water supply, and the tank often runs dry.
The pumps that extract the water from the swamp rely on consistent electricity, which has become increasingly unreliable since the middle of last year. Due to this unfortunate fact, tap water can be completely unavailable for periods lasting longer than a week, and the residents of Kayunga Town are forced to stand by and wait for the water they need, hoping that their previously stored supplies will not run dry.
There are currently only three boreholes in Kayunga Town, and they are all located in Kayunga West and Nakarilo. Residents will travel up to five kilometers to get water for their families. However, due to limited supply and consequently high prices, regular use of these boreholes becomes quite expensive for many members of the community, and, nearly every day, the boreholes are closed by their owners in an attempt to prevent overuse and to maintain the groundwater table. However, most residents do not understand this concept and are left with minimal water resources that are inadequate to meet their needs.
Kayunga District Youth Center
The Kayunga District Youth Center was established in 2006 to build District capacity in identifying and providing HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to the surrounding population of Kayunga District. The objective of the center is to build infrastructure, capacity, and systems of local public and private partners in central Uganda to ensure sustainable, quality, comprehensive HIV and other health-related services for the surrounding communities.
The youth center population consists of youths ages 12 – 25, HIV+ youths and adults, TB+ youths and adults, and the hospital complex serving the entire district and surrounding communities.
The youth center staff go to rural health centers located in Kayunga, Mukono and Buvuma Districts daily to service the populations for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment, TB assessment and referral, and Malaria prevention.
Although the youth center services all three districts, Kayunga District Youth Center is located in a part of Kayunga Town called Kayunga West and Nakaliro. In Kayunga Town, Kayunga District Youth Center focuses a majority of its efforts on improving the health care and lives of patients admitted to Kayunga District Hospital, which is a two-minute walk away from the Youth Center. While focusing on routine testing and counseling in the main hospital, the Youth Center also helps refer patients for safe and free medical male circumcision and runs a youth STI clinic that also works with TB screening.
This project is to build a rainwater catchment system for the use of the youth center and the residents of the town.
The heart of the system will be two new 15,000-liter rain collection tanks using the Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks (ISSB) construction technique. The technology is further described under our Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks Water Tank Program – Uganda
Roof gutters will be attached to the buildings, and piping will be run to direct the water from the gutters to the tanks. A first flush system will be installed for each tank, thus diverting contaminated water from the first rain of the season from the drinking water supply.
The project will be managed by a competent and dedicated community organization, Brick by Brick Construction that has experience in successfully implementing similar projects.
The system will benefit 12,000 people, including those who use the services of the youth center, and the residents of the surrounding communities.
In addition to improving the sources of drinking water available to the youth center, the hospital, and surrounding communities, the collected water will be used to help keep buildings and latrines clean, which will lessen the transfer of illness as a result of hygiene issues.
To indicate your desire for your contribution to be allocated toward this project, please click the Donate button below.
The project was to construct a new drainage system and elevate the ground around the center to prevent flooding, purchase a water purification tank connected to a common water canteen, and install sinks with running water.
We completed the drainage system, implemented the sinks/running water segment, and purchased/installed a clean drinking water canteen.
Throughout several meetings (before and after implementation) among administrators, laborers, parents, teachers, and villagers, project participants were able to retain the project goals, work out inconsistencies, and assess the project success after implementation.
Although there was a delay in purchasing materials, from that time forward, the project took a matter of weeks to complete.
Participants (consisting of civil servants, engineers, villagers, teachers, etc.) were required to communicate consistently and work through differences together in order to complete the project. Administrators and civil servants were responsible for the wellbeing and labor expenditures of villagers active in the construction process.
Construction workers were responsible for successfully implementing phase 1 and phase 2 of the project and ensuring that the new structures would be sustainable. Teachers, parents, and onlookers held all parties accountable by reinforcing the project goals and providing encouragement.
The project was a huge success, and I can't thank Water Charity enough on behalf of myself and my community.
We are grateful to Heidi, who has completed her Peace Corps service, for completing the project. We also wish to again thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for the Water Charity participation in this project.
Jeremy previously completed the Dankunku, Fula Kunda, and Brikama Lefaya Pump Project – The Gambia during his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and also finished the Niamina Dankunku Area Pump Project - The Gambia and the Sinchu Jaabo and Kaani Kunda Pump Project – The Gambia as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
Si Kunda and Kalikajara Villages, Niamina Dankunku District, and Choya Village, Niamina West District; Central River Region South, The Gambia, West Africa
Description of Project Community
Choya, Si Kunda, and Kalikajara are all ethnic Fula Villages. Most of them make their livelihoods through farming coos, peanuts, and rice in the dry season, and by tending cattle. Poverty is manifest in many ways, most prominently not having enough to eat. Compounded with poor water access (and use of open wells in Si Kunda and Kalikajara), sickness is common, as are skin diseases and other infections.
Water shortage is clearly an everyday problem, with people having to queue to draw water (or pump it at Choya's old Mark II, which was only recently rehabilitated with a previous Water Charity project). Yerro An, Si Kunda's alkalo, or village head, says, "We know our water is not clean or safe to drink, but what else can we do? We don't have any other sources of water."
Description of Project
This project seeks to secure access to clean and protected water for Choya, Si Kunda, and Kalikajara Villages by installing 3 Blue Pumps. Blue Pumps, made by Fairwater, are much more robust and long last than the typical outdated Mark II pumps seen in many villages, and the water output is much higher, averaging 12-20 liters a minute. It is much easier to use, especially for children, since there is less handle pressure resistance, and maintenance is minimal because of very few moving parts (as compared to the Mark II)
Choya, Si Kunda, and Kalikajara each have or had Mark II pumps, but for a variety of reasons, are not having their water needs met. Si Kunda and Kalikajara are each now depending exclusively on open wells to meet their water needs, presenting serious health and sanitation concerns.
Choya in Niamina West has 380 residents / 23 compounds. One of their Mark II hand pumps work (only because it was rehabilitated through the last Water Charity project), the other does not--A pipe broke and the cylinder fell into the water. Villagers have tried two times to pull it out, but no luck. Sometimes water stresses are so heavy, that village women have to trek to fetch water in nearby Sara Bakary, Medina Wollom, or Sara Sambel.
Si Kunda in Niamina Dankunku has 300 residents / 17 compounds. They had two Mark II pumps installed 7 years ago. However, the pumps experienced problems 4 years ago. A local well mechanic pulled everything out, promising to bring new pipes and parts, but hasn't. The community, relying only on an open well for their needs and their cattle's water needs, opened the well last year to ease the dependence on that solitary well.
Kalikajara in Niamina Dankunku has 115 residents / 11 compounds. Their Mark II pumps are 16 years old. They were pulled out 2 years ago. The pipes were stolen from the alkalo's compound, and so, the community opened the well and relies on the pulley and bucket system.
The Fairwater Foundation has agreed to donate 3 Blue Pumps, 1 each to Choya, Si Kunda, and Kalikajara, with possibly 1 more each for the latter 2 villages. These pumps cost more than $3,000 each installed. The only thing that Swe-Gam, the implementing partner, is asking for is roughly $500 for installation fees and fuel costs from Banjul.
Each community has already agreed to supply the cement, sand, and gravel needed to make the pedestal base for each Blue Pump.
To make a contribution for this project, please click the Donate button below.
$0.00 - This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of the SLOW LIFE Foundation as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Jeremy of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Jeremy and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
Mohamadou is a different type of man. He is a combination of western and traditional with a focus on economic conservatism. He came back home from Spain when the economy got bad and he is now doing the best he can in the Fouladou. He owns a boutique and works in the cotton factory 5 months out of the year.
Mohamadou’s family is composed of himself, 2 wives, one of his wives’ sick parents, and 7 kids. Aisatou and Sona work hard around the house and take over the boutique when Mohamadou is gone. Aisatou also makes little donuts to sell on the side and they both take care of the garden and the children.
Tasks that seem as though they would be simple tend to take more time and energy than expected. For example making lunch, which for us would take 15 minutes maximum, takes 4 hours here. There aren’t many refrigerators, making it necessary to go to the market each day.
In order to get a ride into town, one must wait at a taxi garage until a car is filled and only then will it drive into town. Once one has returned from the market, it is time to start a fire. One must gather the wood and pull water for food preparation.
This is the prime example as to why installing pumps makes the lives of people a bit easier. It makes one aspect of life a little simpler, leaving more time and energy for the areas that require it.
Pump Output: 41 Liters/ Min
Total Number of People Benefiting: 14 people
Funder: Katherine White
The need for water storage capability in rural Uganda is huge, with only 55% of the population of the country having access to safe water. Often there is no public water source.
Water tanks represent an important tool in the arsenal to make safe water available to all. As part of a rainwater harvesting system, it allows water to be collected when available and stored for use as needed.
There are many different technologies than can be used to construct water tanks, and many factors to be considered in the choice in every situation. Cost, local materials available, skilled labor, and local preferences are but a few.
Water Charity has implemented many water tank projects in different countries of the world. In Uganda, with the start of our newest project, here are our accomplishments:
- Kanoni Water Tank Project - Uganda
- Kayunga District Youth Center Rainwater Catchment Project – Uganda
- Rwenkobwa Trading Center Tank Project – Uganda
- Kashongi Trading Center Ferro-Cement Tank Project - Uganda
- Sya Bright Future Primary School Water Tank Project - Uganda
You can see how important water tanks are to the health and wellbeing of the population. Because of the high impact of such projects, in addition to the relative ease of implementation, we decided to engage in a focused fundraising campaign to continue to do projects of this type elsewhere in the country.
We will continue to build tanks as quickly as funding will allow. If you agree with our approach please give generously to program by clicking on the Donate button below. Your contributions, as always, are tax-deductible. 100% of all donations are applied directly to projects in the field.
Sincan Samba Koulibaly, Kolda, Senegal
Facing the Kolda cotton factory is a quartier called Samba Koulibaly, named after a Malian man who, years before the cotton factory, arrived when there was not even a paved road going through Kolda. Samba Koulibaly’s namesakes will probably remain the chiefs of the quartier until the end of time.
The cotton factory is the largest employer in Kolda, where jobs are among the most secure that one can attain. Although it is only seasonal work, they pay nicely, and one knows that for 5 months there will be a steady income.
Mohamadou Djamanka until recently worked in a factory in Spain where he sent money back to his family. He now owns a boutique facing of the cotton factory where he works every day from 7 am to 11:30 pm, unless it is cotton-processing season. During that time his two wives take turns manning the boutique and he crosses the street to work, clothed from head to toe, ready for the work at hand.
All year long Mohamadou’s wives and kids grow vegetables in a small plot near their house. They usually have enough to eat and a bit to sell. They are the definition of urban gardening, here in Kolda.
Many Koldans grow everyday veggies, but many more only grow essential grains like rice, corn, and millet during rainy season. Mohamadou and his family believe they should be saving money on vegetables and growing them themselves.
One day while I was hanging out at Mohamadou’s boutique he showed me the math of the money he was saving each month by gardening in his small plot and it was upwards of $27, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is.
This project is to build a pump at a well that is used to irrigate the plot worked by Mohamadou Djamanka and his family.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
“The food situation in Senegal and throughout the world is in a dire state. Rising food prices combined with a limited availability of food has led to misery and malnutrition, rapidly hitting the world’s poorest and developing populations the hardest. In Senegal, with nearly half of all families considered “food insecure” by the World Food Program and half the population living in large towns and cities, there is a growing need for individuals and families to produce their own food.”
Peace Corps Senegal, Urban Agriculture Website.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of Katherine White, of Ojai, CA, USA.
If you now contribute $150 (our new price, which includes labor), your name will be placed on the waiting list to adopt the next project in order.
If you wish to contribute less than $150, the money will be applied toward the overall program.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
This install had the same slight problem as #19 with our experimental turn block system but aside from that everything went very smoothly. We made the cap and told the village that by the time we came back everything needed to be cleaned out of the bottom of the well. Occasionally buckets or sticks will fall down and these can get tangled with the rope so they must be removed before the pump can be mounted.
Anyway, when we got back this wasn’t done yet, so we told the village we couldn’t do the pump. They immediately sprang into action rigging up a harness and sending a kid down to clean out everything. Don’t worry he was fine. Just like I said everything went smoothly.
With the well cleaned out, we mounted the pump and installed the pipe and turn block. Then it was time to turn the wheel, the moment of truth. This is always a little bit nerve wracking, even after so many installs and more so now after our last experiment failure. This time though it worked perfectly!
The kids all crowded around and immediately started drinking the water and showering underneath the spout. It’s always fun to see them play in the water that’s normally such a rare commodity, which is strenuous to pull up and thus never wasted on games. Of course, games are just the beginning of the benefits here as the whole village is thankful for the ease with which they can now pull water. Surely the cows are less thirsty too!
Pump Output: 38 Liters/ Min
Total Number of People Benefiting: 340
Funder: Vicki Ringer