Stories from the Field: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Mariama Walett is one of the most dynamic women in the village of Saobomo, Mali. She had been looking for a way to get a new well for their village ever since the single well they had could not provide enough water for the 950 inhabitants. Some years it would even go dry for part of the year. Learn More>>
Yaa Manssa is a young girl in Akokofe, Ghana. She always thought water was white in color because that is the only kind of water she ever encountered. She also had to spend about 90 percent of her daily life fetching water, especially during the dry season.
FEATURE STORY: Water – Life’s Lifeline
The village of Tsamia Djigo has a population of about 3,000 inhabitants, with only two modern wells. In 1985, construction of one of the wells was stopped at a depth of 95 meters without reaching ground water. A second well was constructed in 2001, and that one broke down so the villagers have had to travel up to 15 kilometers to get water. During the rainy season the village depends on temporary swamps, despite the fact that this water is dirty and unfit for human consumption.
With funding from the African Well Fund, Africare worked with the village to continue the drilling of the first well that had never reached ground water. Africare began by strengthening the village Well Management Committee through training members in the management of water resources, including bookkeeping, mobilizing additional funds, and developing an awareness of water-related diseases. From there, the work to continue drilling began.
One day, after a long, hot day of work, the laborers were relaxing under the biggest tree of the village when they heard a big noise that sounded like a fired weapon. The villagers ran to the well and upon seeing the water exclaimed, “We have water!” jumping and shouting with happiness. “Our water problem is ended forever. All our thanks to Africare and the African Well Fund,” said the 117-year-old village head, who had a drink of water and showered himself with water coming directly from the well. Food was cooked by the village women for the laborers and neighboring villagers, who came to share in their happiness, followed by the largest feast the village had ever prepared!
"When Africare came in, a remarkable change began taking place," observed the leader of one Malawian village where Africare had improved the water supply. Read more >>
About 60 primary school children in Chanombo village, Malawi, go to Matsewa Primary School, which is about 2 kilometers away. Beginning in 2001, the school had no clean source of water. Read more >>
During a major drought in the early 1990s, Africare mobilized what became the largest emergency water program in Southern Africa. And the program had an even more important result. Read more >>
Partnering with communities ensures easy adoption and sustainability of programs. Learn more>>