Wells for Burkina Faso
Upon completion of the project, our implementing partner reported from the field…
This well next to the school in Tenoule is the oldest well in the village. It was drilled in 1985. Eight (8) years ago, in 2004, the broke down. Villagers tried to repair it once, but afterwards in broke down again the next month. So, they abandoned hopes of being able to repair and it has remained idle these last 8 years. Since this well was not in use during that time, we decided to pump the well clean of any debris and bad water with an electric submersible pump. Within an hour the rusty brown water cleared up and clean, clear water was restored to this vital water well.
During the construction of the water project, the following parts were used: Pump Head, Pump Handle, Pump Base, Pump Rod‐Sucker Rods, Pump Reservoir‐Water Tank, Rising Main‐Drop Pipe, Cylinder and Chain.
A LWI Burkina Fast team member commented, “It was so sad to see where the children were searching for water in a nearby creek area. They had to wait for water to come up out of the ground and then scoop it up…one dirty bucket after the other. It was heart wrenching to witness! From that scene we were quickly transported back to a classroom full of children ready to learn and listen, and thankful to have a water source so close to their school. This well rehab marks the 1st well rehab for our 2012 program, and the 1st well rehab sponsored through the Water Project.” Because of the community’s dependence on the contaminated water source and their practice of open defecation, families were suffering from dysentery, typhoid and malaria. During the team’s stay, community members assembled a water committee consisting of five men and three women who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible. Most community members survive by farming and the nearest school a primary school with 121 students and is located .1 of a kilometer away from the community. Before leaving the community, the team provided community member, Albert Some, with a LWI Burkina Faso contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.
The LWI Burkina Faso team had an opportunity to meet with 103 year old community member and farmer, Dar Some. Dar, perhaps the oldest living adult in the village of Tenoule, verifies his age by saying that he remembers the time in Burkina before there were even bicycles when everyone walked to where they were going. Dar said, “We didn’t know how we would ever rehabilitate this well. It was broken a long time and we suffered due to a lack of water. And God has come to aid us. The spirit of God has come to the counselor and has sent him to ask for your help. And that same spirit has helped you to find a solution for us. I prayed for someone to come a long time, and now you are here. There is not enough words to say, but we want to thank you very much. Now, if someone needs help in the morning, he can drink freely, the animals too. If we don’t have anything to eat, at least we will have water and can live a long time from that.”
During the hygiene education, the LWI Burking Faso team addresses: Hand washing, how to properly transport and store water, disease transmission and prevention, how to maintain proper care of the pump, as well as signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to make Oral Rehydration Solution. All of these lessons are taught in a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community driven solutions.
According to the latest UNDP report, Burkina Faso is ranked 161st out of 169 countries with comparable date in the United Nations Human Development Index. Poverty is pervasive throughout the country, and recent challenges such as outbreaks of meningitis, yellow fever, and cholera, as well as civil conflict in neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, have only added to the extreme vulnerability of the Burkinabe people.
Only about 72% of Burkina's primary school-age children are enrolled in primary school due to the costs of school supplies, insufficient infrastructure and teachers, and opportunity costs of sending a child to school when he or she could earn money for the family. The landlocked nation has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, and therefore vulnerable to periodic drought.
The country has an abundance of valuable water sources, but most pumps are either in some state of disrepair or altogether non-functioning. As a result of the lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation throughout the country, there is a persistence of waterborne illnesses like diarrhea and cholera. The most cost-effective and efficient way for TWP and our partners to affect change for Burkina Faso's thirsty is to rehabilitate these water sources: replacing hand pumps, repairing broken parts, sealing open wells—doing whatever is necessary to restore clean water to the people who need it most.
Nearly 20 years ago, LWI set out to help the church in North America be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor. 600 million people in the world live on less than $2 a day. 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
In response to this need, LWI implements participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries.
LWI is a former partner of The Water Project.