Wells for Burkina Faso
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Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports…
The LWI Burkina Faso team stated, “Water is the limiting factor in their lives affecting their health, agriculture, and development. There are a few deep borehole wells in the area, but they are not sufficient as the majority of people have to draw water from hand dug wells which are 70 feet deep or collect water from the creeks where livestock animals drink and defecate.” When the LWI Burkina Faso team arrived, community members were utilizing a protected hand dug well located half of a kilometer away from the community to meet all of their water needs. Because of this and the community’s practice of open defecation left families suffering from dysentery, malaria, diarrhea and other preventable water related illnesses. During the teams’ stay a water committee consisting of six men and two women who assisted the team, made food for the team and provided any available materials. A crowd gathered around the well site singing songs and rejoicing that clean available water was on its way. Most of the community members earn a living by farming to help provide for their families. The nearest school is located half of a kilometer away from the community and now students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to safe, clean water. Before leaving the community the LWI Burkina Faso team provided community member, Oliver Kamoule, with a LWI contact number in case the well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.
The LWI Burkina Faso team had the opportunity to meet with forty-two year old School Director/Teacher, Milata Sanou, who stated, “We are very happy with this new well because we have a hand dug well at the school but it oftens goes dry throughout the school year. Also, the hand dug well is very deep, 22 meters. The students have difficulty in lifting the water to the surface. The top of the hand dug well is high off of the ground and so small children must climb onto the top and lean over the open well to lower their buckets. Thus, it is very dangerous. With a bad move, the child could fall into the well. We have all the problems in the world. We want to thank The Water Project and Models 4 Water who brought this water well to the village of Nakar. The well is not far from the school, 500 meters. We are very excited to have this well!”
During the hygiene education, the LWI Burkina 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.