Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...
When the Living Water Burkina Faso team arrived in Dolo to restore access to safe water for 150 families, the well was contaminated with iron, and the bearings were worn. The people were using a hand dug well, 15 meters deep with a small opening, close to the well for water. The water quality in the well was so poor that the people said they could hardly drink it! The community, including children, drank dolo beer instead of water because the water from the hand dug well was so bad! There were no problems encountered during the removal, cleaning and installation of the new materials. The Living Water team installed stainless steel pipes, rods and a cylinder to restore the well. During the restoration of the well, a six-person Water Committee assisted the team whenever possible. This committee is responsible for helping maintain the well after the team leaves the area and will mange the water resources to ensure safe drinking water is available for many years to come!
Although safe water was restored, the community still practices unsafe hygiene behaviors, including open defecation. During the Hygiene Promotion, the Living Water team discouraged this practice and emphasized the dangers open defecation posed. The team also shared good hygiene practices including hand washing and encouraged the sole use of pit latrines. Together with continued support from the Living Water team and Water Committee, Dolo community will have a community-sustained water source accessible for this generation and the next!
This well had a high level of iron contamination that resulted from acidic levels of water pH and cheap galvanized steel pipes. Water from the pump was black in color and after 30 minutes formed an oily substance on the top of the water. Water users commented that before our arrival, “The water would turn dark in 6 hours and make everything black, and we can't use it for cooking or drinking. It is only good for washing clothes.” The people said, “We were afraid of this water.” To counter this problem, the team removed all the rusty pipes and materials in the well and pumped the well clean with an electric submersible pump for 1 3/4 hours until the water became clear again. Everyone was greatly pleased to see the water quality return to clean water standards.
The community leader commented, “The people of our village are very happy for all that you have done for us and continue to do for us. This training we have received places us in a good position for our pump to continue working and the health and hygiene training permits us to get rid of many illnesses.” During the hygiene education, the Living Water team addressed: germs, hand washing-proper techniques and water saving methods, good-bad hygiene behaviors, proper care of the pump and keeping the water clean. All of the lessons were taught in a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community-driven solutions.
Community Member Interview
"We were really suffering with the problem of water in our village," shared 36-year-old community member, Kam. "Unfortunately, it has been a very difficult year for us because we have not been able to drink water from this well. There's another quartier of the village where people from every house come to this area to search for water. Thus it is hard to get water, especially during the dry season when other sources dry up and the water is very dirty. How can we thank you for the work you have done for us. We are very satisfied!"