Project Status



Project Type:  Solar Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 700 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/20/2023

Project Features


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Community Profile

There are hundreds of people living in Ngongo. Those lucky enough to live close to the well make around seven trips per day to meet all their household's water needs. But those who live far away from the well must stretch one jerrycan of water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, hygiene, and more, given that their trip takes more than two hours.

Ngongo's people once had to scrounge for water in dry riverbeds, digging scoop holes to reach salty, dirty water. And while the sand dam and shallow well we built in 2021 have improved things in the community for around 25% of the population, there are still too many who live kilometers away from the water source.

39-year-old farmer Jedidah Mathu finds it difficult to grow food for her family given the lack of water close to her home. She is shown in the photo below starting the long trek home from the shallow well with a jerrycan strapped to her head and back.

"I have to walk to this water point every day in the morning, which is time-consuming and exhausting," Jedidah said. "I find little time to focus on other activities like farming or rearing my goats. Fetching water to irrigate my crops is difficult because the water point is about two kilometers from my home."

Because of the hilly area in which they live, people must carry jerrycans on their backs rather than using stubborn donkeys to help ease their journey.

"Getting water to perform my personal hygiene is hard because water is sparingly used at home," said 17-year-old Faith M (fetching water in the above photo). "I also have to help my parents in fetching the water. Thus, I have little time to play with my friends."

With a solar kiosk that will bring water closer to their homes, Faith and Jedidah will be better able to tend to their own needs with water and have time to spare.

What We Can Do:

Our main entry point into this community has been the local Self-Help Group, which comprises households working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands and feet in constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Solar Water Distribution

This solar water distribution project will be built adjacent to one of our completed sand dam projects, which supplies clean drinking water to multiple surrounding communities. Given that the water source is still kilometers away from the farthest households, the solar distribution project will bring clean water closer to families who need it.

Solar-powered water distribution projects use solar energy to pump water from sand dams to elevated locations within villages to enable further water distribution and access within the communities. The water is pumped to storage tanks at an elevated platform and then connected to a water kiosk, where the water is collected from taps.

Hygiene and Sanitation Knowledge

As we have worked with this Self-Help Group already, we will hold refresher hygiene and sanitation training sessions to address essential hygiene practices and daily habits that need improvement. This training will help to ensure that participants have the knowledge they need to make the most out of their new water point as soon as the water is flowing.

One of the most important topics we plan to cover is handling, storage, and water treatment. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated when it is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

We typically work with self-help groups for 3 to 5 years on multiple water projects. We will conduct follow-up visits and refresher training during this period and remain in contact with the group after all of the projects are completed to support their efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene.

All of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

Project Updates


June, 2023: Ngongo Community Solar Project Complete!

Ngongo Community, Kenya, now has a new solar project, thanks to your donation! We constructed a solar-powered water distribution system connected to a local sand dam. This system will enable those living on the outskirts of the community, far away from the sand dam and dug well, to also have access to safe, sufficient water.

Collecting water from the kiosk.

"This water point will offer me adequate clean water for drinking because the water is treated, unlike water that was mostly acquired from Kiina River's scoop holes. It will also be close to my home; thus, I will have time to play or perform hygiene chores at home. Moreover, this water is sufficient to perform personal and household hygiene," said 13-year-old Hellen M.

Hellen collecting water.

Hellen continued, "In the past, I would spend about 3 hours daily to fetch water from the distant Kiina River, which was exhausting. I would return home, unable to do anything else but rest. This badly affected my grades in school. Now I have time and energy to even help the rest of [the] community. I also get more time to play and chat with my friends after school or during holidays and weekends," concluded Hellen.

Solar Project Construction Process

Construction for this solar-powered water system was a success!

We delivered the experts, materials, and tools, but the community collected local materials to supplement the project, including sand, stones, and water. When all the materials were ready, it was time to dig in!

Solar panels to power the pump.

First, we installed a sufficient number of solar panels to run the pump and made sure they were angled correctly to capitalize on the sun's power. Then we put a submersible pump into a chamber in the center of the connected sand dam so that the pump can drive water from the dam through the piping system to the water distribution point.

Next, we dug kilometers of trench and installed piping. Then we built the water storage tower and placed a large storage tank on top of the tower to collect the water pumped through the system.

The trench between the sand dam and the water distribution point.

We then built a water kiosk building where people will come to collect water, being careful to ensure that the water distribution pipes are high enough for people to put collection containers underneath them.

Water storage tanks.

We also built a latrine for community volunteers who operate the kiosk to use as needed. And finally, we installed fencing around the project to protect it.

Latrines.

We worked with the Yanzui Maithya Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed tremendous amounts of materials and an extraordinary amount of physical labor.

"The water will now be close to my home, and my children will not have to walk down and up the steep terrain when searching for water. We will also irrigate trees and other crops in our kitchen gardens using water. We plan to sell the water to fellow community members at Ksh5 (.03 cents) per 20-liter jerrycan, and the money will be saved in the group's bank account. This means I will have two streams of income, including farming. This will be a great relief," said 44-year-old farmer Boniface Nzengu.

Boniface standing next to the water kiosk.

"This water point will help this self-help group achieve great scores in hygiene and sanitation, water availability, and income security. We plan to use the accumulated funds from water sales to purchase farm tools and seeds for every member who participated in this project. Since members will be using less time to fetch water, they will focus more on farming and improving food security. The levels of hygiene will also improve because there is enough water and time to clean," concluded Boniface.

Conclusion

This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. When an issue arises concerning the project, the group members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure it works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we’re working toward complete coverage. That means reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!




May, 2023: Ngongo Community Solar Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Ngongo Community drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!




Project Photos


Project Type

Solar water systems use energy from the sun to power a low-maintenance submersible (underground) electric pump. The solar-powered pump is ideal for pulling water from an already-existing source without the input of human energy and for transporting it to a more convenient location. The pump collects water in tanks to serve a larger population. When the user is ready to access the water, all they have to do is visit a public kiosk and turn on the tap!


Contributors

Project Sponsor - TGB Caring with Crypto
Project Sponsor - TGB Caring with Crypto