Just after completing the prayers at around 6:00 AM, all of the 226 people in Kennenday village are awake. Everybody will then start their daily routine—first, the rush to fetch water. The main water source is located in the swamp. From the last house to the swamp is about fifteen minutes walk each way.
The water is full of impurities. One can see little fishes, frogs, and it is open for contamination from nearby farming and people as they go to get water each day.
In particular, young people in this community go through a lot.
"We always wake up around 6:00 in the morning to rush down the swamp to fetch water. Before reaching the site, one will meet a queue waiting to fetch water," said Alhassan, a 14-year-old student we met.
After making more than 4 trips to fetch water in the morning, young people like ALhassan then prepare for school. Many will miss breakfast because they are running late. This cycle and the fact that students miss school due to waterborne illnesses caused by drinking the water contributes to a high dropout rate in this community, say parents.
Alhassan told us that he is late to school most days and punished for it. It is because he has to make so many trips to get water. Because the swamp is open, the water gets dirty fast. That means that people must wait for the water to settle after they dip in a container. This causes the process to take even longer.
"We have suffered too much for us to secure a clean and pure water for our community but to no avail. I have personally lost my son, and the cause of his death was dysentery," said Mohammed Kamara, a farmer who lives in the community.
"I know he died as a result of the present water we drink."
What we can do:
We will be drilling this well at Kennenday Village. This project will relieve the people here of the their water challenges
Our team will drive over the LS200 mud rotary drill rig and set up camp for a couple of nights. Once the well is drilled to a sufficient water column, it will be cased, developed, and then tested. If these tests are positive, our mechanics will install a new India Mark II pump.
This community has been pushed to open contaminated well for their water. By drilling this borehole, Kennenday Village will be provided with plenty of accessible clean drinking water.
There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.
Community members will learn how to make a hands-free handwashing station called the "tippy-tap." We will use these tippy taps for handwashing demonstrations and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals. We will highlight the need to keep latrines clean, among many other topics.
This training will also strengthen a water user committee that will manage and maintain this new well. They will enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help in solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.