Most of Malokoh's 217 community members must travel a long distance each day to collect questionable water from the local swamp since there is not a dependable water source to meet their needs. There are two wells in the community, but one is privately owned, so access is limited, and the other is in need of rehabilitation.
"Although there is a local well in Malokoh, it is privately owned and often unavailable, so the water most relied on by community members is local swamp water," said Marian, shown below collecting water at the swamp. "The swamp water is not always clean and good for drinking, but I must fetch and heat it before drinking. I know that it is a risk to drink the swamp water, but that is the most available water where I can fetch water at any time."
Fifteen-year-old Mariatu, who has the responsibility to collect for her family every day after school, feels similarly. "It is hard for me to fetch water [in] the time that I need it. There is no water well that I can fetch water [from] regularly for drinking," Mariatu (shown below) said.
The water from the swamp is open to all sorts of contamination and is shared with animals and local farmers cultivating crops nearby. Not only is the water at the swamp contaminated and dangerous to consume, but the area around the swamp is grassy and the perfect breeding ground for dangerous animals, like poisonous snakes.
The more the swamp is accessed, the dirtier the water becomes, forcing people to search for water from other sources in surrounding communities which are even further away and waste valuable time and energy.
"Going to the swamp frequently to fetch water is a risk because of the visit of snakes in the swamp. I always must be careful. Otherwise, snakes would bite me," shared Marian.
By rehabilitating the well in this community, hopefully, the time community members spend searching for and collecting water can be used for other valuable things instead.
What We Can Do:
Where we will be drilling is centrally located and will relieve many people of the long journey to fetch water and the challenge of accessing clean water.
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.
By drilling this borehole, Malokoh and the surrounding community 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 restrooms 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.