Currently, two protected water sources in Mabendo Community are not functioning, and the only alternative for the people in this village is the swamp source and unprotected wells.
This village has three water wells and all of these wells are near most homes in this community. Unfortunately, two of the wells are not functioning. And even the one that is functioning has a very limited water quantity that is prone to drying up.
Now that there is just one functioning well in this community, everybody flocks there for water to drink, causing heavy overcrowding at the well. Access is also restricted by those living nearby.
So the people have to trek a considerable distance to the swamp or the stream, which are the current alternate water points.
The swamp water is not good for the people in this community. We observed that the water is milky with a very bad odor. And because it is in the open and not necessarily controlled, the surrounding is not clean and prone to all sorts of contamination.
Rehabilitating the wells in this community will help ensure widespread access to safe water. One point is at the Mabendo Mosque. This mosque has a great latrine, the area is perfectly clean, and each room has a handwashing container. But the only trouble is that two of those containers had no water in them because of the water shortage in the community.
"Well, I will say with confidence that we have actually maintained a satisfactory level of hygiene and sanitation. Our pitfalls would be caused by the shortage of water as you can see that some of our hand washing facilities don’t have water," Mr. Idrissa Kamara, a local teacher, said to us.
"But we hope to improve in that area when you guys have rehabilitated our well."
What we can do:
There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.
The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members about the importance of handwashing, building and using dish racks, and other sanitation facilities. Pictures will be used to teach the community how to discern between healthy and unhealthy hygiene and sanitation practices. They will applaud the community for full latrine coverage but will also teach them how to improve by keeping flies out of the pits.
These trainings will also result in a water user committee that manages and maintains the new well. They will enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.
We want to work on the well located at the school. Our team has decided to do the hard work of drilling a borehole by hand in the bottom of this well, which will not only increase the water quantity but will ensure its quality, too. A new well pad will keep contaminants out, and a new India MkII stainless steel pump will provide easy and safe access to the clean water inside.
This community has been drinking dirty swamp water and suffering the consequences. With our rehabilitating this open well, the surrounding community will be provided with plenty of safe, clean drinking water.