Want to help my villagers have better access to water? Of course you do!
Here's the deal: I did needs assessment meetings in the five sub-villages of my village, and every single sub-village identified water as a problem. My village is pretty large, over 4000 people. There are nine wells and seven pumps where people get water from. However, five of the seven pumps are currently broken. That means that there are only eleven water sources serving a population of over 4000 people, in addition to two neighboring villages. Thus people have been resorting to getting water from unsafe sources, such as nearby rivers, which are unsafe for drinking and sources of water-borne diseases, breeding grounds for mosquitoes and thus malaria, and also potential sites for crocodile and hippo attacks.
So, I have written a grant to help my villagers fix these broken water pumps. The pumps have been broken for over a year but the village does not have the resources to fix them, which I why I am helping them out. This project will also buy tools for the village mechanic, who has received training on fixing pumps but does not actually have the tools to fix them. That way in the future the village mechanic will be able to fix the pumps without having to call mechanics from the district, which is costly and time-consuming.
Basically, fixing the broken pumps will help improve the health status and quality of life of the villagers. I need yall's help though; the community is contributing 25% of the costs/labor, but the other 75% comes from you all. If you want to help them and me out, I have posted the link for making donations at the end of this blog. Even five dollars would help out. Or if you were thinking about sending me a package, don't do that; just use the money you would use for sending a package as a donation to this project. Or if you don't have money, just spread the word to people you think would be interested in helping out.
Isn't this just promoting african dependence on western aid? Yes, and I am generally opposed to reinforcing this cycle of dependence. However I feel about that though, the reality of the situation is that I am the "rich" mzungu living in a village of not-so-rich people. And even though I myself am not particularly wealthy, I do have access to resources that people in my village don't have access to. And people in my village never believe me when I tell them I am not loaded, so since this idea they have of the wealthy foreigner isn't going to go away, I might as well try to use what resources I do have to help them out a little.
Is this sustainable? Like I said, the village mechanic is getting tools so that if the pumps break in the future, he can fix them. The villagers will also get training on pump maintenance and how to prevent future break-downs. The broken pumps will also be cleaned and flushed out before being repaired, which will also help prevent them from breaking in the future.
I haven't heard from you in like a year and now you're hitting me up for money? How dare you? I know, I feel bad about that. But it's really hard for me to access internet most of the time, and I don't have time to send as many emails as I would like. Sorry.