Village water have been around since 2002 and have been helping to provide the villages of Zambia with fresh water as well as ensuring that those involved understand the fundamentals of sanitation using educational programs.
The decision to work with Western Zambia was made after their research showed that this province was without such aid. You only have to see the testimonies of the villages Village water has helped to see how invaluable their work is: “ With the help of the clean safe water we have forgotten about diarrhea and dysentery cases which we had before. Last month when I went to the rural health centre where we all go from here I checked on the data of my village and it was found out that there was not even one case of diarrhea, so the help of Village Water has really done a tremendous job. We say thank you very much and don’t end here. ” (Taken form a transcript of a speech by the village head of Nalituya in Sep 2009) See the full transcript on the Village Water website at: http://www.villagewater.org/thanks-nalituya.
It’s not all about the wells either. Village water encourage the building of latrines in order to reduce the risk of the water from the well becoming contaminated and reducing the spread of diseases. By working with locals throughout the implementation of the wells but also continuing to monitor the situation for a whole after Village water aim to provide long term solutions. By introducing ‘water committees’ who organise the raising of funds within the effect communities to maintain the pumps, training locals about pump maintenance providing tools, introducing hygiene and sanitation practises as well as revisiting the sites they can ensure progress is being made.
Village Water Step By Step
Once suitable communities are identified by the Village Water Zambia team:
1. Community sets up a village Water and Sanitation Committee to manage the water point, and ensure improved hygiene and sanitation practices are adopted.
2. Hygiene education sessions start, focusing on personal hygiene, food storage and preparation, and the needs of the vulnerable.
3. Demonstrations and training follow, focusing on low cost construction of latrines, bath shelters and pot racks.
4. Each household then constructs hygiene and sanitation facilities, including their own latrine, bath shelter, pot rack.
5. A village well is then dug, and hand pump installed. Villagers contribute gravel and sand to the construction of their new, safe water point.
6. Two villagers are trained as pump minders, enabling them to perform basic repairs.
7. Village households that can afford it give a small monthly contribution. This is used by the Water and Sanitation Committee to fund maintenance and spares for the water point.