The mission of Water Charity is to implement practical solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation, and meaningful health education to those in need.
This project was to develop a set of ecological community latrines (sometimes called eco-san latrines) to serve the population and visitors in a location where no public latrines existed.
PCV Landis reports:
The community feels that they have reached the goals and objectives as the latrines were completed roughly on schedule. They have already begun operating the latrines for public use and all the responsibilities in regards maintaining the latrines have been assigned to designated persons.
This goes to demonstrate that they have the will and the capacity not only to change their lives but the lives of their children as well since latrines could last generations if preserved in good working order.
With the project's completion, the 150 villagers now have an adequate place to defecate and urinate. They have also been trained by the local PCV and health workers on how to maintain this specific type of latrine.
The community members have been shown how the human waste can be stored and applied safely in a garden, to act as fertilizer without illness befalling those who eat the garden's produce.
The quarter development council has gained experience on how to manage a development project, and what obstacles tend to appear when such an activity begins, and how to avoid them.
Trust has been increased among the members of the community. The project has given community members the motivation to embark on other project ideas to develop the quarter. With one success it is possible they can defeat many decades of the cynicism that hangs around development work like a cloud.
The quarter community members have taken on the responsibility for the maintenance of the latrines and all the costs associated with them. These costs will come out of revenue gained from non-community members who use the latrines and pay a user fee. If these funds are insufficient, the community itself will provide the funds.
They will maintain the latrines by emptying the fecal matter every 6 months and the containers of urine as they fill up.
They will use the human waste for fertilizer in a nearby garden so that other villagers can see that such a fertilizer is safe and effective to use.
The development council now has both the experience in project management and design to use this project as a springboard for other project ideas.
We wish to thank Peace Corps Volunteer A. Landis for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
The completion of Saare Gouna happened almost a month ago and was the first pump to be successfully installed solely by my Senegalese counterparts. It is a bit late in the follow up because I came down with Malaria and have been recovering the last few weeks.
Barry, Lugman, and myself made a plan to head out to Saare Gouna, when I started to get feverish. I called to break our plans, but Barry said, “Let us go and if we have questions we’ll call.” They seemed so excited at the prospects of doing an installation on their own, so who was I to turn them down? They came by my house, picked up all the necessary supplies, and rode off, Lugman holding the bag on the back of Barry’s scooter.
“The affair started slow. It was a hot day so not many people wanted to work. We found two of the women’s husbands to come and help. We carried the piping from its storage place in Samba Thika to the garden and started fitting them together.
We threaded the rope through the pipe and tried to lower the pipe. We then realized we did not wait long enough for the glue to dry and the pipe started breaking. We pulled it out, re-glued and waited. While we were waiting some women came with ataya so we took a break. After the break, we put the pipe back down in the well and tied off the rope. We gave the pump a test, but the rope was too loose so we tightened it and tried again. This time water came out and everyone was happy.”
In two weeks we will go back and check out their work. I am so proud that they’ve learned the system and can go out to do the work on their own. Our team is truly starting to hit its stride!
Pump Output: Unknown Liters/ Min
Total Number of People Benefiting: 29 garden members directly and all of their families indirectly.
Funder: Cynthia Sperry
This project was to construct 475 soak pits, to be used for removing ground water by draining it down into the earth.
The goals and objectives of the project were to build soak pits for every negen. The members of the community dug the well and gathered rocks for each negen and my work partners and I came in with plastic covering, cement, and piping to complete each soak pit and to disseminate information regarding water and sanitation.
Although the original plan was to create 475 soak pits, many of the negens required more material than was originally estimated, and so only 350 soak pits were completed.
I worked with 2 incredibly motivated masons in my village in building the soak pits. The arrangement was that each individual family who wanted a soak pit built dug the hole for the soak pit (roughly a meter wide and a meter deep) and then gathered enough rocks from the fields to fill that soak pit.
Once soak pit construction in the community began, villagers realized that soak pits are easy to construct and affordable as all of the materials required add up to less than 1,000 CFA. When families are building negens they can budget the cost of a soak pit into construction to account for those materials.
During project implementation we realized that negen water runoff varied depending on the number of people using a negen. This sometimes required a bigger soak pit and thus more materials in its construction. In addition some of the runoff holes that were originally built in the negens were crumbling and so made it difficult to cement the plastic piping into place. To solve this dilemma we purchased two brick molds to construct bricks and reform the base of the negen making it more stable and easier to cement the piping in place.
The community did reach the goals of the project in that as many soak pits as possible were constructed with the funds available and the community is motivated to continue moving forward with soak pit construction on their own.
The project built capacity by demonstrating to villagers how to best construct a structurally sound and sustainable soak pit. They gained knowledge in clean water practices, how to properly build a soak pit, how to maintain a soak pit once it is built, and the importance of soak pits in regards to water sanitation.
They have improved the capacity to define and meet goals and objectives by participating in the project from beginning to end and understanding how they can plan and complete projects on their own. They will have improved decision-making by putting the information they learned about clean water practices into use.
I want to thank you so much for your help with my project and in general for the work you do. In terms of being an effective volunteer, it makes all the difference to have contacts with organizations like yours and the people who run them.
We wish to thank Jennifer for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
The project was to construct concrete floors in up to 64 homes.
Lauren reports on the project, which was concluded earlier this year:
The first family in El Jícaro constructed their floor on March 18, 2011 and the final floor was finished on April 30, 2011. There are now 53 nice, smooth cement floors where before there was dirt, dust, and mud (52 floors in homes plus one floor in the community church kitchen).
Each family was responsible for carrying their materials from the main road to their homes, often in feed sacks on their backs, supported with a head strap. Additionally the families hired their own masons (often neighbors and project beneficiaries themselves) to build the floors.
Project funds were used exclusively to purchase cement, gravel, sand, and paint for the floors. The project was inaugurated May 24, 2011 with a thanksgiving mass in the community church where the community expressed their gratitude for the project.
In the workshops the health promoters stressed to project beneficiaries that a floor alone will not do much to improve family health if the families do not eat well, bathe regularly, drink safe water, or wash their hands often. The floors are built, and that is definitely a change. But I also hope that the participants, by putting everything they have learned in practice, will have healthier, more productive lives that enable them to leave the cycle of poverty.
I hope the health promoters will continue to promote health. But at the very least, the living conditions have improved for 52 families who will live with a little more dignity than before.
At this time, I would like to extend my thanks to Water Charity for supporting the El Jícaro Floors Project.
As a part of the week’s activities, a video was made by our hosts, Six Senses Resorts and Spas, to highlight the work that Water Charity is doing.
We came out of the week of conferences and activities with a plan to publicize the need to provide clean water for the world, and attack the problem by continuing to do projects as fast as we can using our demonstrated successful model.
Six Senses has been our reliable and generous partner for several years. To step up the game, Water Charity is seeking the assistance of other environmentally- and socially- conscious companies to expand our efforts.
Enjoy the video, and let us know what you think.
Thiawando, Kaolack, Senegal
Thiawando is a far cry from the remoteness of Keur Andallah, as it is located just 10 k outside of the regional capital, but amazingly it still has many of the same issues. It is a fairly large community of over 800 people, mostly peanut and millet farmers, but has only two wells with potable water. Of these two almost everyone in the village uses just one, because it is closer and the water slightly cleaner.
Here we have one of the classic problems that the Senegalese face: just 10k away in Kaolack there is electricity and running water but as soon as you leave the city center there just isn¹t the infrastructure or money to continue these amenities to surrounding villages.
Far from a sob story though, this village is thriving. It is a multicultural hub, as many villages in this region are, where almost everyone speaks three languages if not more. Also many people have jobs in the capital since it is so close, and as a result the village is obviously somewhat more prosperous than most.
The Mosque is beautiful and there is a large storage building for saving the community’s yearly harvest. Really the only thing holding them back is a lack of access to water.
We will be installing a rope pump on the main community well from which most of the 800 residents drink. This should ease congestion around the well as it speeds up the process of pulling water.
In addition to this the village has expressed interest in starting a community garden next to the well. With the market being so close this will be a great small business opportunity and will help to increase overall nutrition in the village.
All 800 residents will benefit from the project through either increased speed pulling water, or increased financial security and nutrition from the garden.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Garrison Harward and C.J. Pedersen
This is a high-impact project that will extend great benefit to the community at minimal cost.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of Susan Smith of Rockville, MD, USA.
If you now contribute $100, your name will be placed on the waiting list to adopt the next project in order.
If you wish to contribute less than $100, the money will be applied toward the overall program.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
Water Charity participated in this project to provide sanitary bathrooms for 21 families, or 120 people.
Michelle reports: The pictures below show typical finished bathrooms.
Project funds were used to purchase the materials and pay for professional labor for the construction of the bathroom structures and the installation of the fixtures.
The participants learned many skills, including project design and management, community organization, planning, administrative and financial practices, understanding of governmental and NGO processes, improved hygiene and sanitation habits, and construction techniques.
Since the completion of the bathroom project, families have reported fewer parasite-related illnesses. This project will benefit the people of the community for many years to come.
We again wish to thank Six Senses Resorts & Spas for providing the funding for the Water Charity participation in this project.
This project was to build a rain water harvesting system for the Early Intervention Programme (EIP) Community Garden.
EIP Founder Ben Motlata and I worked together to get quotes for the materials and secure the materials from local businesses. The people at Bargain Builders in Gobabis were especially helpful and even gave us a discount when I told them the scope of the project.
Ben was very resourceful and helped me to find the best materials for the right price. The garden project is something very close to his heart.
The community was very interested in the work we were doing. Children and people passing by would ask Ben why he had such large containers in his yard and what he planned to do with them.
One youth, Benny, told another kid on the street that they were going to gather water and save money. Benny was an active participant in the garden project. Although Benny was struggling with food and a safe place to sleep, I would see him in the mornings at the garden watering and weeding. Alfonse was another very active and appreciative teenager. He worked hard at the garden and helped Ben and I construct a large compost pile.
When I completed my service as a Peace Corps Volunteer, another PCV helped Ben with the finishing touches of installing the rain gutters. Ben used the rain water collection system to water his garden for nearly five months, helping him get through the dry season.
Amanda provides follow-up information:
About ten months after the rain water collection tanks were erected and the rain gutters installed, Ben was robbed, and he was forced to move his garden into town for the safety of his family and the youth living on the streets that he works with.
Ben moved the rain water collection system to a new plot of land where he continues to farm his crops. The system has helped Ben to cut down on costs of growing food for himself, his family, and the youth (living on the streets) he works with. He struggles to use the water sparingly during the dry season due to all of the demands for water, but the project remains a model that others can replicate.
We are grateful to Amanda for completing this project, and wish her the best in her career.
The project was to bring a water supply to the Future Garden School.
Future Garden School has finished their water project!
It took approximately four days to complete. The Thai village headman assisted by allowing the school to connect to his water source, as well as finding laborers to do the work.
The water connection is about 200 meters away from the school and about 50 meters uphill, which eliminates the need for a pump through the use of gravity.
Thank you again for your kindness in providing the funds.
The school now has a safe clean water supply for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and gardening. We are grateful to Mark for overseeing the project, and again extend our thanks to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
This project was part of a larger effort to build 15 to 20 latrines, and conduct a construction, maintenance, and hygiene training program as part of the process.
In total, 18 latrines were built. Project funds were used to purchase cement, sand, gravel, zinc, wood, nails, hinges, PVC, and rebar.
All of the owners and families learned proper latrine placement to protect the water supply. They helped each other to build the latrines, and were all committed to maintaining them into the future.
The families came to 3 meetings pertaining to general latrine maintenance and hygiene as part of the program.
In all, about 100 people directly benefitted from the project from improved health and wellbeing.