On August 15, SOS FED and the community of Mboko inaugurated a brand-new well in the locality of Ichwi. The well, with an attractive AFRIDEV handpump, is part of SOS FED’s risk-reduction campaign in Mboko, cutting down the time it takes for women in the zone to carry water to their homes every day. The inauguration ceremony was attended by local state authorities, traditional tribal authorities, a radio journalist from Uvira, members of the ACTED engineering team that assisted in digging the well, SOS FED Mboko staff, SOS FED beneficiaries, and many other members of the community.
The sector administrator, a small man with a scraggly beard, gave a speech before cutting a ribbon in front of the well. After cutting the ribbon, he sprinkled a bottle of Primus beer around the well, a traditional Congolese blessing. Once the ceremony was completed, the well was immediately swarmed by women seeking to fill buckets, basins, bottles, and jerrycans with fresh, sweet well water.
Having worked on water development in Haiti back in 2007-08, I am very aware of the importance of water as a rallying point for women’s health, women’s rights, and for the general wellbeing of the community. As the splendidly wonderful Charlie Walker explains in her blog, women who rely on a water source closer to their home reduce their risk of being attacked while going to and fro on a daily basis.
Important facts about the well:
-The AFRIDEV hand pump is a sturdy piece of equipment, and should be able to sustain a few years of constant use.
-The well is a good distance away from any potential sources of contamination (latrines, mud holes, pig sties, etc.)
-The well is located on “public” land owned by local state authorities, which will avoid capture by private interests.
-The SOS FED center staff in Mboko expressed great satisfaction with the proximity of the well to the center.
Here’s wishing the best of luck to the people of Mboko and their new well!
Posted By WALTER JAMES
Posted Sep 1st, 2011