Kasokela Village lies near Luansobe in Masaiti District of the Copperbelt Province in northern Zambia. The population of Kasokela live in a remote rural community which has no local school, no local health services and before this project, no access to safe water. Old and sick people find it hard to fetch water far from their houses and due to a shortage of clean water, hygiene is poor.
Luansobe is an area of approximately 1,200 sq kms with a population of 37,000 – mainly subsistence farming families. The average family size is about seven and many families are looking after the HIV/AIDS orphans of deceased relatives.
There are no formal water systems and most people draw water from unprotected hand-dug wells or river-beds often some distance from their home. In a socio-economic survey conducted in 2010, only 43% of the inhabitants reported having access to clean water and often this was at some considerable distance from their homes. 30% of eligible children do not attend primary school and those that do walk an average of 70 minutes to and from school each day.
Before this project, most of the families in Kasokela drew water by rope and bucket from an unprotected well that had been tested by the local Environmental Health Officer and was found to be bacteriologically contaminated. It took on average a 30-45 minute round trip to collect this unsafe water.
The project was implemented by Just a Drop’s local partner Kaloko Trust and sponsored by The Bournemouth Ladies. The project started as the project team visited the local community and explained both the aims of the project and the selection criteria.
The conditions for assistance (all of which would assist in long-term sustainability) were:
- The formation of a representative Water and Sanitation (Wat-San) Committee
- The selection of at least two candidates for borehole maintenance training
- Agreement by the community of the levying of a user fee and the level of fee set
- The opening of a bank account for depositing the levy.
A Water and Sanitation Committee (Wat-San) was formed from the Kasokela community with five men and five women. The Wat-San Committee agreed to be responsible for ongoing maintenance and were trained in the maintenance and repair of the hand pump. The committee have also been provided with a repair toolkit to maintain the borehole every six months.
The committee were also trained to establish and manage funds for repair and maintenance of the water supply system. A monthly levy will be contributed at a cost of ZMW 5 (55p) per household. The user fees are collected and held in a bank account, where currently there is a capital fund of ZMW 1,500 – approximately £163.
The community made contributions in kind which formed part of the project and saved costs. They contributed labour and local materials for the construction of the apron. There were minor issues during the project as the contractor was delayed in installing the hand-pump because of a shortage of supply in Zambia. (The pumps had to be imported from South Africa, which delayed the completion of the project).
By the end of December 2013, after a hydro geological survey was conducted the borehole was drilled and fitted with an India Mark II hand pump. Time taken to collect water has now been reduced to only 5 – 10 minutes.
The project will therefore have the combined benefits of improving the health status of families by reducing the incidence of water-related diseases and reducing the time spent by women and girls in fetching water.
An added benefit of the borehole is that it has already attracted other people to settle in the village. All the farm land that was vacant before the project started has now been occupied which is a wonderful additional outcome.
Mabvuto lives in a thatched house about 1 km from the borehole. He remembers the community dug a shallow well in the middle of a river valley but during the rainy season the well filled with dirty run-off water. Most of the run-off was mixed with cow dung. There was no other alternatives for the local people but to drink the water mixed with cow dung in the well. He explained how diarrhoea was common amongst everyone in the community and thanks Just a Drop and the Bournemouth Ladies for their support to drill a borehole that is producing clean water.
Raphael used to walk a long distance to draw water, about 2 kms each way. To draw water he had to climb down inside the well to scoop the water into a 20 litre container. Now the distance has been reduced to less than a kilometre (round-trip), and collecting the water is safe and easy.
Our sincere thanks to the Bournemouth Ladies for making this project possible.
Date of Project: February 2014