Report on the water project in Kwinella
By Lamin Sanyang FSF Manager The Gambia
Kwinella Sang Sang Kono has a population of 1500 inhabitants who are predominantly farmers. Water, which is the foundation of life, a basic human need was scarce in this community. Before the intervention of Fresh Start Foundation, community members especially women collect water from open wells for domestic purposes walking long distances everyday to fetch water. This is a burden. The most direct affect of the scarcity of water is on health. According the medical statistic of Kwinella Health Centre every month ten children are affected with diarrheal diseases due to unclean water from the open wells.
The importance of access to clean water cannot be overstated. With the provision of a borehole, the community of Kwinella Sang Sang Kono now has access to clean drinking water. The borehole is powered by solar panels that pump 4000 litres of clean water per hour.
This will have huge impact in improving the communities’ health. It will also increase the school attendance and performance of girls because they are the main collectors of water. There are 4 taps that have been erected in areas which are easily accessible to all and sundry. A school girl stated “I can now get up early, fetch water and go to school without getting late. This is wonderful I thank you.”
In order to sustain this project, each tap will have a committee who will be responsible for the running and maintenance of the taps. They will be trained on water management, health and hygiene promotion and the role and responsibilities of the committee.
During the site visits of FSF staff, the district traditional leader highlighted that “we are so grateful to FSF with the availability of these taps water scarcity will be a thing of the past.”
According to the village women: “the burden of water collection is entirely on us, these taps are erected in front of our compounds which will enable us to have easy access to water and perform our domestic duties as expected of us”.
Health personnel from Kwinella Health Centre said “the number of diarrheal diseases among children will be reduced and people will save some monies for the parents of the sick children”.
This is the first borehole installed within the community and FSF are eager to replicate the project in other needy communities.