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When Wells Stop


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Article in today’s New York Times Opinionater column:

Keeping the Water Flowing in Rural Villages
By TINA ROSENBERG

Water pumps and wells in the developing world often fall into disrepair. One program teaches villagers how to maintain them on their own.

From the article:  “In most developing countries, these water points are installed with great fanfare by the government or a charitable group.  They greatly improve the lives of villagers.   Having a water point in or near the village means that women don’t have to spend 6,8, even 12 hours a day on perilous journeys to fetch water from rivers or lakes. The pumps allow girls to go to school instead of staying home to help their mothers fetch water or take care of siblings.  They allow villagers to drink reasonably clean water instead of risking their health with every sip.”

Then, the article goes on to say that Sustainable Water Services at Scale (Triple-S) found that 36 percent of pumps were not working.  In Tanzania one-quarter of water systems less than two years old no longer supplied water to the villagers.

The article is scary.  We don’t want this to happen to Oltorotua’s wells!  A committee composed primarily of women, whose lives are most improved by a steady supply of clean water, has been formed.  Steve King, who wrote the Rotary grant proposal, and two local Rotary colleagues are planning a trip to Oltorotua in February.  They will meet with Catherine Tomno, president of the Nakuru-Great Rift Valley Rotary Club, whose club has agreed to provide project oversight, Jackson Liaram, the village elders, and the water committee.  Building for sustainability raises the initial cost but will save money in the long run.

 

 

 

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