Water - Three Years, Five Boreholes, 3,000 People
No matter who you talk to in the Oloipiri Ward, access to clean water is a top priority. FoTZC installs gutters and water catchment tanks on each building we complete, but the water from the reserve tanks isn't enough to support villagers during the dry season.
When we built the Sukenya Medical Dispensary, Thomson Safaris contributed a borehole and FoTZC paid for the pumping and piping system. This borehole provides clean water for the dispensary and local residents. While meeting with the District Medical Officer, we discussed the merits of building additional staff housing at the dispensary in comparison with drilling multiple boreholes in the region. While he agreed that staff housing is necessary, he concluded that providing more families with clean water would be the most effective way to improve health within the community.
Four of the top ten illnesses treated at the dispensary are water-related: diarrhea, dysentery, eye infections, and typhoid fever. Providing clean water should significantly decrease the incidence of these diseases. Providing pumped water would also ease the burden on women who collect water for the family which, in turn, will enable women to spend more time on their COCOBA businesses. Providing students with access to clean water at school with help them stay healthier, and will help the schools provide students with lunch so they do not have to learn on an empty stomach. When there is clean water accessible, more girls continue their education in secondary school, as they are no longer needed to help their mothers collect water for the family.
We decided that FoTZC needs to lead with water projects before completing future building projects. In addition to providing health benefits to the people served by the boreholes, access to water will reduce our building costs as our contractors will not have to truck water to the building sites.
We plan to drill five boreholes in the Oloipiri Ward over the next three years, reaching more than 3,000 people. Each borehole costs on average $42,000, and the water will support multiple villages.