Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kasambiika 2: Borehole Clean-Up Day

Before our Borehole Clean-up Day, we had a meeting with Kasambiika 2's Borehole Committee. We discussed the challenges we would need to overcome in planning the activity. The major challenge was that the village did not have nails to build a fence around the borehole; they also did not have the money to purchase them. We coordinated with the the VHT's to spearhead a fundraising effort to purchase nails for the project.

On the morning of the Borehole Clean-up Day we went to K2’s first Borehole in Namabaale. To our surprise the borehole, which completely lacked a fence when we visited two days earlier, was surrounded by the fencing foundation of wooden poles. Men from the surrounding community were gathering around carrying wood, nails, hammers, pangas, and digging materials ready to work. Apparently the villagers were embarrassed about the condition of their borehole when our UVP team came to visit a few days before. So they anxiously began to work together to prepare for our clean-up, which included overcoming financial problems through rapid fundraising for nails.

The community members and our UVP team combined efforts to ensure the proper construction of the borehole fence. The Kasambiika 2 villagers truly took ownership in their borehole clean-up. About 20 people were digging, cleaning out the grass, cutting poles, constructing the fence, and cleaning the surrounding area. We were happy to see community members collaborating to create their own sanitation solutions. Within a few hours the Namabaale borehole was completely transformed and in compliance with government recommendations. The morning of our Borehole Clean-up Day was a complete success.

Our second borehole already had a fencing structure in place, providing entry for those retrieving water and preventing animals from accessing the water.  A number of women and children came to help us weed around the fencing and to clear excess grass. The work went quickly and efficiently as we took turns weeding with the few hoes we had. The men who came cleaned the mud and debris from the drainage pool, which had accumulated water. Typically, community brick makers use water from the drainage pool for their bricks, but they hadn’t retrieved water lately. We advised the community to drain the pool regularly in order to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and animals from drinking from the pool.  If the vigor with which the community worked is any indication of its commitment to borehole maintenance, the boreholes will be in excellent condition for months to come.

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