Water is the source of life, water gives life, water is life, as the slogan “give water, save lives” indicates. This rare commodity is almost non-existent in the majority of our partner schools. To remedy this problem, the Foundation has initiated since 2019 a project for the provision of drinking water in its partner schools.
This project has enabled us to drill wells for seven out of the 22 schools that are missing fresh drinking water. The wells were drilled by local contractors for a unit price of 6860 euros. They have an average depth of 85 metres. This depth guarantees not only the quality of the water but also a sufficient and permanent quantity. More than 2,500 pupils and teachers and a population of around 13,000 inhabitants benefit from these wells.
Today, the project to fight against malnutrition is working more efficiently thanks to the availability of water. School gardens have been set up where local vegetables, rich in iron and calcium, and bananas are produced for school canteens.
Hand hygiene is also ensured, and thanks to the washing kits, access is straightforward for pupils. The availability of water in the schools has also considerably improved school results as the time that pupils used to lose looking for water (about 1 hour) is now used for teaching.
The population can buy this water for a lump sum of 25 FCFA per 50L. The sales of water and the management of these water points are ensured in each school by a woman beneficiary of the banana project. The revenue from the selling of water allows to perform small repairs in case of breakdown, to purchase seeds for the gardens and to buy soap to ensure good hygiene in the schools.
The surrounding population, who in the past had been travelling long distances (4 to 5 km) in search of water, was also able to change their level of hygiene in the household and develop small income-generating activities such as the sale of porridge made from local cereals.