Back to the issue of water in the village. It is becoming more and more obvious why we need to sort out the water issues in the village first. Everything relies around water, of course, without it we can’t survive and I don’t mean just drinking it. A classic example, the skilled labourers have started working on the school and they need water and quite a lot of it for mixing cement. So what we have had to do is buy 3 100 litre tanks and then ask the villagers to spare a little of their time in the morning every day to go and fill the tanks for them. An issue they shouldn’t have to be doing, but until we have created a better infrastructure within the village there’s not much we can do. Everything has to happen slower. You can see in images 4 to 7 when Mon rallied together some villagers to come and help with carrying the water, and also see the video below bottom left.
Before this day in the school started, I decided to go and visit the water source for the south of the village (see images 1-3 and the 2 videos below). What I will make clear now, is that there is only one tap in the south of the village for approxiamately 100 people, and not even a tap in the north, just a constantly running hose to cover about 80 people. The remaining approximately 80 people use sources outside the village, on the edge of other communities. Also, there are only 3 toilets being used by over 260 people in the village, and those toilets only by the family that owns them. The rest go to the toilet in the forest/fields and women especially put off their toilet breaks for excessive periods of time due to embarrasment and privacy, which can lead to urinary tract infections and considerable kidney and pelvic problems.
So these issues are highlighting to us the most important thing for the Aandhimul Project to work on is water, health and sanitation coinciding with the school work. And already in Australia Angela has raised AUS$1200, she doing great work to get the funds together to help improve the situation in the village.
To date Mon, the headteacher, committee members and me have met with the local Water Engineering Department to discuss the water needs of the village. They showed much enthusiasm and said they would help us in consultation and technical details cost free. The main reason is because of the Aandhimul Project and international connection. We hope to take things forward into the new year.
We will definitely be returning to these issues in future blog entries as soon as we have more information.