THE determination and hard work of one woman has resulted in piped water for close to 1 000 people living at Karutci village in the Kavango Region.
Pelgrina Shigweda mobilised her community to contribute money towards buying pipes and other essentials to be connected to the main NamWater pipeline.
The Karutci community near the Nyangana hospital, about 100 kilometres east of Rundu, have been connected to the NamWater water supply and now have clean water at their doorsteps.
The village is two kilometres from the Okavango River and people used to collect water from a pond about one kilometre away. In the dry season women had to walk four kilometres to the river and back to collect water.
Shigweda started mobilising the community in 2009 to get their own water supply. She and three other women formed a committee and collected N$22 500 from the community for the project.
They bought water pipes and started digging trenches to lay the pipes. The community needed six kilometres of pipeline, fittings, connectors and pipes for branches from the mainline to the 69 households in the community.
The community ran out of money until the Southern Africa Regional Environment Programme (Sarep), funded by USAID, stepped in to help complete the pipeline.
Charles Mikaya, a member of the community, said that this clean water on their doorstep will have a huge impact on the lives of the women and girls, as they no longer need to walk kilometres every day to collect water.
“This clean water will also help to eradicate diseases like cholera and other waterborne diseases which in turn will lessen the burdens on the health system,” he said.
The US ambassador to Namibia, Wanda Nesbitt, said: “We know from experience that things that benefit women tend to have a ripple effect and benefit the whole family and the whole community at large. We also know that there are many more communities who are in need of fresh water and that is why we have Sarep to address water and sanitation problems and to help address them.”
As a result of USAID’s work with the Karutci community, 69 households representing 1 000 people now have access to clean water. In addition, community members have received training in basic water-use management, sanitation and hygiene.
The Karutci scheme is part of a larger partnership with NamWater that will provide water to 14 000 people eventually.
The investment made by Sarep through USAID was N$200 000 for the water supply to the Karutci community.
The community will make monthly contributions to the water committee for the maintenance of the infrastructure.
Source Article from http://allafrica.com/stories/201210170505.html
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