Hoping for a Lifetime of Clean Water
The dry season has returned to the Kalalé District of Benin in sub-Saharan Africa, and water is once again a scarce commodity. People in some communities have to walk for miles to get clean water for their families. But occasionally, they get a short-lived surprise close to home.
Imagine waking up and hearing through the village grapevine that today SELF’s technicians will be testing existing boreholes (which are often abandoned when mechanical or diesel-powered equipment fails and cannot be replaced). You and your family grab pots and buckets and race to the site to catch every drop of clean water that gushes from the ground. The test lasts a minimum of four hours; so, many people can savor the beautiful, crystal clear water. Then, the equipment is pulled, and the water disappears until SELF can raise the money for a permanent solar-powered pumping system that delivers water every day.
Sandra Phillips, SELF’s former Project Manager in Benin, says that when the borehole test and all of its sparkling water cease to come to the earth’s surface, the local people matter-of-factly return to what they consider to be the norm. They either walk for miles and wait in long lines for potable water, or settle for dirty water contaminated by widespread open defecation, chemical runoff from industrial cotton fields, and a variety of other factors that contribute to chronic diarrhea.
SELF is raising funds to bring a water station to a community in Benin. Please click here if you would like to help us reach our funding goal. We are intent on installing the water station as soon as possible so that the borehole test that delivered pure water for a mere four hours will one day last a lifetime.