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Clean Water Comes To Kalalé

Villagers in the Kalalé District of northern Benin are in desperate need of clean drinking water. They currently draw their water from streams and open wells that are easily contaminated, leading to the spread of water-borne disease which accounts for 19 percent of the country’s deaths each year. And, if villagers are fortunate enough to live near a potable water site, they may have to share it with upwards of 2,000 people.  To meet this critical demand, SELF is installing ultra-reliable and efficient solar-powered water pumping stations in Kalalé.

The water stations’ solar pumps steadily draw water as long as the sun is shining, delivering higher volumes of water than a manual hand- or foot-pump is able to produce.  With our system, water is pumped into a sealed tank, eliminating the risk of contamination.  Not only do the water stations provide a precious resource, they have proven to be a sustainable business model. Users pay an affordable fee for the water, and that revenue is used to maintain current stations as well as to invest in new ones.

Having already installed nine water stations in Kalalé, our goal is to provide 36 more by the end of 2019.  Recently, we had the pleasure of viewing joyous scenes of villagers from Danganzi, Lou, and Neganzi as they used their new water stations for the first time. Here is a brief video that shows the reaction to the new water stations:

 

 

This was indeed a cause for community celebration. The women and girls who came to collect water will no longer have to walk great distances, only to find dirty, contaminated water.  One of them, Loukou, said this: “We used to get stream water with all kinds of solid materials and germs, but we had no choice. Now, with the new pump system, we do not have to use that dirty water. We all come to fetch fresh clean water at the pump. We now know that we are protected from cholera. In the past, we have had outbreaks of cholera in our area. Even people from surrounding villages come here to see our new magical water system. Everyone agrees that the new water is tastier than the river water. The price of water is very affordable.”

SELF is raising funds to bring another water station to a community in Benin. Please click here to support that project.

 

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