We have recently hit a big milestone here at CO2balance: we have now rehabilitated the first half batch of boreholes planned in our safe water projects in Mozambique and Zambia, respectively rehabbing 400 and 100 boreholes and providing safe water to about 250,000 people.
2020 has of course been a very challenging year up until now, with the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down our efforts to bring safe water to communities. However even with such obstacles and in such challenging times, it has not stopped us or our partners.
Our tenacious and committed project Partner in Mozambique and Zambia, Village Water, together with the crucial help of local partners, have remained in constant contact with the communities we are supplying safe water to. They have been training them on pump maintenance and good hygiene and sanitation; with the goal of providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to keep the pumps in good working order- ensuring long term water supply, whilst also encouraging capacity building and preventing the spread of infection diseases, including COVID-19.
Prior to the vital rehabilitation of the water pumps, villagers had to fetch their water from unsafe and contaminated water sources, such as rivers and open wells, often walking long distances and taking a large amount of time out of their day doing so.
In one of our first visits, Albino warned us that “The water we drink is not drinkable, it is cloudy and causes diarrhoea, we travel long distances in search of water and we experience crocodiles attacks in the Lucite river”.
Mrs Nyirenda, from a small village in the Central province of Zambia, remembers how hard it was for her and her family to fetch water each day: “We had to wake up very early in the morning to go and collect water from the nearest water source, which lay more than 2 kilometres away”
Regina told us that “Due to long distances covered in search of water, children school progress is disturbed as they have to miss class. In addition, they end up drinking unsafe water from open wells and resulting developing diarrhoea and eye problems”.
Once a borehole is rehabilitated, Village Water and its partners visit the communities regularly to check on the pump and to gather any feedback from users in the community- here is some of what people had to say:
Mr Quembo responded, “The water pump brought significant changes in our lives, we had to walk long distance to get water and the water we were getting was not good for our health, sometimes we could suffer from diarrhoea but now we have safe and clean water”.
Talking to Victorino about the borehole, he says, “We are drinking clean water now thanks to WATSAN*. We used to drink dirty water and most of the time we experienced different illness, our children were the most affected by the unsafe water from the open wells. We are very grateful to have available clean and pure water in the village”.
*WATSAN are one of our local partners on the ground supporting with the project delivery.
Mr Chivongo shares his delight at the project “We are very happy to have clean drinking water after a long time. Our village is very clean, and we now have more time for other productive activities”.
And Violet admits that “Village Water has really helped us, especially on hygiene and sanitation, before they came, we never had toilets but now we know the importance of sanitation and washing facilities”.
Access to a reliable and nearby source of water goes beyond the provision of safe water, improved health and hygiene benefits.
Equally important are the changes brought into the socio-economic and cultural life of villagers: children are able to attend school with more continuity; women, who are usually responsibly for water collection, are able to take advantage of new opportunities thanks to the considerable time saved, helping to reduce the gender gap. Households are even able to invest in other activities such as farming, social activities, leisure or income generating activities- considerably improving their quality of life.
Our projects continue to receive ongoing funding through the sale of carbon credits- allowing us to implement long-term programmes that ensure the provision of clean water and training to communities.