Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your projects yield measurable positive results in the people’s lives! The knowledge of impacting society is refreshing, and the personal joy and fulfilment is indescribable.
This is one of the reasons why I love it when Annual Monitoring comes around, as it is that time when the impact of our projects become empirically evident.
What is Annual Monitoring, in case you are wondering?
Put simply, it is an annual activity of conducting a survey on a project to assess impact with reference to pre-listed associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These surveys help to measure the impacts of project interventions, for example, prevalence of disease, time, poverty and carbon emissions, etc.
In this, a sample of communities are selected and visited across our project areas and respondents are asked questions from various surveys. The responses are then compared to baseline surveys which were carried out before project implementation, allowing for a direct comparison of results before and during/after the project.
And just so you know, it’s that time of the year for our safe water project in Gambia!
Findings from our most Annual Monitoring revealed 100 per cent of respondents now mainly source water for household drinking, food washing, and basic personal hygiene use from the project boreholes and handpumps as against from open wells before the project began.
Open wells are more liable to contamination, and this was again confirmed as 100% of respondents indicated that they never suffer from stomach related illnesses/water-borne diseases since they started using water from the project boreholes and hand pumps, a significant contrast to the situation before where only 65% reported never to have suffered such ailments.
With a steady and clean water source now available to our project communities, households have also reported now saving time which, hitherto, would have been used in searching for fuel woods or making long trips to previous water sources, for use on some other productive life activities.
To break this down, 73% respondents indicated now channelling saved time into more productive unpaid domestic work (includes cooking and caring for family members), 24% into income generating activities, 29% into religious activities, 62% into social and leisure activities, 30% into voluntary activities and 13% into education and training.
If you love the idea of a better world for humanity, you will find these figures exciting too!