During the early 1990's donor agencies paid for the construction of eighteen boreholes and pumps in the Lundamatwe village. By 2005 all of these pumps had either broken or had been stolen, leaving the entire Lundamatwe village without access to clean water and increasing the distance most villagers had to travel to find water. Before the fall of 2008, the main sources of water in the village were the river that runs through part of the village, several open (and thus, easily contaminated) wells, and seasonal water holes that fill with water during the wet season and gradually dry up during the dry season. None of these sources are safe to drink without first boiling the water, which increases the amount of fuel a family must gather and use.
Over the past two years Project Kesho has facilitated the construction of five water projects located in highly populated areas of the Lundamatwe village. All five of these projects are short depth wells, two of them have pumps, and three are simply bucket drawn wells. The two boreholes with pumps are located near the primary schools, which are the most densely populated areas of the community. Despite the boreholes that Project Kesho facilitated last year, access to clean water is still limited in much of the Lundamatwe village.
We spent time during the summer of 2009 scouting out new locations for additional borehole locations and learning from other groups who are also involved in clean water. These activities led to important new information: the improper household storage of water can lead to illness. To address this issue we will be facilitating training sessions about solar disinfectant (SODIS). SODIS is nothing more than putting unclean water in plastic water bottles and then setting the bottles in direct sunlight for 4-6 hours. After that, the water is safe to drink, and the storage bottle is also clean. SODIS has been used worldwide to increase access to clean water. It has proven itself to not only be effective against water-borne illnesses but to be technologically appropriate as well.