The township of Madina has an approximate population of 4,000. There are also several surrounding villages.
Whilst working in the Madina Health Clinic, it soon became apparent that all was not well with the water supply to the town. This became evident by questioning patients who attended with gastro-enteric conditions and the correlation of their usage of untreated ‘stream’ water. On questioning patients further, the usage of ‘stream’ water was forced upon them due to the community pumps ‘not working’.
To verify the facts, a survey of the 10 community wells was carried out.
These community wells are thought to serve a population of approximately 2500 whilst the rest of the town have their own private wells.
The total number of wells should be sufficient (based on 250 people per well),
however the location of the wells could and should have been better planned. It is likely that as the township expands, more wells will be required.
At the time of inspection, 8 out of the 10 were currently functional in some capacity. Of those that were working, all had a caretaker and had restricted hours of working. Although there was a spirit of community ownership, there was no formal money collecting system to ensure sufficient funds for maintenance.
All but 2 of the wells run dry during the months of April – May. During these months, people go to the stream or swamp for their drinking water. This water is left to settle but no other treatment is applied prior to drinking. There is a marked increase in gastric-enteric conditions during these months, particularly in children.
It was clear that the township of Madina faced some serious difficulties in relation to its water supply. This could be easily solved with the transfer of appropriate funds but there had to be evidence of an engaged community prior to any money transfer.
- The formation of a water committee overseen by the town council
- The continuation of a caretaker for each well
- The agreement by the community that payment for water is required
- A workable fee collection system
- The opening of a community bank account for the monies and demonstration of transparent accounting practice
- The introduction of byelaws as agreed by the community eg no animals near the wells, agreed opening times, no drawing well water for purposes other than drinking etc etc
As a result of a signed agreement between HelpMadina and the Madina Town Council, funding is now in place to repair all the community wells and to sink them to the appropriate depth to ensure that they are fully operational all year round.