May 16, 2013
The Georges Malaika Foundation, our partner in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recently conducted a survey to measure the usage of the Voss Foundation Kalebuka village well, funded by Give a Drop in 2010. Survey results indicated that all the women were very happy with the well. It has improved their lives significantly, and has resulted in a healthier and safer environment for their families. The water is used in a variety of ways, including for drinking, bathing, washing clothes, and cleaning in general. Many report that the water tastes much better and they feel safer using it. It is also visibly clearer than water from the well they used previously.
One woman, Seraphine Mutombo, is happy because she had to pay a larger sum of money (500 FC/week) to use the old hand-drawn well. The current water fee is approximately $1/month per family. Our water project included the establishment of an elected committee, whose members collect and manage the funds to pay for future repairs to the well. The committee has also invested in a lock for the well, which is used from 10PM to 7AM daily. The lock is to prevent the well from being overused or misused.
Survey responders indicated walking anywhere from 30 to 1500 meters to access the well. Most said the distance they had to walk to obtain potable water reduced significantly, thus leaving more time for other activities. One woman, Zaina Baronga, had to walk a further distance to get to this well, but was quoted as saying “No matter the distance, the water is clean and I can use it for many different things.” The handpump on this well has also made it easier to draw the water. Zaina also stated that the marginal cost of the further distance was worth it because the water is of better quality and is easier to retrieve.