May 2, 2013
The rehabilitation of an existing well and construction of a new hand pump in Mendeh Town, Rivercess County, Liberia, is now complete. Thanks to Voss Foundation, through the Lene Maria for Rent Vann campaign, and in partnership with FACE Africa, 350 people in Mendeh Town now have access to clean water!
The Mendeh Town Clean Water Project was proposed by FACE Africa to replace the intended project at the Neozuin public school, which is closing temporarily due to lack of funding and resources. Since the school will not be operational for some time, FACE Africa opted to relocate the project site, to ensure the largest impact possible from currently available resources.
There was a broken hand pump in Mendeh that was constructed five years ago by a large international NGO. For the last 2 years, the hand pump had not been functioning. Rather than dig a new well, FACE Africa, along with our implementing partner GCUDA and residents of Mendeh Town decided to maximize existing resources by rehabilitating the old well and equipping it with a new hand pump. Many water projects fail each year due to lack of follow up or a long term maintenance plan on the part of implementing organizations. Voss Foundation’s emphasis on community involvement during project planning and implementation helps to ensure that our projects continue to function.
The Mendeh Town project also optimizes sustainability by using technologies that are low cost and appropriate to local conditions. The project used locally sourced materials and spare parts that can be easily purchased and transported to ensure that in case of a need for repair, the community won’t have to wait for extended amounts of time for parts to be replaced, as Rivercess is very remote and road conditions are poor. The project has also involved locals in all stages of the work, from planning through building, to managing and maintenance, so that they can take ownership of the project once completed. To further engage the community, FACE Africa established a water committee and conducted extensive pump mechanic training, empowering both women and men.