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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Korogwe NGO brings water to thirsty villagers

22nd March 2012
Bringing clean and safe drinking water to rural communities is a key Millennium Development Goal set by the United Nations.

Throughtout the whole country, and indeed in most developing nations, women in rural areas are facing various chores - from collecting firewood, fetching water to cooking food for families.

In essence, they are responsible for overall organisation of homes. They are the ones, for example, who ensure that there is water for use in homes apart from the most intricate chore one of bearing children.

In some places, women perform other chores such as livestock keeping and farming -- evidently activities whose volume more than double those done by their men folk in the same surroundings.

Countless strategies have been initiated by various human rights activists in a bid to create awareness for men to come to senses and understand that their spouses are not tools of production but equal partners.

One of such endeavors is the Beijing International Conference (1995), which passed various resolutions-- all aimed at freeing women from the chains of male domination.

For a couple of years, several human rights organisations have been established to cater for women rights. However, their endeavors are yet to have real impact on the community.

At Korogwe, in Tanga region, a donor aid non-governmental organization, Devon Aid Korogwe (DAK) , in collaboration with the Korogwe District Council, recently came up with the idea of lessening the hardships faced by one of the district’s villages in the provision of clean and safe water.

It was then that in December 2010, actual implementation of t a project – Kitivo Water Supply Scheme -- started.

The project involved Kitivo village in Kerenge Ward, a distance of about 10 kilometres from Korogwe town.

Here, water is drawn from Nilo nature forest on the Malwati hills, where the intake structure was built. The liquid is completely free from pollution, having sprung up from a spring.

From the water source, the water travels by gravitational force to a main tank –half way between Nilo forest and Kitivo village where it is stored temporarily before it travels further to the village.

At the village, six domestic points are maintained, each serving an average of 250 villagers. At each point, water users access the service nearest their respective homes. The village’s population is nearly 1,600.

Completion of the project in November 2011 means that 43 percent in the entire population of 254,214 within Korogwe Rural District enjoy clean and safe water.

In a message read during the launching of the project in the village as part of the World Water Day last week, Korogwe District Water Engineer Aaron Swai said the project - a three-kilometre stretch, is estimated to cost 114.8m/-.

“The main donor contributed 106.7m/- while the District Council donated 3.1m/- in terms of cash and expertise,” said Swai, adding that an amount of 5m/- was labour costs contributed by Kitivo villagers.

Swai, however, hastened to say that the project faced numerous challenges in actual implementation of the facility.

“Some villagers who were obliged to contribute physically towards construction of the project were not readily available to do so as required by the National Water Policy (NAWAPO 2002),” he said.

Korogwe District Council Public Relations Officer Fatna Mfalingundi said in an interview that as part of the project’s final preparations prior to launching, the villagers were provided with a two-day seminar.

The participants, about seventy of them, were drawn from Kitivo village leadership, the village’s environmental committee and water supply committee. Others were school teachers and a couple of pupils.

“We felt that if we disseminated awareness sufficiently enough, the team would be able to educate others on what is expected of them,” she explained.

Topics covered included preservation of water sources and water infrastructure, rampant felling of trees, avoidance of environmental pollution as well as building of latrines and using them.

Launching the project, Korogwe District Commissioner Erasto Sima, who was chief guest, thanked the donors for bailing out the villagers from the hardships they were facing in accessing clean and safe water.

He also congratulated villagers, over 300 of them, who had gathered at the colourful ceremony for being part of success in the project.

“The fact that you contributed 5.5m/- in terms of labour towards construction of the project is testimony that you had longed to see the day you would start enjoying clean and safe water,” he said.

“I urge you to preserve the project in order for it to be sustainable as well as the environment,” he said, adding that every villager was obliged to protect the water source at all cost.

“When we visited the main reservoir, I noticed that the entire area surrounding the tank was bare, with no single tree in sight. I urge you to plant trees around the area,” Sima said.

“I have already talked to the donors about the possibility of providing water to the two nearby villages – Makumba and Kijanga .When they find that you are maintaining the project to expected levels, they may consider our two neighbours for a similar facility,” he concluded.

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