Alleviating Water Scarcity in Jakiri

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The Himalayan Institute Cameroon with support from the Buffalo Arts Studio has been working to address water scarcity in rural Cameroon. November to April is the dry season in northern Cameroon – 6 months with hardly any rainfall. During this time, rivers dry up, municipal water sources are rationed, and village people are forced to travel further and further each day in order to get a bucket of water. Often, water sources during this time become dirty and disease ridden due to overuse and increased traffic. Wells provide year-round water that is clean and more readily accessible.

The well at the HIC demonstration plot in Kishong was dug by hand.

The well at the HIC demonstration plot in Kishong was dug by hand.

The HIC School of Energy Farming is currently finishing construction on a well and irrigation pipeline in Kishong and preparations are underway to install another well in the nearby town of Jakiri. Jakiri is home to roughly 100,000 people, all of whom must suffer through challenging circumstances during the dry season of Cameroon. It is not uncommon for the people of Jakiri to pass 2 or 3 months without municipal water, instead being forced to travel for miles to carry water from unclean streams.

A hand pump-operated well will be installed at the point where two foot paths meet (the grassy area seen in the center of the photo), for easy accessibility to many villagers.

A hand pump-operated well will be installed at the point where two foot paths meet (the grassy area seen in the center of the photo), for easy accessibility to many villagers.

To ensure that the well will be protected, maintained and always available to the public, HIC is partnering with local ruler Fon Sehm Mbinglo I. The well will be constructed on the grounds of the Fon’s palace in Jakiri, a site that is centrally located and accessible to all.

Rural water engineer Visi Edwin explains to HIC staff members how the well will be installed.

Rural water engineer Visi Edwin explains to HIC staff members how the well will be installed.

In a town where water is precious and clean drinking water is virtually unavailable for half of the year, a free, permanent water source will make a tremendous difference in the health and quality of life for the people of Jakiri.

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