Water Wells for Health and Irrigation

With generous support from the Buffalo Arts Studio the Himalayan Institute Cameroon was able to complete its first community water project: the installation of two public wells in the villages of Kishong and Jakiri. Using completely local talent and resources, from rural engineer to construction workers, these two wells were completed in 2010 and are fully operational at this time. These wells are making a huge impact in the quality of life and health for the residents of Northwest Cameroon, who suffer through a serious dry season each year from November to April.

Filling water containers at a municipal tap during the dry season.

The first well was installed in Kishong Village, on the HI Cameroon Energy Farming demonstration land. A diesel-powered pump carries water from the well at the base of the land to an elevated storage tank.

The water storage tank at the top of the land is elevated on a tower to increase water pressure for the roadside and irrigation taps.

From there, the water flows to a roadside tap for free, public use and through an irrigation system to water 6 acres of Energy Farming crops, including medicinal herbs, food crops, trees and biofuel crops.

Energy Farming crop plots irrigated by the well, which is visible on the left side of the photo.

All together, the construction of the wells employed 12 people for roughly 2 months.

Sign welcoming visitors to the Energy Farming land at Kishong, where educational seminars and demonstrations are held.

Providing clean water at the HI Cameroon land also serves as a springboard for Total Health Center outreach projects that aim to educate the public about disease control, hygiene and preventative healthcare.

HI Cameroon installed the second well in the heart of Jakiri, a town located approximately 20 kilometers from Kumbo. Operated by a simple hand pump and without pipelines, this well now serves as a permanent, free water source that exists without encroaching on the present government water system. Because it is installed on the property controlled by the local ruler, it will be protected from vandalism and government intervention, and will be maintained and kept available to the public.

A rural engineer and Jakiri residents examine the freshly dug (by hand!) hole for the well.

A view of the completed well, taken from the patio of the Fon’s palace. The metal structure protects the hand pump.

Like the public roadside tap in Kishong Village, this well in Jakiri will empower the local people with free water available in their own community. We believe that clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental necessity to which every person should have reliable access. Now firmly into the dry season, these two wells are already making a significant impact in the lives of community members.

Neighborhood children enjoying a cool drink of water at the public tap supplied by the new well in Kishong.

Interested in supporting a village water project? Join the Himalayan Institute’s clean water commitment and help make a long-term impact in rural communities.  On average, a well costs $5,000. If you’re interested, we can guide you on ways that you, your classmates, coworkers and friends can fundraise to support a water project of your own. Contact our Humanitarian Projects team at 570-647-1527 or email us at info@himalayaninstitute.org to learn more.