By Jordan Kimbrell, CFCA Sponsor Services
Farming is one of the main sources of income in the Antsirabe region, and the members of this community rely on it.
In 2011, Dolores Reed from Paducah, Ky., who sponsors Olivier in this region of Madagascar, learned from an article that many people in the country don’t have easy access to clean water for drinking, cooking or watering the crops in seasons when rainfall is scarce.
She learned through CFCA that Olivier’s village lacked ready access to clean water. The community where he lives relied on streams, which also served as drinking water for the livestock.
“They didn’t have [good access to] water,” Dolores said. “We take water for granted.”
The walk to the stream took 20 minutes, and it took another 20 minutes to return.
The villagers would make the long trek across the fields carrying plastic buckets and other containers to carry the water.
The community relied on a small trickle of water that came out of the ground through a piece of plastic pipe.
In Madagascar, the children typically perform the chore of fetching the water.
Since water containers are heavy when full, the children would use small containers and make several trips.
When Dolores learned of the village’s situation, she asked CFCA how she could help Oliver and his community.
The community decided that a hand-pump well would be a safe way to get water, as it would ensure no one would fall in.
The Antsirabe project staff hired a water engineer to advise them on the best course of action. The engineer determined a plan for a proper hand-pump well to be built in the month of October. (In Madagascar, October is the best month to construct a well because the ground is much softer.)
A small stone house was constructed to protect the well. The inside was lined with tiles to make cleaning easier.
Today, the younger children and youth are able to fetch water much more easily because the well is a lot closer than the nearest stream.
The gift of a well has transformed lives in this community. Access to clean, safe water gave families security they lacked.
“I can’t believe they’ve gone this long without this water,” Dolores said. “I was so thrilled they were able to get this clean drinking water.”