Q&A

1) What is the water like in Zambia and Sierra Leone and how does it differ between the two countries? 

 
The threat of water being contaminated with bacteria, parasites and other water-borne disease is present in both Zambia and Sierra Leone; however, there is a mineral content present in Sierra Leonean soil that isn't there in Zambian soil (Sierra Leone is home to relatively every mineral and precious stone on the planet) so there is an added concern with introducing hand-dug wells into rural Sierra Leone that is not present in rural Zambia. 

The central issue with hand-dug wells in Sierra Leone includes contamination through mineral content; in other words, hand-digging wells which might only be dug 10-20 meters into the ground might tap into an underground water source; however, whether this water is potable or not is a different issue. The water may contain minerals hazardous to human consumption. SSAAP is conducting further research on this specific issue, prior to digging wells in villages in Sierra Leone, to ensure that digging wells will in-fact lead to higher water consumption by humans without fear of endangering them. 

The water in rural parts of both countries is contaminated by various issues: in Zambia, the Southern Province in which SSAAP serves its people, the Tonga people are the tribe of the area. They are the cattle-herders for the nation. Due to the large amount of animals, groundwater becomes contaminated due to animal waste (i.e. urine, feces, etc.) as well as other animals kept in local households: chickens, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, perhaps even donkeys or pigs depending on the family. There is a large animal population present in Southern Province, Zambia which is not present in the other provinces of Zambia. So this contributes to groundwater contamination. 

Another issue is a lack of knowledge which blinds the people from harming themselves. If there is a shallow well, uncovered, present, or a small pond or stream that the people are using for drinking water, they do not understand it is hazardous to also bathe in this water. You will find a group of people bathing with soap in a watering hole while others are waiting in line to use the water right after the people are done washing themselves. A lack of education concerning hygiene and sanitation is present. Please note that SSAAP is also working in this arena in the future: education on sanitation and hygiene. 

Southern Province, Zambia suffers from drought every year - some years more extreme than others. I have lived in the village one year, back in 2005, that it rained twice the whole rainy season. The villagers depend on the rains from November to March every year which will water their crops so that the following year they are able to eat. In that particular case, however, in 2005, people starved and I attended more funerals for elderly and babies in our village than ever before. Additionally, cihuli-huli (relief food, usually through USAID or another large-scale development program from a western nation) came to the aid of the people and many of them were able to eat that year thanks to the western world feeding them. 

The rains in Southern Province, Zambia are very unpredictable and vary much from year to year. Global Warming has further complicated the situation. In the past, a lengthy rainy season (October to April) induced many fine crops, such as maize, sorghum, cabbage, green rape, beans, soy and added to the local people's food variety as well as their health. However, recently (in the last five years), the cold season has caused a change in the rains, and now the rainy season is from October to February/March, yielding a cold season beginning in March and ending in August, leaving only August and September as the hot season in Zambia (whereas before the hot, dry season was from July to October). The balance in Nature has been altered due to Global Warming, and it is my belief that this will cause large-scale suffering on the farming community of Southern Province, Zambia.

The water in Sierra Leone is much more predictable than in Zambia; there are essentially two seasons in Sierra Leone: rainy and humid, and non-rainy and humid. Sierra Leone is West Africa, equatorial Africa, and thus it is subject to constant heat that Zambia (located very far south of the equator) is not. In Sierra Leone, the water issue is much more concerned with the mineral content of the soil and how to filter the minerals out of the water in order to make the water potable for the people, rather than the lack of water which exists in Zambia. 

In both countries, the water is contaminated through lack of knowledge about sanitation and hygiene, as well as ignorance that humans should not share the same water as animals. 
 
2) How do the water conditions effect the daily lives of the citizens, specifically  women and children? 

I have touched upon this briefly above, but because the women and the children (specifically female children) are expected to maintain the home, when the water situation is dire you will often find young girls not at school because they are obligated both by their family and by their culture to do the household chores, which always includes taking water for the family. The less water that is present, the more hours the girls or women will spend in line waiting for the water or taking the water via a small dish that they carefully pour the water from and into a large jerrican (yellow container) and then carry on their heads. 

The people can always taste the difference in the water; if it is clean water extracted from a borehole some 70 meters down into the earth, they can taste the clean water and how delicious it is versus a pond where there is floating cow feces present. Often times, the dirty water turns a murky white color and it can even make you feel sick watching the people imbibe it!


 
 
3) How does this effect the attendance at the schools? 
 

Unfortunately, the young girls are on the lowest end of the totem pole and are always the ones who are made to sacrifice their schooling in order to fulfill the household duties. On average, in Simwatachela, Zambia, the women have an education ending in grade three whereas on average the men have approx. grade seven education. The men are promoted in this patriarchal society and thus their fathers will work very diligently to help them finish grade twelve at school whereas their daughters they expect to finish only grade seven or eight and then get pregnant by the time they are fifteen. It is this reason that the men continue to dominate this society even despite this current modern era where women are promoted all over the world in western civilizations.

 

 (1) Describe the benefiting community including its location, using any relevant information.

Simwatachela Chiefdom is located in the heart of rural Southern Province, Zambia. The community is composed of approx. 6-8,000 people and approx. 65 villages. Executive Director Heather Cumming was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Simwatachela from 2004-2006, completed her contract of service and then founded SSAAP in 2008. She speaks the local language (ciTonga) and lives within the community SSAAP serves, along with her daughter) for 1-2 years at a time. In April 2008, three headmen of the adjacent villages in Simwatachela: Simoono, Sibooli-B and Siamabwe, granted SSAAP 140 hectares of land in which to begin a sustainable agriculture program. The land granted was to be of primary purpose neutral land for the whole chiefdom to benefit and upon which SSAAP would devise a water-system which would enable both humans and cattle/goats/sheep to drink. Please note that this region of Zambia is home to the Tonga tribe, who are the cattle-rearers for the whole nation.

In October 2009, ED Heather Cumming traveled to Sierra Leone, West Africa to work with former children who had been child soldiers in the civil war there (1990-2001). She then began to draw ties between the two nations of Zambia and Sierra Leone and sought parallel ways to help both nations as needs were similar: eradication of poverty, scarcity of potable water, food shortage, hygiene and sanitation education. Thus, in 2009/2010 Sierra Leone became a part of SSAAP, with the same mission of serving the people with potable water. Sierra Leone was rated the most unlivable country in the world in 2007 and in 2012 was rated the tenth poorest country in the world according to the UN's MPI (Multidimensional Poverty Index). Please note that ED Heather Cumming's daughter is Sierra Leonean by birth and thus Ms. Cumming has blood relatives in Sierra Leone.

 

(2) Describe the community needs.  How was the community involved in identification of needs?

SSAAP is a water, food and nutrition sustainability program created by the people and committed to serving the needs of the people. The program is entirely-based on the needs of the people as designated by the people rather than by Heather Cumming's perception of what the people need. This is a key instrument of SSAAP: identification of needs by the community it serves in order to serve them in the deepest possible ways. SSAAP assesses the communities within the areas it serves via Community Assessment Tool (CAT), attached with this Global Grant Proposal, which is translated into both ciTonga (Zambia) and Krio (Sierra Leone).

In Zambia, the community of Simwatachela suffers mostly from a lack of water, a lack of clean drinking water, and drought which is the instigator of food shortage and therefore starvation. The people have identified their deepest need as water, the second being education, third being water and sanitation. Based on these results, SSAAP has begun a school sponsorship program which is aiming to begin in September/October 2013 which will sponsor 50 children grades 1-7 to attend school in Simwatachela. SSAAP is also working to provide water filters to rural schools without clean water.

In Sierra Leone, needs were assessed in both Freetown as well as the rural village of Daru, Eastern Province. Daru is home to approximately 1,000 Mende peoples. In Freetown, the deepest need appeared to be potable water as well as hygiene and sanitation, whereas in Daru water is the largest obstacle: a lack of clean drinking water as well as a lack of access to water. The second largest need, like in Zambia, is education. SSAAP intends to bring its School Sponsorship Program to Sierra Leone in 2014/2015.

(3) How are these needs currently being addressed?

In 2012, Executive Director H. Cumming lived in Zambia the whole year with a trip to Sierra Leone in April/May. In Zambia, SSAAP identified the needs of the people of Simwatachela: lack of access to clean water. SSAAP had been granted two direct grants from Denver Rotary Club; in 2011, $3,000 USD, and in 2012, $3000 USD. Thus, using this $6,000 USD, on August 18, 2012 a borehole (drilled well done via machine) was drilled in Sibooli-B village, cost approx. $6,000 USD. The borehole was drilled approx. 70 meters into the ground and has a life-span of approx. 8-12 years before it will require new pipes or maintenance. The borehole will serve approx. 600-800 persons. However, there are still many people who live too far away from the borehole to be able to access it (“outliers”), and such individuals had determined they need wells which will serve either a school, a small community or a large family. SSAAP is working with an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) within Zambia known as DAPP (www.dappzambia.org, under 'Projects' menu, select 'The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme') which provides knowledge on how to safely hand-dig wells which will provide people with clean drinking water.

In Sierra Leone, the needs were relatively the same as in Zambia, although emphasis was placed in Freetown with sanitation and hygiene. Please see attached photos of Kroobay Slums in Freetown, Sierra Leone. SSAAP would eventually like to erect sanitation and hygiene hand-washing stations in schools within Freetown as well as in Daru village. Additionally, in rural Freetown – starting with Daru village – SSAAP would like to work with communities to hand-dig water wells which will provide clean drinking water for the people who will manage its upkeep.

 

Activity Description

A Global Grant must benefit an underserved group with outcomes that are  measurable by the time that the Grant is completed.

(1) Summarize the proposed activities.

In Simwatachela, Zambia, boreholes will be drilled (depending on amount of grant rewarded) and wells will be dug. Hand-dug wells will be dug also with the expertise of DAPP-Zambia.

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, hygiene and sanitation workshops will be held to sensitize teachers of schools on hand-washing stations provided by SSAAP about basic airborne and waterborne diseases as well as basic information and demonstration on hand-washing essentials. [Please note that Executive Director Heather Cumming is a certified nurse's aide in U.S.A., and has been certified in the state of Colorado in hand-washing basics and essentials.]

In Daru village, Freetown, wells will be hand-dug as well. Please note that other villages in the provinces of Sierra Leone may also be in-need of wells. This will be assessed in the CAT (Community Assessment Tool) which SSAAP will distribute as well as require of all willing participants in its programs.

(2) How was the community involved in the development of the proposed project, including identification of local or regional resources? 

The local people must be involved in both the construction, maintenance and general upkeep of all programs, otherwise sustainability remains a risk factor in long-term development with successful results. In Simwatachela, the people have formed a Borehole Committee, responsible for maintenance of the borehole water source. The committee also walks from household to household in the village and collects small dues (usually 5,000 to 10,000 Kwacha, ~ $1-2 USD) which are accrued into a Borehole Treasury. This money will be used to (a.) hire a maintenance man to fix the borehole if/when it needs to be fixed, (b.) buy new pipes for the borehole, (c.) any other unforeseen or foreseen needs of the borehole. The local people are also responsible for building and maintaining a structure around the perimeter of the borehole which will prevent cattle from damaging it. Please see attached photos of this structure.

In both Sierra Leone and in Zambia where proposed wells are being dug in rural areas, local people will be expected to provide the labor to dig these wells. SSAAP will provide the materials to enforce the wells (i.e. cement, buckets, well pump if applicable). In Zambia, SSAAP intends to partner with NGO DAPP (www.dappzambia.org). DAPP will provide expertise in well-digging safety and SSAAP will provide cement, bucket, etc. for each well. The beneficiaries/individuals in need of the wells will be the very people digging the wells.

In Sierra Leone, wells will be dug using tools purchased at minimal costs. A list of supplies are as follows: pick ax, shovel, hammer, bar with a point that breaks up rocks larger than pick ax can manage to, cement, sand, bucket, rope. Apparently, in Sierra Leone, these materials for digging/constructing can be bought used/second-hand so the costs would probably not exceed more than $100 for all materials combined. Sierra Leoneans prefer wells to have a shelter over their openings, rather than in Zambia where locals prefer cement covers atop the wells.

(3.) List any Cooperating Organization(s) involved in the project. What will their specific activities be? 

DAPP-Zambia will be involved in well-digging projects in Simwatachela, Zambia (please visit www.dappzambia.org). DAPP will: visit specific areas in Simwatachela to view digging, make comments on depth of well and provide expertise on how to dig in a specific manner to ensure health and safety of well-diggers. SSAAP will provide funding for the wells.

SSAAP will employ Giga Drilling Company (based in Lusaka, Zambia) to drill boreholes for approx. ~$6,000 per well.

In Sierra Leone, SSAAP will work with members of the communities to dig wells and ensure sustainability. SSAAP continues to look for partners within Sierra Leone to work on such endeavors.

4) Describe how the benefiting community will be involved in the activities. 

In Simwatachela, the  community will be the beneficiaries of the project for wells and water. They will find the appropriate location for the well, either pay someone to dig the well or have a member of the community dig the well for free, and maintain the well (via collecting small funds for a pool of money which will maintain the well, or fix the well themselves when it needs a repair. Expenses for maintenance of the well pump, bucket, cement or chain will be provided by a well fund as well.) Areas in need of help will be identified by completing a Community Assessment Tool (CAT) provided by SSAAP.

In Sierra Leone, the village of Daru will function with wells and water just as Simwatachela is functioning in the explained above paragraph. For the sanitation and hygiene program, each school will complete a CAT and then SSAAP will visit the school. If the school is indeed in need of sanitation and hygiene assistance services, SSAAP will provide a hand-washing station: bucket, little tap inside of bucket, soap and stand and will equip teachers in schools with information to teach the children, via workshops held in Freetown. Each school will then be responsible for upkeep of the hand-washing station and maintenance of the program within their individual school.

(5) How will the project build capacity in the community? 

The project in both nations will no doubt ensure empowerment of beneficiaries helping to construct and dig wells. In Freetown, the hygiene and sanitation program will empower children, teachers, and school facilities with knowledge that will ensure better health for themselves and the community at-large. With cleaner, less-infested water, communities that SSAAP serves in both Zambia and Sierra Leone will have healthier citizens, a longer longevity and greater chances of survival for their infants and unborn children. Equipped with both resources, tools and knowledge, beneficiaries can make informed decisions and choices.

(6) Proposed Start Date: January 2014

(7) Proposed Completion Date: December 2015

 

Area of Focus

(1) With which area(s) of focus is the proposed activity aligned?

·         Peace and Conflict prevention/resolution

·         Disease Prevention and Treatment

·         Water and Sanitation

·         Maternal and child health

·         Basic education and literacy

·         Economic and community development

(2) Describe how the activity(ies) will address the goal(s) of the Area of Focus. 

Activities in Simwatachela Chiefdom, Zambia will assess, implement, monitor and evaluate need, progress and sustainability concerning water: hand-dug wells and machine-drilled boreholes both. Drilling of large-scale boreholes which will serve approx. 600-800 local people will provide potable water for human consumption as well as an available water source which can help to manage small gardens as well as serve cattle and other animals with water to drink.

Activities in Freetown, Sierra Leone will assist in teaching about the importance of hand-washing where hygiene and sanitation are concerned through workshops for teachers (approx. 30 teachers in attendance, from approx. 15 schools with 2 teachers per school present) where information about hand-washing, airborne and waterborne illnesses and prevention of disease through proper hygiene and sanitation will inform participants who can sustainably then redirect information to pupils at their schools. Hand-washing stations will be provided (one station per school: large bucket with lid and tap, smaller 'dish' for catching water, metal stand, soap dish and soap) will be provided. Hand-washing stations will be maintained and sustained by each school and things like soap and maintenance on buckets will be the responsibility of individual schools. Further funds from SSAAP will not be provided.

Activities in Daru village, Sierra Leone will be hand-dug wells with resources to do so available within either the village or in Freetown. Beneficiaries will learn about wells through hands-on labor as well as construction of the wells. This will be a sustainable activity as the people themselves will have invested in the program (via labor, time, sweat, etc.) and will therefore take ownership of it. Clean water will be granted through means of hand-dug wells.

 

Project Outcomes

(1) What are the immediate and long-term expected outcomes of the activity? 

Immediate outcomes are clean water, knowledge of basic hygiene and sanitation skills, and indirect benefits from having a [clean] water source such as reliable water for cattle, other animals, and water for gardens and other crops grown in the rural areas of Zambia and Sierra Leone.

Long-term outcomes: longer lifespan of persons in rural and urban Sierra Leone and in rural Zambia. Higher food production in both countries as well as a result of accessible water. Better nutrition and health for children, adults and elderly persons as well as a better chance for life among fetuses and infants with implementation of the Hygiene and Sanitation program in Sierra Leone.

Both immediate and long-term expected outcomes of the program activities are empowerment of people, a stronger understanding of their human rights, and pride in the project as they have invested their personal time, labor, strength and potentially even their own money (via contribution to community fund which aids in fixing boreholes, wells, etc.). This investment will ensure empowerment of the people as well as sustainability in the project for many decades to come.

(2) Explain how all involved parties will act to ensure the sustainability of the activities and/or outcomes. 

Participants in rural Zambia will contribute labor, donations and time in digging wells, and donations in sustaining both wells and boreholes introduced into their area. Participants in urban Sierra Leone (Freetown) will contribute time and donations in the sustainability of hand-washing stations in local schools in their town, and in rural Sierra Leone participants will contribute labor, donations and time in digging wells. This participation ensures sustainability through investment of resources as well as pride in the programs they are directly benefiting from. In any scenario, when a community is active and participates time, money, or in-kind resources, production will be both vast and sustainable as the community has invested a part of itself in the development model. When results are measurable – as will be the case with both wells and boreholes – the desire for upkeep and longevity is greater.

(3) Identify the monitoring and evaluation tool(s) that will be used to evaluate the success of the project? 

Please refer to the M&E form attached to this proposal. This monitoring and evaluation form will assess progress as well as provide a report to the Global Grant Community. Communities will be monitored and evaluated every 6 months for the first five years after implementation of a resource from SSAAP (i.e. borehole drilled, well dug), then every year for the next 2 years, and every five years for the next two decades thereafter, if need be.

(4) How will the outcomes of the project be sustained over time after the funding has been expended? 

Funding for the project will be granted only at the time of implementation. For example, in Simwatachela, Zambia, after the borehole(s) have been drilled, beneficiaries are expected to maintain pipes and pay workers to fix necessary borehole parts via Borehole Committee Treasury. SSAAP will not pay for any upkeep or maintenance on the borehole as this is the community's contribution as well as the sustainability piece of the project. In Freetown, the hygiene and sanitation program will provide hand-washing stations to schools including a bar of soap to go with each station (SSAAP is currently researching donors who can donate a bar of soap for each station). After the soap is finished, the schools/community providing for the school will be expected to maintain the station with soap, as well as any repairs on the station. In Daru village, Sierra Leone, wells dug by beneficiaries will learn basic well skills and how to maintain their wells. In failure to do so, they will learn that they are directly disabling themselves and only themselves, which will teach them to take care of what they have received, what they have worked for to receive, what they have maintained, and what they value.

 

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