Cameroon Catalyst’s fifth well was completed in the village of Petit Bello in the beginning of June and was visited by student volunteers approximately a week later. Volunteers conducted multiple tests and surveys on the well. Focusing on the water quality, condition of the pump, condition of the surrounding structure, condition of the drainage and checking that no facilities that pollute the water table were in its vicinity. The well passed all of these tests. This well design had been further refined following research from trips in 2018 and 2017, using a different drainage method of discharging into an adjacent storm drain instead of a soak away as previous well designs have used.
This year Leigh Jones went out to Petit Bello to advise our local well contractor during construction, this helped to improve health and safety on site and our working relationship and resulted in us presenting Laurent and his team with the health and safety cup Leigh had promised them if there were no injuries during construction.
Prior to the well’s construction, the 1500 local people in Petit Bello were using two wells. With the introduction of Cameroon Catalyst’s well, the number of people per well has been reduced from 750 to 500. This has reduced queue times, demand on the water table and therefore reduced the likelihood that villagers will use natural water sources which could cause them to catch water borne diseases. Cameroon Catalyst’s well is located on the opposite side of the road to the other two wells in the village, closer to the centre of the village and reducing the distance local people have to walk to collect water. A committee of eight local people has been set up to look after the well and collect money monthly to pay for its repair and upkeep.
Volunteers will continue to visit the well in Petit Bello in future years, to monitor the condition of it.