Deep in a forest, up high on a hill
After doing an assessment of how much time it took each family on average to collect enough drinking water for the day we decided this was one of the biggest needs we have ever encountered. Families were spending six hours a day to collect water. A single trip takes an average of 2 hours and families regularly make the trip 3 times a day. The trip involves hiking 1.5 miles uphill, then waiting in line to fill from a natural spring situated in a very dangerous national park forest and finally walking home. If the family had donkeys it would take only one trip but few households enjoy such a luxury.
The project really got its legs when Acacia Hills Coffee Estate along agreed to share a water right with the villages. Once the project was given the green light with the Ngorongoro Conservation area we reached out to Java Jackets and asked if they wanted to help. Being who they are, they jumped in immediately to help pay for water collection at the source, piping necessary to bring the water down to the villages and all other needed materials. The completed project included digging the 1.5 mile trench and building bases for each of up to 10 water storage platforms. Portland Roasting Coffee payed for two water storage tanks.
We are currently looking to add up to 8 more because this system is completely scalable.
Read on to understand why.
The project began with the building of a dam at the water source. It had to be durable enough to withstand elephant and buffalo damage at the source. People from nearby villages chipped in with labor to help build and clear a path for the project.
Water from the creek and spring was diverted during the project to help cure the concrete. Seen here, a simple water collection system was added to filter natural debris and prevent clogging the pipe.
Another view of the peakside portion of the project.
"Our goal at Portland Global Initiatives is simple: provide people with access to water. This project is among the best we have undertaken." - Mark Stell, Founder PGI
Pipe the water down hill to the main distribution point. Along the way we needed to add some pressure release areas because of the distance and slope. In addition some clean out ports as well.
Getting water to where the people are
Once we established the right area between the two villages, we needed to build a support structure to hold the water storage tanks. This site will have four 500 liter tanks costing $2,000 each. The first of these was installed during our time there. Soon, the tanks will number 10 in total, distributed in several areas throughout the villages.
Digging out the base of the platform.
Filling in the base with rock and adding hand-mixed cement.
"Access to water is a right. After hearing about how long people in community were walking every day for water, I wanted to help make this project a reality." - Jay Sorensen, Java Jackets, Portland Oregon
Hooking up the first of four tanks at the site.
Turning on the water for the first time! This project eliminated a grueling 5 hour trip from the daily lives of dozens of people.
This project has more phases planned and you can help.
We need to pipe water to each of the two remaining nearby villages while adding storage tanks along the way. We also need to add an overflow area for animals.
If you would like to help please contact us here.