Few sources of potable water are available to villagers in Benin. Women wait in line for hours, or arrive in the middle of the night to pump water. For some the walk is too far. As a result, villagers rely on open wells that are easily contaminated and streams that are used for bathing and laundry, including cloth diapers. During the dry season, these water sources dwindle, and the water becomes even dirtier, leading to increased illness.
We will install a new, ultra-reliable and efficient solar-powered potable water system for villagers in Northern Benin. This pump will steadily draw water as long as the sun is shining, drawing higher volumes of water than a village is able to pump manually (by hand or foot). Water will be pumped into a sealed tank, eliminating the risk of contamination. During the dry season, when the sun is brightest, the pump will be even more efficient.
Hand and foot pumps have been installed in many villages throughout the region. However, because they have mechanical parts and are manually operated, they can break. Villagers lack the tools and capacity to fix them, and so the wells end up abandoned. Our solar-powered pump requires virtually no maintenance (only cleaning) and will be installed by a local team of skilled engineers that is able to maintain the system for the long-term. This means a healthier community for decades to come.
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