WATER IS SOMETHING MOST OF US JUST DON’T THINK ABOUT.
BUT FOR MILLIONS, IT’S ALL THEY THINK ABOUT. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
BANGURA PROJECT: PILOT PROJECT DESIGN
The Bangura Project is dedicated to bringing lasting, sustainable change to the Kambia district of Sierra Leone, and our desire for the future is to expand to other communities in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and eventually the entire African continent. The Bangura Project has already begun its work in Sierra Leone after sending Usifu Bangura to Mambolo, Kambia, in April of 2016 with a Needs Assessment document created by the Project Design Committee over the course of several months. The Needs Assessment document took into account various factors that, when answered by community members, gave the Bangura Project greater insight to what was most needed in the community and what resources were readily available. Over the course of two weeks, Usifu distributed the Needs Assessment document to over 60 community members who filled it out to the best of their knowledge and returned it to Usifu who brought back the responses to the US to be analyzed by the rest of the Bangura Project board members. Based on the data we received from the Needs Assessment responses, the Bangura Project decided to base its initial projects on water access and purification.
Pilot Project Technical Approach:
In the Kambia district of Sierra Leone it is primarily (almost entirely) the women who bear the burden of collecting water that must be transported over a long distance from the water resource location to their households. They are tasked with carrying heavy buckets of water over these long distances which puts strain on their bodies and depletes much needed energy to complete the rest of their daily tasks. Below is a description of the Hippo Water Rollers that are designed to be easily rolled over various types of terrain while transporting up to 24 gallons (90 liters) of water at once. These water rollers would allow women to transport a much greater quantity of water at a time to their homes, saving them additional physical labor and time that instead can be spent on other things such as contributing to the village and economic growth of the village, and for children who would otherwise be helping transport water, they can focus on educational opportunities instead.
Timesaving water rollers contribute to social impact with higher energy levels, and improved opportunities for education and economic productivity, which are all key to poverty alleviation efforts. These rollers can allow a person to transport five times as much as they would normally be able to in one trip and are used in about 24 African countries already and are manufactured and shipped from South Africa. The cost is $295 per roller, shipping included, and they are estimated to last 5-7 years with essentially no upkeep needed. They are currently being used in 21 African countries and have estimated to have successfully affected 300,000 people across Africa so far.
The second part of our initial project involves the purchasing of MVP water filters through the non-profit organization called Waves4Water. They focus on bringing these filters to both developing countries and disaster stricken areas to make clean water quickly available. The water collected in the Kambia district is not able to be drunk without being boiled to purify it. However, with the MVP water filters, clean water could be available within minutes for up to 100 people per day, which would greatly benefit the Kambia district that only has about 50 people. The filters themselves involve three different pieces that provide an easy-to-use filtration system with the total cost of $115 for all three pieces, shipping not included. Shipping is approximately $31 - $73 per package up to 20 pounds based on US Postal Service charges. A bucket or tall plastic container is needed as well for the MVP filter and faucet adapter. Research shows that they would be easy to purchase from local vendors in Sierra Leone.
Easy to install, easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to transport/store. The maintenance is simple: when the filter starts to slow down or clog, you can back wash it with clean water using the syringe that comes along with the MVP filter. If kept clean, the product should last for “many years”, according to the Waves4Water website. Therefore the product itself is sustainable but will depend on minimal maintenance from the people in the community. The lifespan of the MVP filter is 1 million gallons of water, and Waves4Water estimates an average use of 342 gallons in a day for 100 people. This means it would last for upwards of eight years.
With both of these products being used together, the people of Kambia could see a drastic transformation in the way their time is spent and the quality of their drinking water. The Bangura Project is dedicated to bringing these products, as well as earning the trust and understanding of Mambolo village, in its first project in the Kambia district.
Community Centered Development – Phase I
The work of the Bangura Project, both in regards to the pilot project and all future work of the Project, will be built around the concept of Community Centered Development (CCD), which is the idea that engaging communities, including the people, the local environment, and local resources, will result in long term sustainable development. The aim of the pilot project in Mambolo village is to not only bring immediate relief to the community through improving access to clean water, but to begin a conversation as to which direction the Project should go in the future, to ensure the best outcome for the everyone. This process of CCD for The Bangura project will occur in three phases, the first of which, will occur in the upcoming trip back to Sierra Leone. The three phases of CCD are community engagement, project design and implementation, and ensuring sustainably and community ownership. In the initial phase of community engagement, the Bangura Project will aim to gather information about the local community by holding discussions with the local population and stakeholders.
In order to achieve a sustainable CCD project, community engagement is the most important piece needed to develop and implement a project with full involvement by the community. We will hold discussions with the various members of the community including groups of men, women, entrepreneurs, teachers, local government, health care professionals, and others to build trust and understand the needs of the communities. These discussions will include topics including resources available, including the talents and abilities of the community, and resources most needed. With the aim of building the communities commitment to improving itself with the financial, technical, and logistical support from the Bangura Project. The community engagement will serve to build a partnership between the community members and the organization to ultimately determine the most pressing needs of the community. After significant discussion over the course of two to three weeks, The Bangura Project will develop an initial project that allows the community to implement and maintain long term. It is the goal of The Bangura Project to assist communities in achieving sustainable development with the use of their own human capital and local resources.
The project created based on the results of the community engagement discussions and will utilize as many local resources as possible. These could include purchasing raw materials locally for infrastructure development, partnering with local community organizations and business, or working to develop or build upon existing resources. The Bangura Project aims to develop projects that are also financially responsible and do not cause any undue burden on the community in which they are implemented. It is our intent to support the existing local economy and improve it through community involvement.