Cameroon:IPW, Reborn and Rising Commissions Bokwai Water Station Restoration Project
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Investing in People Worldwide (IPW), Cameroon, in partnership with Reborn and Rising have rehabilitated and dedicated one of the public taps in Bokwai village, a community under the Buea subdivision. The dedication exercise this May 10, 2020, was the second project under the “Water Station Restoration Project”.
Some minor repairs and maintenance were carried out at the public tap with a platform built and a faucet added. The tap is an important point for most residents in the community to fetch clean drinking water. For the past years, the community has been facing difficulty in getting constant water supply with long queues often observed.
To Ruth Abunaw Besong, Exec Dir. Investing in People Worldwide (IPW) this project was aimed at encouraging women to be involved in every developmental project in communities because women are seen as the main actors that drive change in communities.
Hear her: “In this project, women are the persons who used water more; they are the ones you will always find on water points trying to fetch water for the families to prepare meals, for their children and husbands.” We are passionate about lessening the burden on women when it comes to performing their triple roles. We decided to put two faucets to enable them (women) to carry water within a limited timeframe.”
“We passed here a couple of time when we were doing the baseline studies and we realized that women were queuing making it impossible to carry water within an hour. That is why we had to rehabilitate the tap to enable the women to carry water faster and quicker and to lessen the burden on them.”
Ruth Abunaw added: “… We hope that the community continues with the best practices. We have shared with them a water user community document which outlines everyone’s role,” She said while noting that the document is just for sustainability as they will not be there always to ensure that the water is being properly taken care of.
“We will be coming like every three months to ensure that the water station is properly handled and the water user committee is implementing those best practices we have taught them. We are here to share some information with the water user community to assist them to continue maintaining the water point as they have been doing before,” Ruth Abunaw Besong, Exec Dir. IPW said.
“The water problem in Bokwai community is a long story. But through a personal initiative of someone, the community has been able to get water,” Teddy Mwake Lika, Water User Committee Chairman of Bokwai said. “The Bonavada water (from Koke to Bova before coming down) is no longer coming out. The one we have is from Koke to a tank in the community. So the water problem has been solved through this initiative.”
“Normally water is not very consistent in the village…but what IPW, and Reborn and Rising have done is very important. Initially, the tap had one faucet with a lot of scramble to get water. But now the two faucets that are there will eliminate the scramble”.
A lot has been put in place by the community to ensure that water flows constantly, according to the Water Committee Chairman. “Electrical pumps have been instituted to ease the flow of water. But we have looked at it and the consumption in the area has outgrown more than the population.” “Maybe in subsequent projects the NGOs should bring more catchments into the area. I like what is going on because I cannot be in my village and there is a lack of water,” Teddy Mwake Lika added.
IPW: Investing in People Worldwide, Cameroon is a Non-governmental community-based organization involved in sustainable development. It aims at building resilient communities in which women, girls, and youths engage in sustainable development activities to attain their full potentials.
Reborn And Rising is a nonprofit based in Houston, TX, USA. This organization provides support to minority male child homicide survivors beyond the grieving period. Through music, art, education, entrepreneurial ventures, travel, and humanitarian efforts, with the support of dedicated mentors, “RISERS” are encouraged to discover their passions and explore tangible possibilities of making their dreams come true. Reborn And Rising’s desire is to empower youth to find strength in their experiences and rise above the pain to choose life after loss. .