In 2018 we started working with the Gongo community in rural Tanzania, on the eastern coast of Africa. Gongo resides in Saadani National Park and has a population of around 2500. It has a nursery and primary school with a small dispensary which regrettably is substantially under-equipped. For the time being, the locals have limited access to two sources of water, a small pond that collects rainwater and a small water well. Unfortunately, the supply of the well is very limited and will soon be demolished due to the construction of the East Africa Road that will pass through the village. Furthermore, the pond was dug by the locals using nothing else but their hands and with no means of protection or filtration to secure the quality of the water from the elements of nature and the animals. These make both water sources insufficient and unsafe for the needs of this community.
In May 2019, we visited Gongo in an attempt to witness the problem firsthand but more importantly to explore the available options to provide the community with clean, safe water. Unfortunately, due to the high salinity of the water as well as other factors, simpler solutions like drilling for a well are not available. After meeting with the community elders and local water experts, we concluded to a solution that will be practical, sustainable, and flexible enough to address the current situation and their conditions.
We strongly believe in working alongside affected communities, respective field experts and any individual or organization that shares similar dreams and aspirations. For our project “Water to the People”, we have partnered with SANA (Saving Africa’s Nature). It is a Tanzanian NGO, that has been active in the area of Saadani and collaborating with the Gongo community for more than a decade. They have built the schools for the local children and a hospital/dispensary to serve the needs of the community. In addition, SANA has carried out several projects targeted towards the conservation of the surrounding ecosystem. In recent years they have successfully initiated programs to develop and advance the income generation activities of the village. These include the creation of a chicken farm, a vegetable/fruit farm and a workshop producing home accessories with recyclable materials. Members of SANA include Jane Goodall a famous anthropologist and primatologist and Costas Coucoulis a nature conservationist whose efforts helped award Saadani with the status of National Park.
All thought the covid-19 pandemic come with few setbacks to our project, by the end of 2021 the project’s first phase has been completed and we couldn’t be happier with the result!
It fills us with so much joy to see our oromas (dreams) come to life!!
Along with SANA, our partners in hope, in this project, we have managed to complete the drill for a water well that will now be providing the people of Gongo with enough water to satisfy their everyday needs! With the installation of multiple water units, appropriate filters and water ATMs used to dispense the water in the center of the village where locals will have easy access to safe, filtered water. All the income generated from this process will go directly into a fund that will be administered by a representative body of the local community and will be used to help keep water flowing for years to come.
Clean water changes everything. It leads to improved health, more children in school, better opportunities and opens the way for improved sanitation. Together we can get water to the people still living without this basic human right.