Water for everyone

Publish date 10-04-2021

by Mauro Palombo

Tanzania, the new aqueduct will bring benefits to the Mkiu population.
As easy as drinking a glass of water. It is a saying that does not apply to many places in the world. If we really want to, drinking it is easy, more difficult to manage the consequences. Poor water quality is still the main cause of diseases in the Third World - gastroenteritis, dysentery, typhus ... often lethal, especially among children - and therefore of poverty in the communities. The adequate, stable, sustainable availability of safe water for human consumption supports and relaunches any other initiative to improve people's opportunities and quality of life. By recovering the time and productive energy lost in the tiring work of collecting and transporting water, in particular by freeing women, girls and boys, for the benefit of better school attendance.
The area of ​​Mkiu, in the diocese of Njombe in Tanzania, is not without water resources, but at the moment the people of the village and its many villages scattered over a large area cannot count on an adequate availability of safe water. While the settlements are growing under the stimulus of many agricultural and artisanal development initiatives conducted in recent years by the parish, in collaboration with the G.O.M.N.I., and which are spread among the families of the area. For the parish, which is located at a certain distance from the village, and the surrounding settlements, a small drop aqueduct has already been built which has secured the lives and crops.
The current project is of a similar construction for the entire territory of Mkiu, of adequate scope for a current user base of at least 4,000 people, and considering its future growth. As already well experienced in other "Gravity water projects", the use of a simple technology that does not require energy for operation, implemented ensuring bacteriological and chemical-physical safety of the source water, optimizing the construction for less maintenance and a 'efficient distribution of the captured water, allows its management under conditions suited to the few possibilities of the community. Maintenance and depreciation of the work are made sustainable with an annual contribution for each user equal to the income of 1-2 working days, guaranteeing their permanence from construction onwards.
Also for this work, the materials will be purchased on site, on favorable terms. The main equipment (miter saw, welding machine, generator, excavation tools) are already available, used for the realization of previous projects. The budget is quite demanding, and help is needed: the work extends over a path of about a dozen km, and with about twenty fountains; as usual, however, it will be carried out in several phases: intake and main pipeline, tank, distribution line, in sequence.
The solution of a chronic problem will quickly lead to a significant reduction in the incidence of diseases caused by contaminated water, involving the beneficiaries on proper water conservation, hygiene, and construction of adequate sanitary facilities.
The implementation will significantly improve the dissemination, in the families of the territory, of the benefits of experimentation and training in agriculture and livestock, carried out at the parish. The flow rate that will be conveyed is such that it can also be used for irrigation of vegetable gardens and the need for micro-farms. An epochal turning point in terms of food safety for those who have always been dependent on rainfall, which has been increasingly unpredictable for several years now.
Mauro Palombo
NP January 2021

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