The Wyn and Ken Lo Memorial Foundation provided £5000 in funding to improve access to clean water for a remote village in Guinea Bissau. The objective was to not only provide clean water but also enhance the economic and social outcomes for the community. WellFound collaborated with local individuals including administrators, teachers, and the village head to ensure sustainability and progress.
The project commenced in September 2022 and completed its well drilling program in April 2023.
Mr. Joao Le, the Program Manager of Guinea Bissau, led the project. He was supported by a Water Technician, a Health Promotion worker, and three volunteers. Additionally, the project was governed and designed by 11 management committee members who were elected by the community. These committee members actively monitored, supported, and significantly influenced the successful completion of the project.
By the end of April 2023, the community of Biambi Abrigo gained access to clean water. This achievement involved not only drilling a well but also preparing the community to appreciate and maintain the water source effectively. The community has constructed 72 toilets and is currently preparing their garden for vegetable cultivation. To ensure sustainability, the community was involved from the project's inception, establishing measures such as a management committee, completing sanitation programs, and implementing a savings scheme that supports both village development and resource sustainability.
The project encountered several challenges, including the need for three drilling attempts to locate underground water source. This extended the project's timeline. Furthermore, there was a delay in government officials confirming the water quality due to a new law requiring their approval for all wells. Additionally, the community faced delays in paying for toilet slabs due to a lack of buyers for their cashew crop, which is their primary source of annual income. The market garden aspect of the project, could not proceed without the completion of the toilets. Despite these challenges, WellFound successfully completed the project with the support of the community.
This project stands as another success for WellFound. The community engagement model implemented by WellFound, with an emphasis on sustainability from the outset, has not only positively impacted the health and well-being of the people but also promoted value for money and community ownership. Notably, women's participation has increased, not only in the project itself but also in overall governance. The project has witnessed improved school attendance among children, and women have demonstrated greater enthusiasm in establishing their market garden.
WellFound and people from Biambi Abrigo thank the trust for their generous contribution towards this project.