-Design system improvements and maintenance measures to supply ample clean water on an ongoing basis
-Implement interim protective measures
Too many communities in the North-West Region of Cameroon do not have year-round access to a supply of safe drinking water. Although many have a water supply system of some sort, the systems are often badly in need of both extension and repair. As a result, most villagers are dependent on water from polluted streams during at least one or two months of the dry season. The result is rampant sickness from typhoid, diarrhea and other diseases that can often be fatal to very young children.
Residents often don’t understand the causes and costs of water contamination. As a result, they may be reluctant to pay the annual water levy to access something that looks the same as the water they can get free from the stream; they don’t provide adequate protection of the areas around the water catchments; therefore, simple and easily implemented measures for water conservation (such as not leaving taps running) and for water purification (such as leaving the home supply to sit a day in the sun before drinking) are neglected.
Municipalities must have reliable and responsive Water Management Committees (WMCs) to apply for and successfully secure grants or loans, and to assess and collect water levies. And to get villagers to protect and conserve their existing water supply, pay the assessment required to upgrade their system, and use available chlorine dispensers in the interim, they need, first, to understand the importance of clean water and, next, to trust their WMC to design and maintain a system that will provide it.
In other words, initially the problem is more social than physical: each village needs to establish an effective WMC, and the WMCs within a municipality must work together with the local council to apply for grants and loans as needed; the villagers must value clean water enough to not leave taps running, and to use whatever interim water purification method is established, and to trust and support their WMC enough to pay assessed levies.
So the first little step that will lead eventually to a lot of clean safe water is to hire an indigenous community organizer to work with local councils, elders, and community leaders in one municipality to develop and implement a plan for funding and maintaining a safe and ample water supply. If we can help one municipality achieve this goal, we believe it can serve as a powerful model for other municipalities in the area.
Our main objectives are to implement emergency measures to protect and extend the water supply in the Batibo district (pop. 70,000) and to design system improvements and maintenance measures to supply ample clean water on an ongoing basis.
Amongst others our volunteers will have the following duties and responsibilities
Lake Oku - Lake Oku is a beautiful crater lake surrounded by lush forest. You can chose to either hike there and back, or take a motorbike taxi there and hike the return part of the trip. Oku Forest is a nature reserved, set up by Bird Life International and there are many species to be found there, including the rare Bannerman’s turaco and a rare breed of frog which is endemic to the area. There are many other rare flora and fauna within the forest.
Savannah Botanic Gardens (SABOG) - The gardens are situated in the town of Bafut and were created by Professor Ngwa Che Ntehnda. The gardens contain many interesting features other than plants, such as the ‘Gardens of Gethsemane’ meditation area and a fruit orchard. There is also a restaurant and bar (housed in a traditional boukarous) and a child’s activity area. It is possible to book a room at the gardens if you want to stay overnight in Bafut.
A CAMAAY staff will pick you up from the airport to the accommodation. This is a 7 hour bus drive.