Buea Town

7 communities
15,500 inhabitants
€ 8 per community member
Seven communities concentrated around Buea Town in Southwest Region of Cameroon do not have proper access to potable water. This is rather surprising as these communities are situated on the slope of Mount Cameroon, a 4,000 metres high volcano, with ample springs and a high availability of water. To this day the 15,500 inhabitants of these communities queue for the little drinking water taps available or depend on buying water in jerry cans. Obviously this influences the hygienic conditions and economic position of the communities heavily.
LiveBuild and Humaniforest support the communities to manage their own water system and to conserve their water sources. The communities implement a ‘community-owned, business operated’ model to enable them to generate sufficient income to maintain the system. This system will be a gravitional system in order to avoid high running costs because of pumping water. The new water system will contain new construction and the renovation of parts of dysfunctional existing water systems.

Seven communities with 15,500 inhabitants

Buea Town as a conglomeration of 6 communities (Mokunda, Wonyalyonga, Wondongo, Wonyeamongo, Moli and Vasingi) in Southwest Region of Cameroon. By 2020, the population size was 15,000 people. It is headed by the chief, traditional council and quarter heads. Their main activities are farming, hunting and as well as businesses, like petty trading in various item from food stuffs, to apparel in stores, make-shift stands as well as hocking. It has accessible roads linking different quarters.

Urgency: insufficient availability of water

Most people in these communities suffer from water shortages, despite a spring with a water system that has existed for over 30 years supplying water to different quarters. This supply of water is terribly insufficient due to malfunctioning of the system in combination of an increasing population size. These communities are growing fast at an average of 3 to 5% per year and in fifteen years the population will exceed 25,000.

Also, the sanitation in all communities is low. There are no public toilets. Many compounds lack a toilet. The absence of water worsens the hygienic conditions.

Our activities and approach

This project will improve living conditions within the communities because they have access to potable water and better sanitation facilities. As a consequence, the health and socio-economic position of the communities will increase significantly.

Our activities are based both on an in-depth analysis of development project failure and on the long experience of our project partners in Cameroon. For one to two years in preparation, our team visits communities on a monthly base to discuss the approach with them and to explain what is expected of them in terms of organization, administration and finances. In this preliminary phase we lay the foundation for a successful project.

Creating awareness

The preliminary phase naturally flows into the phase of creating awareness amongst the people. For example, awareness of and knowledge about the importance of forests for water sources, the hygienic conditions in relation to diseases, the importance of paying for the water system, etc. Community members are invited to participate in training, to become a member of the board or a working group or to work on the construction of the water system.

Groundwater and catchment protection area

Much of the area around the communities has been turned into agricultural land, up to the Mount Cameroon national park borders. Primary and secondary forests are under pressure. Based on the studies, with the local stakeholders and decision-makers we mark two areas that will be protected. These are the so-called groundwater protection areas that are essential for the quality and quantity of the future drinking water for the communities. Within this area farming is prohibited, the forest is conserved or able to recover.

Renovation and construction of a sustainable water system

An important phase, of course, is the renovation and construction of a sustainable water system that provides drinking water to the communities. Parts of existing structures are incorporated into a new water system. For example some old stand aps will be renovated and some piping and parts of the catchments at both sources will be used.

The water will be transmitted through gravity flow. The range of the drinking water system based on gravity is many times greater than a network based on pumps. This will enable more people to get access. The operation costs of a gravity system is very low, as it does not require energy cost. The durability of a gravity-based system, with all parts available locally and repairable, is potentially high.

Sanitation and hygiene

Access to sanitation and hygiene is an important aspect of health. The project team implements a Community Led Total Sanitation Strategy Program. This means that trainers make community members aware of the influence of their behavior on their health or that of their children. The communities then work on their own action plans, which include actions such as building toilets, informing restaurants, prohibiting open defecation and cleaning campaigns in the markets. A team of trainers monitors supports the communities to realise their action plans.

Sustainability and governance

To support communities in the sustainable management of their water system and natural resources, we implement the 'community-owned, business operated' model. This COBO model means that the communities own the water source (s) and the water system and are responsible to manage the ground water protection area. It is managed by a board with a professionally furnished local office. The financing of this comes from the levies on the use of the water system. This is expected to be approximately € 30,000.- per year (500 francs per month per household). The collection of fees can start when water will run constantly, so when construction is finished.

The communities jointly establish an association. Each person is a member of this association. They (or their representatives) meet annually in the annual meeting. The members' meeting elects a board from among them. The project team trains the board extensively in finance, management, planning, communication, teamwork, etc.

The daily operation requires a small organization with paid staff. This office carries out the administrative activities, the collection of the levies, the maintenance and repair work of the water system and the supervision of the protection area. The office also serves as an information center.

Seven communities with 15,500 inhabitants

Buea Town as a conglomeration of 6 communities (Mokunda, Wonyalyonga, Wondongo, Wonyeamongo, Moli and Vasingi) in Southwest Region of Cameroon. By 2020, the population size was 15,000 people. It is headed by the chief, traditional council and quarter heads. Their main activities are farming, hunting and as well as businesses, like petty trading in various item from food stuffs, to apparel in stores, make-shift stands as well as hocking. It has accessible roads linking different quarters.

Urgency: insufficient availability of water

Most people in these communities suffer from water shortages, despite a spring with a water system that has existed for over 30 years supplying water to different quarters. This supply of water is terribly insufficient due to malfunctioning of the system in combination of an increasing population size. These communities are growing fast at an average of 3 to 5% per year and in fifteen years the population will exceed 25,000.

Also, the sanitation in all communities is low. There are no public toilets. Many compounds lack a toilet. The absence of water worsens the hygienic conditions.

Our activities and approach

This project will improve living conditions within the communities because they have access to potable water and better sanitation facilities. As a consequence, the health and socio-economic position of the communities will increase significantly.

Our activities are based both on an in-depth analysis of development project failure and on the long experience of our project partners in Cameroon. For one to two years in preparation, our team visits communities on a monthly base to discuss the approach with them and to explain what is expected of them in terms of organization, administration and finances. In this preliminary phase we lay the foundation for a successful project.

Creating awareness

The preliminary phase naturally flows into the phase of creating awareness amongst the people. For example, awareness of and knowledge about the importance of forests for water sources, the hygienic conditions in relation to diseases, the importance of paying for the water system, etc. Community members are invited to participate in training, to become a member of the board or a working group or to work on the construction of the water system.

Groundwater and catchment protection area

Much of the area around the communities has been turned into agricultural land, up to the Mount Cameroon national park borders. Primary and secondary forests are under pressure. Based on the studies, with the local stakeholders and decision-makers we mark two areas that will be protected. These are the so-called groundwater protection areas that are essential for the quality and quantity of the future drinking water for the communities. Within this area farming is prohibited, the forest is conserved or able to recover.

Renovation and construction of a sustainable water system

An important phase, of course, is the renovation and construction of a sustainable water system that provides drinking water to the communities. Parts of existing structures are incorporated into a new water system. For example some old stand aps will be renovated and some piping and parts of the catchments at both sources will be used.

The water will be transmitted through gravity flow. The range of the drinking water system based on gravity is many times greater than a network based on pumps. This will enable more people to get access. The operation costs of a gravity system is very low, as it does not require energy cost. The durability of a gravity-based system, with all parts available locally and repairable, is potentially high.

Sanitation and hygiene

Access to sanitation and hygiene is an important aspect of health. The project team implements a Community Led Total Sanitation Strategy Program. This means that trainers make community members aware of the influence of their behavior on their health or that of their children. The communities then work on their own action plans, which include actions such as building toilets, informing restaurants, prohibiting open defecation and cleaning campaigns in the markets. A team of trainers monitors supports the communities to realise their action plans.

Sustainability and governance

To support communities in the sustainable management of their water system and natural resources, we implement the 'community-owned, business operated' model. This COBO model means that the communities own the water source (s) and the water system and are responsible to manage the ground water protection area. It is managed by a board with a professionally furnished local office. The financing of this comes from the levies on the use of the water system. This is expected to be approximately € 30,000.- per year (500 francs per month per household). The collection of fees can start when water will run constantly, so when construction is finished.

The communities jointly establish an association. Each person is a member of this association. They (or their representatives) meet annually in the annual meeting. The members' meeting elects a board from among them. The project team trains the board extensively in finance, management, planning, communication, teamwork, etc.

The daily operation requires a small organization with paid staff. This office carries out the administrative activities, the collection of the levies, the maintenance and repair work of the water system and the supervision of the protection area. The office also serves as an information center.

Doneer voor dit project

Eva Boeree, Projectcoördinatie Kameroen
evaboeree@livebuild.org

Doneer voor dit project

Eva Boeree, Projectcoördinatie Kameroen
evaboeree@livebuild.org

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