Guest Blog: Melissa Quinn, Manager of Digital Partnerships, Run for Water
Water for Waraba, Part 5: Constructing the Project
The drive and commitment within the community of Waraba is truly infectious, and since the water committee came together, the community has been constantly working to advance the project. The purchase and delivery of materials was the milestone we completed previously; however, the construction didn’t wait to begin until that was completed. As soon the community was able, they got to work building what they could with the resources (time and materials) they had within the community. For this reason, the project was well underway by the time all of the required materials were purchased and brought to the community of Waraba.
While the description of construction may not be full of vibrant visuals and exciting adjectives, the vision of having a community of individuals, once skeptical of this life changing opportunity coming into fruition, coming together to physically work on this project is what you need to hold on to throughout this blog post. It has truly been a team effort from all the stakeholders, and there is something magical about collaboration that makes projects truly come to life!
As planned by all the locals and partners involved, the Waraba project development for water supply within 2019 consisted of:
- 2 Spring protections
- A Reservoir
- 1.3 KM of pipeline
- 2 water taps
- 2 water points
At the beginning of the project, locals within the community commit to matching 10% of the total project cost with labour, construction materials and cash. As mentioned above, there was no hesitation and their drive to support the project was truly felt! This 10% has worked out to over 500 people within the Waraba community working on the construction phase of this project. This is above and beyond the 20 paid jobs that were created for unskilled workers in Waraba, and the 5 skilled workers that have also been employed by this project. The effort from the community is far reaching and very impactful to the overall health of the project. The time of the community is spent doing all things including decision making, analysis and evaluation, physical building and construction (digging trenches, mixing cement, loading/unloading materials), and sourcing locally available materials such as sand, gravel, fencing wood, and much more. It’s hard to emphasize how amazing it is to watch a community come together with all the resource which they may not have thought could make such a big impact in a project they weren’t sure was feasible, and put all the pieces together amongst themselves! With a little financial support and guidance, this community has already started changing lives within Waraba.
This is not to say challenges did not exist within the construction phases of this project… there were obstacles that we needed to overcome to keep the development moving forward. Inevitably, there is natural catastrophes such as famine and drought which periodically appear within the community and of course can impact the abilities of people to continue pushing ahead. Additionally, the poverty within the community is a stark reality that cannot be avoided and at times people must prioritize survival for themselves and their family over contributing their resources (time or otherwise). Nonetheless, everyone involved has managed to work together to overcome these hardships that present themselves.
With all the groundwork done in advance of the materials arriving, and with the materials coming in to support the final stages of construction, significant progress has been made! With finishing touches of the project left, we move into the final phase (milestone 4) of the Waraba water project!
It is with great excitement for us and everyone else involved that we can talk about working through the construction phase of this project. Even with all the planning and engineering preparation work, you can still never fully foresee the challenges that may arise…as with any construction project around the world!
We are proud of the progress made and are immensely grateful for the support of all the stakeholders of this project- from the donors to the construction workers it has been an amazing collaborative effort thus far. Please stay tuned as we near completion, and we look forward to updating you with more photos, videos, and interviews with community members soon!