Today was my first official day back in the field. I spent the morning checking up on Nyamaliga and Jarigu and was so excited to see everyone again!
Nyamaliga had recently decided to switch from a daily to a monthly payment system at their water treatment center. This was the village elders’ idea and it seems to be working well. I was excited that leaders in the community took the initiative to devise this payment plan and put it in action! Each family pays 50 peswas (~50 cents) each month and then can collect water from the treatment center as much as they like. Big families seem to be collecting everyday or every other day while smaller families are going about twice a week. The first month using this payment method ends on Monday. I am planning to meet with Sanatu and Hawa (the women who run this center) to review the revenue and make sure that 50 peswas is enough to cover the cost of treatment while still leaving some left over for their wages. Based on the sales that Peter has observed so far, we expect the 50 peswas to be fine.
While I was gone, the Nyamaliga men got together and built a shade for the treatment center. It looks great and keeps the water in the polytank nice and cool! It was exciting to see that the village came together and worked on something for the water treatment center. Like their new payment method, it shows that Nyamaliga really feels ownership over the water business-which is one of our main goals!
After visiting Nyamaliga, I spent some time with Alhassan at the Jarigu water business. He is doing great, but for the past two weeks, water sales have slowed down a bit. This was a little confusing because Jarigu has had consistent sales ever since we opened the water business last October. Tomorrow, Peter and I are going to visit some households in the community to see if we can get to the bottom of the drop in sales and may suggest the monthly payment method for Jarigu as well. I’ll keep you posted on what we find!