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Voices from the Field: Team Wahab with Aly, Marlena & Sofia

Despa from Team Wahab!

We are only a few days away from Opening Day and our days at Kpanshegu, our village of 71 households about an hour away from Tamale, have been eyeopening and fulfilling. Our community meeting went splendidly and we met Adamu, Jamila and Sikina who are the fabulous entrepreneurs at Kpanshegu’s Saha Water Project. Our first day of training included filling several buckets of dugout water into the blue water drums. Everyone pitched in and Aly even handled some on her head. We also taught the women how to roll the alum into balls. The villagers were naturals at creating these balls which are swirled in the blue drums.   This process allows the dirt from the dugout water to fall to the bottom so that the water is clear, but it is not clean just yet! We let the water with alum set overnight to make sure ALL of the dirt, grim and ickiness settled.

The treatment process - Ademu, Sikina and Jamila collect and treat dugout water with alum to reduce turbidity
The treatment process – Adamu, Sikina, Aly, Wahab and Jamila collect and treat dugout water with alum to reduce turbidity

 

Alum balls! These cause dirt to settle out of the dugout water. Simple technologies in action!
Alum balls! These cause dirt to settle out of the dugout water. Simple, local and effective technologies in action!

The next day we arrived and could not wait to see if our alum had done its job…it was like Christmas Day!  When we walked up to the blue drums and opened the lid…PRESTO…clear water!!! It’s basically chemical magic.  It was great to see the look on everyone’s face to see the transition from brown water to clear water and it felt good to share that with Adamu, Jamila and Sikina.  We then showed how to assemble the safe storage buckets (which we will distribute to each household) so they know how to remedy the situation if something breaks.  The women who will run the business are complete rockstars.  After Marlena demonstrated some of the problems that might happen with the buckets such as leaks, the women jumped in right away to participate.

Team Wahab loads up their taxi to head out to Kpanshegu
Team Wahab loads up their taxi to head out to Kpanshegu
Aly gets serious about polytank cleaning.
Aly gets serious about polytank cleaning.

Today was spend getting some last minute aesthetics together before we finish building the business.  Sofia and Marlena painted the metal stand a beautiful blue hue and Aly wiggled  inside the polytank to scrub it down.  All of us, including the women, cleaned the rest of the polytank together while the painted dried.  Tomorrow we will finish building the business and finish the last step in making the water safe for drinking…we are really pumped!

Aly puts the finishing touches on the new polytank stand!
Aly puts the finishing touches on the new polytank stand!
Selfies have been taken. Naturally.
Selfies have been taken. Naturally.

We are also super excited to attend the Kpanshegu Dambaa Festival tomorrow and dance like no one’s watching! 

Team Wahab poses with the chief of Kpanshegu in his palace.
Team Wahab poses with the chief of Kpanshegu in his palace.

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