Team Sita has been having an amazing time training our two women entrepreneurs Mata Allason and Azzara Ebrah in the wonderful community of Vene. While the trainings took place on some of our longest and hardest days, we also experienced some of our most impactful moments during this experience. It was also amazing to see involvement from the whole community throughout the process. We started the first day by cleaning our three drums. A group of women got to work as soon as we arrived and we all pitched in to make sure that they were clean and ready for water. Then, three incredible individuals each put a large drum on their head and they carried them to the dugout where our business will be set up. A large group of children followed us to the dugout, along with many women from the community. The women all brought their jerrycans and garawas and it was an amazing sight to see them all work together to fill up the drums with dug out water. Once the drums were filled, we could begin alum training with the women. We taught the entrepreneurs and a couple of other helpful women from the community how to make the alum balls and then how to use the alum to get the particles in the water to flocculate. When one of the women saw the particles coming together, she exclaimed “thank you, thank you, thank you!”. It was very meaningful for us to see how excited the community was once they began to see the very first results. We explained to them that the process of the particles sinking to the bottom will happen overnight and that Team Sita would come back the next morning to make sure that the alum worked and that the water is clear.
The next day, we were very happy to see that the water was clear and the community was very excited to check out the clarity of their water. As we were getting the Polytank ready, we ran into a problem with the tap and we were worried that our day might come to an early end. Luckily enough, we were able to get some assistance from Team Shak who is working in a near by community. Once we returned, we were able to train our entrepreneurs on how to carefully scoop the water from the drums (as to not disturb the sediment) and transfer the clean water into the Polytank. They quickly became experts at this task and it was meaningful for us to see them master this important skill. Once the drums were emptied into the Polytank, many women from the community all worked together, once again, and filled up the emptied drums with dugout water. We taught the women how to use the correct amount of chlorine to put into water in the Polytank and emphasized the importance of killing anything that may have remained in the water after the alum treatment. Once we finished the chlorine training, the women used alum again with the dugout water that was put into the drums. It was very exciting for us to see them do the process over again with very little training and to see their enjoyment in watching for the particles to begin flocculating.
Throughout the process of training our women, Team Sita has been able to form relationships with many of the wonderful children and adults in the village by playing soccer (preparing to take on team Shak’s village in a match on our final day), teaching each other English and Dagbani, and simply interacting with one another and appreciating each other’s company. On our way out, we took a sample of the water in our Polytank to test back in Tamale. The tests came back negative and Team Sita, our entrepreneurs, and the entire community of Vene is very excited to drink clean water on opening day!