The last few of days have been exciting ones! Tamale community members celebrated Eid al Adha on Tuesday and Wednesday, which brought entire families to the streets for group prayers and cow slaughterings to commemorate the completion of Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. On Tuesday, the CWS office took the day off to celebrate the holiday with a fun afternoon BBQ of veggie and sausage kebabs. Yesterday, Peter, Brianan, and I visited three CWS villages southeast of Tamale to meet the wonderful ladies of Libi, Nyamaliga, and Jarigu and to give me some field experience before Peter and I head to Jarayili on Friday.
Luckily, we caught Cheriba from Libi as she was running out the door to mosque and briefly checked up on the goings of her water business, where CWS is experimenting with metal stands that make the polytanks transportable. Cheriba reported that her business is going fine, but that sales are down because villagers tend to collect their own rainwater during the rainy season rather than buy treated water from her water treatment center. Sana from Nyamaliga had a similar story about her business. We missed the other women because of Eid’s festivities so we called it a day after getting water samples from Jarigu’s water treatment center.
Today, Peter and I visited two villages north of the Tamale, Bogu and Tindan. We dropped in on compounds, talked water, and grabbed tests from twelve households’ 20-liter clean water buckets. This experience helped me realize the importance of regular monitoring in development. The community members really appreciated our reminders about the importance of sanitation and clean water, as well as the encouragement to implement safe water practices.
Afterwards, I brought the water samples to the CWS lab to check for the presence of total coliform and E.coli. The tests will be used later to help educate community members about the importance of transporting and storing clean water.
I am looking forward to tomorrow, which will be my first day Jarayili!