It is a remote village located in Mumbwa District. In this village, the first and only well was dug in 1970. 41 years down the line, the 78 households this village has still had this water point as the only reliable source of clean water. This is Chikoloma Village situated in the district’s Nampundwe area.
When the pump broke, which it often did, trouble ensued.
“You would go to the stream, and the cattle were there drinking and defecating. It was unsafe,” said Betty Chamba, one of the six members of the committee responsible for maintaining this well which has now been installed with a rope pump, thanks to the KCM – DAPP Child Aid Project.
Recognizing that the first step to any child's development is access to clean water, the Project supported community members in sinking another well on the other side of the village. Before putting up a rope pump on the new well, the Project organized a committee of six volunteers who would be trained and responsible for the maintenance and function of the new rope pump.
The Project contributed the rope pump, pipes, and cement, and empowered the community to take responsibility and collect the remaining building materials. After all was in place, the rope pump was installed in 2011.
The village of Chikoloma is no longer reliant on one source of clean water. Families living far from the old well no longer walk long distances to fetch water as a new water point has been brought closer to them.
To fetch safe water took more than two hours of walking, now it takes my family minutes,” said Mrs Chamba.
Betty Chamba attributes improved hygiene and health in her home to the installation of a rope pump at the well in her village.
“We had problems with diarrhoea because the well was open. Things were just dropping in,” she said.
Her children would suffer from diarrhoea for four to five times in a year. But since the well was covered and installed with the rope pump, her household has not been falling prey to germs that cause waterborne diseases. With the close proximity to the rope pump, Mrs Chamba has started backyard gardening. Her garden has continued to expand and she no longer relies on the market for her leaf and fruit vegetables.
“Now I can spend that money on other household needs,” Chamba said.