An Akawa Project News Update - January 2022
Wishes you a Happy 2022 !
It's boiling for Water sources
In our last edition we wrote to you about the topography study being finalised. This helped in identifying the 20 water sources around 9 communities which will be either rehabilitated or fully built. Not only will we improve infrastructure but communities will also receive trainings on hygiene and sanitation and form their own water source management committees to ensure maintenance, truly handing over ownership to the local communities.
Quarter four took us into the paperwork of putting this pillar into action. We revised budgets with ZOA, validated their full proposal and in the midst of December arriving we were able to give a go ahead to our friends in Burundi. Works are planned to take place from January to March 2022 and we are excited to tell you more about this soon, in the meantime a sneak preview awaits you on the next page..
Meet one of the Water Magicians
In this edition we introduce you to Olga Gatore, a WASH Engineer working with ZOA on the Water pillar of our Project.
Akawa News brief:
Hi Olga, could you please introduce yourself to our readers ?
Olga:My name is Olga Gatore, I am 33 years, Married and have 2 children.
Akawa News brief:
What made you want to become an engineer ?
Olga:When I was in High School I knew this poor Family living in a shed. I wanted to help build them a proper house so I decided to become an Engineer.
Akawa News brief: What is your role at ZOA and since when are you working there ?
Olga: I am a WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) engineer with ZOA since 2018.
Akawa News brief: Could you please describe the WASH component of ZOA's program in a few words ?
Olga: The aim of WASH is to provide access to safe drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation to communities who lack those. The project is divided into two scopes, WASH Hard which focuses on the infrastructures around water (bore holes, drilling, spring water source protection, rain water collection, pit latrines) and WASH Soft which aims at sensitizing children and adults about hygiene and sanitation matters.
Akawa News brief: You are in the field right now, about to start the works with the Akawa communities, how is it going ?
Olga: We have had meeting with local authorities and communities to lay-out the weeks of work ahead of us, the local community will provide the basic construction elements (sand, gravel stones) whilst we take care of the heavy duty elements, this is a great way to transfer ownership from the start. The communities of 11 sources out of the 20 we intend to build have already brought their materials on site !
Akawa News brief: What does it mean for you to help rural communities gain access to safe drinking water ?
Olga: I feel privileged to be able to work so close to the communities and improve their access to water and their knowledge about hygiene. One day we will be able to say that water-borne diseases have reduced in Burundi and I will have been a part of it !
Akawa News brief: Would you like to say a few more words to our readers ?
Olga: Our Country needs more helping hands when it comes to financing water related projects for the communities, we hope to attract more funding from abroad to allow us to roll-out our WASH components to more communities in Burundi.
Engaging gears on the Gender Pillar !
In our last News Brief we titled this section "Shifting gears" as we explained we had to part ways with the foreseen implementing partner for this pillar after more than 18 months of discussions. Well this time we are proud to title it"Engaging gears" as we have pre-selected a new partner, not unknown to us (at all) so far !
Indeed, upon realising the good work the NGO ZOA had achieved in field studies on the water component we asked them about their experience in gender based activities and were happy to see that their Integrated Farm Plan (PIP approach) could be a very good tool to use to address gender based issues in local communities.
We also very much liked the ZOA's approach of first observing a situation with a pre-study then deciding how they would go for it ! This worked in our partnership for water sources and as we write this letter they are currently leading a community based needs assessment in 9 communities of the Project in order to prepare their full proposal to us ! Needless to say it looks like we are heading in the right direction on this vital Pillar of our Project. More news in our next edition.
Read more about ZOA here
More nursery beds come out of ground !
After successfully piloting the construction of two nursery beds at the Kirasa Washing Station our partner Succam pulled up it's sleeves and rolled-out the construction to more stations. As of end of 2021 there were 4 nursery beds fully built and 2 in the completion process.
With the Government of Burundi having changed the rules of seedlings distribution we have not yet been able to populate the nursery beds with either coffee or non-coffee seedlings but hope to be able to do so in the coming weeks.
A few snaps of the nursery beds which came out of ground recently:
A year ago we held our first Training of Trainers.
Having conveyed all Washing Station Agronomists to Bujumbura for a 3 day training session our colleague JP and a hired Senior Consultant held workshop sessions to cover all basics of Good Agricultural Practices
For some this was a refresher, for others, a wealth of knowledge they could access, and for all it was a sure success.
Agronomists returned to their Washing Stations motivated as ever to train Leader Farmers and roll-out the Akawa activity plan which had been explained to them.
One year later, and despite the challenges which 2021 threw at us all, we may say that this workshop was a founding event in the new life of the Akawa Project. Special thanks to our partner Succam, who co-hosted this event with us.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the Akawa Project, we hope you enjoyed and would you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org with a cc. to email@example.com
In the pipe for Q1 2022:
- Water sources construction
- Key Performance Indicators, the big unveiling
- Farmer trainings & more
- Goats distributions
- Planning ahead with funding to be found for 2023 onwards