Buswelu village is in beautiful mountain scenery, has good and fertile soils, good people, a lot of water springs and catchment which makes it a good place and one of the precious places in Ilemela District, Mwanza Region.
Despite the above attractions, the inhabitants of Buswelu village still rely on unsafe drinking water sources however there are many piped wells in the area. Most of the water used in such areas come from shallow wells and is usually nothing more than muddy mixture, or water containing different particles whose safety can not be guaranteed.
During my field visit on May 2011, I was astonished when I met an old woman taking water from a shallow well instead of piped referred as “HESAWA wells”; when I asked why she was taking that water, she said, “the water from piped wells is dirty, unsuitable for domestic consumption and is not sweet compared to that from shallow wells”. Later on, a young boy came to take water from the same well and when I asked him the same question, he replied saying, “the water from piped well is dirty, unsuitable for domestic consumption and we normally use it for making bricks or washing clothes”.
It is undoubted that what is happening in Buswelu village is due to lack education on water sanitation and hygiene to community or the communities were not sensitized on water sanitation and hygiene prior to project initiation.
Noting this situation, a Non-governmental Organization called Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO) has established a project to improve water point functionality through councilors oversight coaching and empowering community through Community Owned Water Supply Organizations(COWSO) registration and identifying the possible reasons for why people use water from shallow wells instead of from piped wells and the possible weaknesses done by HESAWA in initiating their project.
On the other hand, EMEDO aims at creating awareness or sensitizing the community on water sanitation and hygiene and the use of water from piped wells (HESAWA wells) rather than from shallow wells.
I therefore welcome my fellow Young Environmentalist Trainees, together with their host organizations to play a significant role through public awareness rising during project initiation to make community be part of the project and willingly to accept it, hence supporting their social-economic livelihood.
Deodatus Kiriba-YET 2011