The Zongo family spends an average of two hours each day collecting water in their village of Tiogo Mossi, Burkina Faso. Given the difficulty of obtaining water, this family of 4 adults and 13 children tries to minimize the quantity of water they
use for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning.
Though they raise a few pigs around the homestead, insufficient water limits livestock production and precludes other livelihood activities such as gardening. Mr Norbert Sibiri Zongo, the head of household, tried to solve this problem by digging a traditional well close to his house two years ago but it collapsed, failing to alleviate the family’s water needs.
In the village of Tiogo Mossi where the Zongo family lives (Boulkiemde province, Center-West region), 15 conventional deep boreholes are meant to provide water for a population of 3,650 inhabitants. The ratio of boreholes to inhabitants seems sufficient. However this simple calculation does not take into account the distance people must walk and time they must wait to collect water. And it fails to meet the Zongo family’s multiple water needs for both domestic and productive uses.
Since early 2013, Winrock International has been promoting upgraded well solutions in the village of Tiogo Mossi, where the Zongo family lives. Winrock, an implementing partner in the USAIDfunded West Africa Water Supply, Sanitation and Health (WA-WASH) Program, is delivering Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) to improve the quantity, quality, reliability and distance of water services for rural households in Burkina Faso. Winrock is demonstrating how a traditional hand-dug well, conveniently located near the homestead, can be upgraded to better meet the family’s multiple water needs. The upgrade includes low-cost drilling to deepen the well, disinfection and covering to protect the water quality, and an improved lifting device to reduce the labor of fetching water.
When Mr. Zongo saw the demonstration, he decided to invest in upgrading his well for his family and neighborhood. Gathering funds from his mill grinding income and the sale of three pigs and one goat, he invested $260 for the concrete cover and rope pump. To complement Mr. Zongo’s investment and complete the upgrade, the WA-WASH project contributed $520 to deepen the well through borehole drilling.
The upgraded traditional well was completed in June 2013 and three months later, Mr. Zongo and his family are very happy. Mr. Zongo says, “Now when you come back from the field work you don’t have to go the community pumps and wait in line until 8:00 pm. With the upgrade well, we can collect water when we want during the day, and women are not tired. I can also collect water by myself.”
Mr. Zongo describes the impacts of this upgraded water point in terms of both health improvements and livelihood
opportunities. Water services for domestic uses enhance the health of the Zongo family by providing clean drinking water and water for improved hygiene and sanitation. Mr. Zongo says that it is now possible to bathe twice a day, whereas before it was sometimes difficult to bathe even once a day. His wife, Antoinette Kienon, confirms, “Before, it was difficult to collect water. Now it is easier and we have more time to take care of the children”.
The upgraded traditional well also provides water services for productive use, leading to better food security and more income generation for the family. Mr. Zongo’s pigs now have enough water to drink, which is important for their health and productivity. Eight years have passed since Mr. Zongo gave up on gardening. Now that he has a reliable and easily accessible source of irrigation water, he is planning to cultivate a 1000m2 garden and enter the vegetable selling market. In addition to the