How a clean water system will put an end to those lengthy water trips
In a remote area of the Pyanj district, on the border with Afghanistan, lie the villages of Qudukli, Zarbdor and 10-Solagi. The 5,394 inhabitants of the villages have no permanent access to clean water. The only potable water lies 8 kilometres away in a neighboring village. Heavy rains that resulted in mudflows in 2009 only made the situation worse. ACTED is now finishing the construction of a water system that will bring clean water to these communities.
The drive to Pyanj takes you along a dusty road, dry and barren much like the sparse countryside surrounding it. As you approach the eastern edge of Qudukli village you will find the newly constructed water pump.
Water supply has been a hassle for villagers during many years
For years residents have been without a stable source of water. Turakhon, the head of the village council explains their predicament: “Water is very important for our villages. For many years, we have been using donkeys. We were forced to make long and difficult journeys to neighboring villages to use their hand pumps. The construction of the water pump has helped to ease our lives and when the pipeline is finished a lot of time will be saved. Life will now be easier for everyone because water will be within 100 metres of anyone who needs it.” The construction of the pipelines is nearing completion and day by day more and more families are being given easy access to potable water.
Farrukh, the engineer in charge of the project, has been working for ACTED for 4 years. He has seen many water systems being implemented and he has an air of confidence which makes you understand that the relationship between ACTED and rural populations is very important. Both he and Turakhon attest to the strong cooperation between the villagers and ACTED in overcoming any difficulties. “We have had a short time to complete the project. This was not helped by the fact that some of the work coincided with the month of Ramadan. A slight delay occurred in the digging of the trenches but ACTED and the local community worked around these difficulties to make sure we could begin to lay the pipelines.”
The new water system will be run by the residents
Residents are now learning the ins and outs of how to look after the new system because, for all involved, this will be the first time they have their own source of potable water. Farrukh describes how ACTED has coached residents in the upkeep of the new water works: “We have conducted seminars to explain to villagers how the system works, how they should operate the pumps, and how they need to be maintained. This is important because ACTED always asks that those receiving support understand and involve themselves in the projects. We do this in order to give them a real sense of ownership.” Villagers will hopefully come to see this water system as much a product of their own work as that of ACTED’s.
After the last pipe is connected the new system will be placed in the hands of the villagers. Two-man groups have been set up in conjunction with the state supplier of potable water. These groups will be responsible for the 32 village water taps. They will make sure that the system runs smoothly and that the pipeline is maintained so that all can benefit from a constant supply of fresh water. Turakhon is once again at hand to express thanks for all those involved in the construction of the water system. The lengthy donkey trips to get water from the neighboring villages will now be a thing of the past!