For 50-year-old Nikiema Asseto, life certainly has changed over the past year. Nikiema is from Mor-Pougo, a small community in the West African country of Burkina Faso, where she lives with 50 or so relatives within a family compound. Of course it’s hard to count when you’ve never had the opportunity to go to school.
One of her central responsibilities is to collect water each day for herself and her family. Before the Sonder Project installed a deep-well water pump in her community in March, it took nearly two hours each day to collect water – partly due to the fact that it was an hour’s walk to the nearest well. The new well has made a tremendous difference in her life, as it now takes her less than 15 minutes to walk to the pump, and 30 minutes to collect all the water she needs. This gives her at least an extra hour each day to care for her family.
And Nikiema isn’t the only beneficiary. The Sonder Project has installed a total of eight water pumps in Burkina Faso communities. We’ve also begun the process of conducting surveys to assess the impact. Now that surveys have been completed in two villages with a total of 60 participants, we can report that 86% are spending less time per day collecting water as a result of The Sonder Project pumps. And we aren’t just saving people time collecting water. We are also helping to support community health, as our deep-water pumps access aquifers naturally filtered and closed off from surface run-off. As a result, 93% of participants reported gastrointestinal illnesses less regularly than before The Sonder Project pump installation (the remaining 7% said they have the same issues just as regularly). This marks a significant improvement in the lives of a tremendous number of people, considering the 60 women interviewed represent households accounting for approximately 1,500 community members.
“…86% are spending less time per day collecting water as a result of The Sonder Project pumps.“
Of course, we are not so naive to believe a single water pump is enough to solve all the challenges that our partner community members face. Thanks to your support, however, we are clearly having an impact. We estimate that, on average, we are improving the quality of life for at least 2,000 individuals with the installation of each water pump. As a result, we plan to continue. Additionally, we are exploring other opportunities to strengthen communities, such as our community farms initiative. As always, we are thankful for your support which makes all of this possible. If you’d like to make a donation or get involved to support our Global Programs, please visit thesonderproject.org/get-involved.