The second option was to harness water from two previously unused springs, at a distance of 1,500 meters from the site, in the jungle above the village. This would involve building an intake tank at the site of the springs, then enclosing the area with a barbed wire fence attached to metal posts. Those posts are fixed in concrete blocks, which then have to be buried in the ground to ensure stability. The fence is essential to keep cattle out, thereby keeping the drinking water uncontaminated with animal faeces. After this, underground pipes have to be laid down the steep slope to the village. This scheme uses the force of gravity to add additional water volume to the existing village system to maximize pressure and push the water up previously dysfunctional taps. Another advantage of joining the village mainline to a new water source instead of building a separate supply for the school is that in this way the whole village can take advantage of the new pipe, which could potentially aid communal maintenance in the future.
We agreed with the villagers that the second option was much better. Even though it was much costlier, everyone decided it was well worth going ahead with it.
Roman, a member of our NPO Fantastic Initiative, became the water project coordinator. Roman is not only professionally qualified for the job but also very good at improvising solutions. Any undertaking in such a remote area, no matter how small or seemingly simple, always presents a host of challenges.