|Population: 2,625 people
|GPS: 18.827867, -71.821733
|Partner: Partners in Health
|Intervention: Spring Protection piped down to 5 tap stands. 25 latrines, 40 BioSand filters, 1 laundry station, 1 animal trough, and 1 hand-washing station.
orandou is a rural community tucked in between the larger towns of Lascaholbas and Belledére. Over
14,000 people in Lorandou share two open water sources, one 15 minutes away from town, another 30 minutes
away. One source is severely strained during the dry season, never producing enough buckets for those
in need. The other is badly contaminated - shared by animals and thousands of people.
After a 15-minute hike, we reached one of the two water sources, a spring the people of Lorandou nicknamed, “Ravine Café.” We wondered if this was just a bad joke, as this “café” turned out to be the only place in town to get a drink.
Here we met a bashful girl named Louloune. She was waiting her turn to collect water, and we pulled her away from her crowd of friends and out of earshot from her peers. We wanted to ask her about the water, but more importantly, PIH wanted to ask her about her health. She was 15 and pregnant.
Primarily a health care organization, Partners In Health works tirelessly to prevent what they bluntly classify as “stupid deaths.” These are deaths for which Americans or Europeans would never be put at risk. But for a young teen like Louloune who lives three hours away from the nearest health clinic, stupid deaths happen far too often.
Without hesitation, our translator assumed the role of a health care worker. He calmly asked Louloune about her pre-natal care, and she answered each question flawlessly.
Every week, Louloune explained, she gets money to travel to the health clinic in Beledére, paying for a ride on the back of a motorcycle. After each check-up she is given packets of chlorine to take home to treat her water.
When asked about what it would be like to have clean water in her village, Louloune thought for a minute before responding, “Life would be easier for my baby. It would be better here.”
We're planning to protect the larger spring and pipe water to five tap stands throughout Lorandou. Residents will help construct laundry and washing stations as well as an animal trough for cattle and goats. 25 latrines and 40 BioSand filters will also be built, and distributed to the families most in need.
- story by: charity: water Programs Director, Becky Straw
- photos by: Esther Havens