Peace Corps Volunteer Emily McKeone is working with her community members and local school teachers to bring safe, clean drinking water to three schools in Zambia to improve students’ health and boost school attendance. People in the communities currently travel long distances to get water that frequently comes from unprotected sources like local streams, which often leads to water-borne illnesses and sanitation concerns at school facilities.
By constructing borehole wells, the community’s water sources will be protected from contaminants and safe to drink. The additional water supply will also support school construction projects and enable students and teachers to plant gardens and orchards. The resulting produce will help raise money to maintain the boreholes.
“School attendance by students and teachers will improve from enhanced sanitation and clean drinking water,” said McKeone, who is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been living and working in Zambia since July 2012. “The schools currently have construction projects that have been delayed due to a lack of water, preventing completion of much needed classrooms, and these boreholes will allow for the completion of those projects.”
"I took this photo of myself with three second grade girls in a village in Guatemala, where my site mate and I worked with the community to build a three-classroom bottle school. These girls helped us collect bottles and fill them with trash. Someday I hope these girls will be able to attend school there." - Peace Corps Health Volunteer Rebecca Dreyfuss
Our Volunteers around the world work with local governments, clinics, nongovernmental organizations, and communities at the grassroots level, where the need is most urgent and the impact can be the greatest, focusing on outreach, social and behavior change in public health, hygiene and water sanitation.
This is a picture of my counterpart, Amara Sani, outside of the village of Tsanwa in the Maradi state of Niger in early 2010. The village of Tsanwa has one foot pump that is 70m deep and two wells to meet their water needs. One of the wells has very dirty water only suitable for animal consumption. When the foot pump broke in December of 2009 the wells soon ran dry. Women had to walk half an hour to the next nearest well, pull the water and then carry it back. This picture is of Amara on her way to that well. My husband raised money through a PCPP for new pump parts and training for 2 of the men from Tsanwa on pump repair, and they got the pump running again.
Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Megan Jenness, Niger