Just in these days the project which title is "Enter" is starting in the West Cameroon Region. It will last 3 years and has objectives that could be distinguished in 3 main sectors, independent but complementary to each other:
- Training of young technicians about construction and maintenance of water supply systems
- Strengthening of the water management capacity of the local municipalities
- Research and development on appropriate technologies about water processing
The main applicant of the project is the NGO ARCS
). The main local partner are the NGO ACREST
(African Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology) and the University of Dschang
. The technical partners in Italy are CIRPS
(Interuniversity Research Center for Sustainable Development),the university of Pisa, The NGO Reseda
, and the Association of Africans Engineers
). The project is financed by AICS
(Italian agency for Development Cooperation) and Marche Region
The territories involved are those of the municipalities of Dschang, Batcham and Foumbot. Actually many rural areas of those cities still do not have adequate infrastructure to supply drinking water. The villagers get their supplies mostly from more or less seasonal watercourses or pools and springs. The water is therefore not adequate for safe use in the domestic environment. Only the moment of water collection exposes women and children to dangers such as steep and muddy access paths, to deep gorges where there are puddles, streams and greater risk of contracting diseases and parasites through vectors and parasites that live most precisely next to areas of water stagnation (malaria, filariasis, etc.).
In the past years many small aqueducts have been built by different organizations. Their technical quality is sometimes too low and no maintenance is perform regularly. The lack of such maintenance is mainly due to the fact that there have not been any type of involvement from the design and initial management of the supply structures and the total absence of adequate training in other to insure autonomous management in favor of local populations.
According to local regulation actually in force in Cameroon ,the management of water is part of the main duty of the municipal administrations, which often manage very large and diversified territories. The contribution of villagers is therefore essential to respond promptly to different needs. It is necessary the training of both municipal administrators and citizens who must be involved in the local management of water resources.
The project will involve 20 villages through renovation or upgrading of pre-existing plants and creation of new plants where there is no supply system.
This will be achieved by:
- The construction of a school where 40 young people from the various beneficiary villages will follow a technical training.
- The organization of courses for municipal employees responsible of management of water resources.
- Research and development of appropriate technologies for water processing, adapted to the type of territory and used by inhabitants
The purpose of the school in favor of the young participants will be : an adequate technical training to insure properly the maintenance of the plants that will be built or renovated in their villages ; design and supervision of works; acquisition of financing strategies and administrative management techniques; Community animation techniques for the involvement of inhabitants in the management of a common good as water. This method of theoretical and practical training is already a fundamental part of the training methodology of the local partner ACREST. The spaces necessary for the construction of the school will be provide by ACREST.
Research and development of water purification technologies will be carried out jointly through collaboration between the University of Dschang and its business incubator,CIRPS
) and the University of Pisa
. It will be the occasion for professional visits between the researchers of the various institutions involved.
The purpose of ARCS is to encourage the emergency of technicians competent in the management of water resources and in the construction of supply facilities. These figures will be able to work not only in their villages of origin but will be able to widen the area of action of the project, through new designs and realizations of plants in other villages.