Providing easy access to water and supporting children's education
The council of Bafut, in the North West Region of Cameroon, is mainly made up of hills and valleys with very limited flat land. This terrain makes it difficult for the people of Bafut to have easy access to water. As a result, children and women have to trek 3 miles to fetch water, and children’s school performance is negatively affected as they come late and tired for classes after a morning’s trip in search of water.
“We have to trek several miles to fetch water to take our bath before going to school in the morning; because of this we go to school late” said Gisele, a12-year-old student.
In response to the problem, Plan Cameroon constructed a well with a hand-pump. This made the everyday lives of the 900,000 people of Bafut easier, especially for its 2000 sponsored children.
Now, that they have closer access to clean water and do not need to travel long distances, children in Bafut can go to school without having to wake up early to fetch water from other villages. The distance covered by women and girls has significantly decreased from about 3 km to 1 km and this has also contributed to protecting them from such risks as sexual harassments and assaults.
Plan not only ensured that the children have access to safe water but also provided training on water management for women in each community. It developed an action plan for awareness-raising on hygiene and sanitation to prevent diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery and other waterborne diseases, and to ensure that children are growing in a healthy environment.
“Boys and girls don’t have to walk long distances for water before going to school. With the continuous support of Plan, more children will have access to adequate sanitation facilities,” said Lum Genuine, a member of the water management committee in the village of Mambu. “So far, about 20 families in the community are using Plan- constructed latrines,” he added.
Water in Cameroon
Cameroon is experiencing problems with access to water and sanitation services, especially in rural areas where infrastructure is extremely limited. People have to walk long distances to water sources and do not have easy access to clean water. In communities and schools, water facilities are not adequate, and this puts the education and health of children at risk.
Plan Cameroon work together with communities to bring about lasting changes for children and to protect their rights. By building wells and providing access to clean water, Plan is ensuring that children learn in a healthy environment.
Read more about Plan's work in Cameroon.