Back from Mbokop after two weeks on site!
Earlier this week, four members of the EWB-DC Cameroon Project Team returned from two weeks on the project site in rural Mbokop, Cameroon. This is the fifth trip the project has taken to the community. This trip included:
- Implementation activities for the current water system being installed,
- Assessment activities for a second water system to begin in another settlement,
- Community engagement through community meetings, and
- Health and water system education in four local schools.
Over the course of the trip, we worked alongside community members to protect the water catchment with fire tracing and a dead fence, install over 130m of pipeline, and navigate the community in terms of unknown walking paths and developing key relationships.
The trip was successful in terms of concrete team goals, but was also a success in continuing to connect with the community. Two of the travelers had been to Mbokop before and enjoyed being back in the community and reconnecting with community members. At night, we sat around the fire with our host family and in-country partners and heard stories, learned more about each other, and learned to dance.
Developing a sustainable, successful project not only includes technical success, but it includes developing and maintaining trust, transparency, and accountability with the community. On this trip, we made strides to furthering these critical pieces of a successful project and spent significant time helping community members understand how the new water system is being implemented, the stages for implementation, and their community responsibilities. This led to important conversations about how the relationship between EWB-DC and the community can continue to evolve and function in more transparent ways, where both parties are accountable to each other.
Our work in Mbokop would not be possible without the donations from individuals like you and fundraising from community members in Mbokop. For each piece of the system that is implemented, the community contributes a portion of the cash. We left the community with a fundraising goal to reach by early 2016. Their next goal will allow us to install enough pipeline to reach the site to build the water storage tank. The community is collecting funds from each adult and youth individual, but also planning on holding a fundraising celebration. We hope that you’re inspired to contribute to their cause along with them.
EWB-DC has three active projects: one in Cameroon, one in Panama, and one in El-Salvador. All of our team members are volunteers who donate time, expertise, and energy after their jobs or days in classes. We are a mix of professionals and graduate students who came together to contribute various areas of expertise. Our efforts would not be possible without your support. Please consider donating to EWB-DC today to help contribute to our projects around the world. On behalf of our communities and hard-working volunteers, thank you for your support!