A water source in Kaja Kanyinda, constructed in 2016
Kaja Kanyinda village, situated in the Kasaï Oriental province, has 103 homes for 561 inhabitants. In November 2016, it became certified as part of the National Healthy Schools and Villages Programme (PNEVA), and the inhabitants hoped to put a scheme in place for the upkeep of the recently constructed water works.
An initiative to keep the “healthy village” status
Needing a source of income to finance the upkeep and maintenance of the waterworks, the community had the idea of cultivating a community field. This initiative was launched by members of the community and the head of the village through the creation of a maintenance plan, which was put together with the help of the support team (the community facilitator). In this plan, other strategies were also elaborated upon that focused on meeting the 7 requirements of PNEVA.
At the request of the members of the Healthy Village committee (Covilla), the head of the village provided an agricultural field that could be used. Buying seeds (maize, cabbage, groundnuts, etc.) was made possible thanks to contributions made by the villagers of around 100 Congolese francs per household. The head of the village organised the whole community so people could go to the field according to their availability by creating a precise timetable.
The secretary and treasurer of Covilla take care of selling the harvested produce and the proceeds are sent directly to the community fund. The president, the auditor and the secretary jointly manage this fund. The proceeds will be a source of self-finance for the community to ensure the maintenance of the waterworks if they break down. The money also allows them to invest in other money-making activities (breeding, milling, etc.).
Members of the community in the community field.
One objective: the sustainability of the waterworks
The management of the water source poses no problem, thanks to this innovative idea which allows the most vulnerable people to be looked after by the whole community and have access to water and plumbing.
The community dynamic in Kaja Kanyinda village has had a positive impact on the neighbouring villages who are also thinking about setting up similar projects.
Kaja Kanyinda’s experience deserves to be shared so that it can be a positive learning model that other villages and participants in the Programme can learn from and emulate.
Healthy Schools and Villages
Healthy Schools and Villages is a national programme based in the community of the Congolese government, which simultaneously worked to expand access to waterworks infrastructure, promote hygiene and create a healthy environment in rural and suburban regions. UNICEF brought technical and financial help to the programme, with funds from UKAID and USAID.
Translated by Lucy Oyelade
Latest posts by Rose Kiabu (see all)
- How can community participation improve sanitary conditions? - 23 March 2018
- An income-generating activity for the maintenance of water sources - 31 August 2017