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The Njao Water Project

There is a fresh water shortage on Pemba which seems remarkable given the amount of rainfall during the wet season.


The Njao Water Project

There is a fresh water shortage on Pemba which seems remarkable given the amount of rainfall during the wet season. But the geology, and the fact that there are no permanent surface water flows means that access to fresh water is limited. In fact, there is an estimated shortage of six million litres of water per year in the north of Pemba and so many villages do not have access to fresh water. The island of Njao in the north west of Pemba is such a case in point. The islanders have no direct access to fresh water and villagers must travel daily from the island by dugout canoe to the mainland to collect water from a borehole.

In 2016, we started one of our first ever projects for the community. Our thanks to Alex Cheng Loew for his most generous donation of $25,000 which allowed us to launch this flagship project. We installed a new pump in a borehole on the mainland and pumped water to the island – for the first time ever the villagers were able to draw their own water on tap! The project took 6 months to complete and we worked with all the local villages and the Zanzibar Water Authority (ZAWA) to achieve a great result……at least initially….

Despite our very best efforts we started to experience problems - in December 2017 we had reports that the pump had broken, and we had to replace it. In March 2018 the pump was again operational but this time we had a power related issue which required resolution. All went smoothly again for a short time then in August 2018 we had reports that the water had been diverted from our Njao pump to another district on the mainland because their pump was broken! Further disaster followed and in October 2018 we heard that the pipe and pump had been lost as the borehole had collapsed, thereby losing our initial investment.

We have learnt a great deal from this experience, not least the need to have an agreed maintenance plan and the importance of securing agreements with the local authority to make sure that any investments made by the KF are protected. Happily, the water company ZAWA have undertaken to replace the lost infrastructure so that the people of Njao can once again have direct access to fresh water.

There are many more villages in the north of Pemba which do not have access to water and must travel significant distances to collect water every day. With your help we want to provide other places with a permanent water solution.

Here’s how you can support:

Support a water balance study to determine water sources and accessibility into the future

Sponsor a water project in a village

Finance a rainwater catcher in key areas

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