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Njao Water Project Update

An update on the Kwanini Foundation's efforts to install a working water pump on the remote coastal island of Njao, providing the locals with fresh, clean drinking water

As those following our previous news articles will know, there is a shortage of fresh water on Pemba; nowhere is this more evident than the small island village of Njao, located just off the mainland to the North-West. Here we staged our first major community project in 2016; the construction of a water pump and borehole on Njao, allowing villagers to withdraw water easily and quickly. Sadly, after a series of setbacks, in October 2018 we received word that the pipe and pump had been lost, as the borehole had collapsed.

“Njao is the most isolated inhabited island off the Pemba coast. When the project began in 2016 Njao had no water, no electricity or motorised boats. I got to know the island through diving, and I and Mheshimiwa recognised that the island would benefit from many things, most of all fresh water. The practice at the time was that to get fresh water the islanders would row in a canoe to the mainland with a 30 litre jerry can. They would then cycle, with the jerry can, a couple of kilometres to the nearest pump to fill up!”

– Matthew Saus, Kwanini Foundation chairman, on the importance of the Njao Water Project

Recently, work has been conducted to replace the lost pump and borehole, and experience gained during our previous attempt will ensure a more effectively monitored and maintained system after the installation is complete. Following drilling of a new borehole, the image below shows a flushing exercise conducted to remove mud, sand, cement and other debris. Next, a pumping test was conducted to determine the capacity in cubic metres per hour of the well; this allows the construction team to determine the size and capacity of the pump required to complete the well.

Currently, the project is nearly complete; the pipelines, reservoir, bore hole and well head are all installed and tested – as of June this year the final stage, fitting the pump, is all that remains before the Njao villagers once again benefit from a regular supply of fresh, clean water. Speaking to the villagers on Njao, our Chief Operations Officer Roly Cronshaw asked what difference they felt fresh running water would make to them. Their response made it clear that with their current, and limited, supply they did not have enough clean water for cooking, washing, drinking or sustaining their livestock; currently they are forced to wash in the sea, and survive on limited rations. With a fresh supply more readily available, not only will the above problems be prevented but the villagers will be more productive; the men will be free to fish in the morning and spend afternoons or evenings helping with family activities, instead of dedicating an entire afternoon to fetching water. In addition, crops and livestock will benefit, and the improved sanitation can help prevent disease from spreading.

Just to supply a replacement pump will cost the Foundation just over $8,100, but thanks to your donations the Njao Water Project is now nearly complete. Our hope is that we will soon be able to fund additional projects of a similar nature to this one, in order to continue to help the communities of Pemba.
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 area

Previous article on the Njao Project: