Our Dir of Operations, David DeArmey was down in the town of Bagandou last month in south-western Central African Republic. While visiting the community of Ngouma just just outside of Bagandou he snapped this photo of their water point in the forest, just outside of the village. A long time ago, they built up this natural spring because that was the only water point they could find.
In 2001, this village was created by a group of pygmies who had to flee from the southern border the country shares with Congo after repeated attacks by armed men. They decided to re-settle together further north, and formed Ngouma. It is atypical for Pygmies to live in a village together. Usually they live in informal settlements in the forest. But the fact that they HAD formed a good sized village created the opportunity for a borehole to be drilled and a water pump installed. The well is situated next to a school, and about 600 people use the water from the well. They consider it as one of the central elements to their well-being (#punintended) in the village because they know most other Pygmies do not have access to clean water, and they know how it affects their health. In just a couple of weeks, our maintenance team is going to do preventative maintenance on this pump, and the village is looking forward to it. The pump works fine, but there is just one part that’s beginning to wear out and needs changed (the bague de guidage), so it’s an ideal time for a maintenance visit!