Welcome to Lokando II - a village in the jungles of Southwest Cameroon. The 7000 occupants of Lokando share a new water utility system with 12,000 more people in the surrounding villages of Big Butu, Liefenja and Djombe.
The Lokando Project is like no other rural water system on earth. It uses mountain springs to bring clean water to over 7,000 people in Lokando, while rehabilitating a water system for 12,000 more in the surrounding villages.
By focusing on low-tech, high-impact solutions, we’ve make a bigger splash than ever before. (And we’ll have the data to prove it.)
Wells are an important tool; they help us get to clean water deep underground. In many places, communities live just a few hundred feet above the water they need to live normal, healthy lives.
But if going from dirty water to a new well is a big step - so is the step from a new well to a plumbing system that brings water into the home. This second step can take decades more to complete.
But what kind of impact can we have when we skip the well all together?
In Lokando, Cameroon DIGDEEP and our friends at Water Collective co-designed a low-tech, community-led project that brings spring water into nearby villages by pipe.
In each village, new water towers push clean water through sand filters and into taps near public gathering spaces. The filtration system is simple, water lines are buried just below the surface, and taps can be repaired with local parts - making it an easy system to maintain.
That responsibility falls to the local Water Council - made up of elders, men, women and youth representatives. Together, they mobilized the labor for the project. Now they’ll make sure that water never stops flowing.
Last year, our local staff spent months collecting (A TON OF) survey data on health, education, and gender equity in Lokando. A year from now we’ll go back and collect new numbers.
We’re ‘skipping the well’ and we know it’ll have a big impact.
True story. You really, really are.
Sophia Grace is a young mother of three and an exceptional host. Her husband lives and works in Kumba, a town several hours away by motor bike. While he is in Kumba, Sophia runs the house and farms coca to bring in extra income.
She also serves on the local Water Council, making ky decisions about the way improvements in water and sanitation infrastructure will impact the lives of local families and other women!
We collect a TON of project data; this is just a snapshot.
Every DIGDEEP project uses a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), measuring the way water access achieves other key goals like health, gender equity, and access to education.
Every DIGDEEP project is community-led, using a technology specifically designed to meet local needs.
236 people gave funds
19,000 people gave effort
100% of both are changing the world
Some water charities separate people into donors and recipients.
DIGDEEP is different.
We believe everyone, everywhere has the same right to water. This report is designed to show you that when we work together as equals, we can do amazing things.
We don't expect you to give blindly... we expect you to appreciate that water is essential to everything you do. We'll use that awareness - and 100% of your gift - to provide support to communities in need.
In a similar way, we don't expect benefitting communities to be grateful... we expect them to proactively defend the rights we all have in common.
You x Them x 100% = Change
Give the gift of water again, and we'll send 100% of your gift straight to another project like this one.
You've already had such an incredible impact - let's make it even bigger!
This project was partially funded by donations to the 4Liter Challenge.
Donated or raised funds in 2013? Use the "Track Your Donation" link here.
We work with the local community to leave an empowering inscription on every project we complete! (It doubles as a handy place to record information like date and depth if we need to make a repair.)
The Lokando Pipeline was partially funded by our 2012 Holiday Campaign, where donors could also sponsor a tap stand, like this one.
You can choose what goes here! Our partner communities allow people who donate wells or tap stands to choose their dedication.
The responsibility for this incredible falls to the local Water Council - made up of elders, men, women and youth representatives. Together, they mobilized the labor for the project. Now they’ll make sure that water never stops flowing.
The Water Council collects community contributions to repair and improve service. They also help maximize the impact of the new water by overseeing:
- hygiene & sanitation workshops
- new job trainings (with pigs provided by Water Collective!)
- and the construction of new access points in local homes
From top center, clockwise: Chief, Francis (Technician), Sophia, Sophia, Helen (Nurse), Veronica (Nurse), Ignatius (President), Johannes (Youth Representative), Benson (Technician), Adolf (Elder), Pius, Justine (Young Women's Rep)
We planned the Lokando Project with our friends at Water Collective in Brooklyn. Water Collective specializes in projects that harness the power of clean water to provide new economic opportunities.
Pig farming - an activity which helps diversify reliance on seasonal coca farming - is only possible with access to the water needed to feed and water the animals. In addition to clean water and human rights training, The Lokando Pipeline project provides pigs, equipment and training to families ready to make the investment in their future.