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Groundwater As The Main Source Of Water In Rural Communities Of Cameroon: The Case Of The Management Of Traditional Hand Dug Wells (hdws)

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Wamba André Le Doux
Association AFVMC - Aide aux Familles et Victimes des Migrations Clandestines1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 2: Surface water and groundwater,
AbstractIntroduction The population of Cameroon is about 20 millions of habitants.10 millions of persons live in arid and semi-arid lands. The country boasts major underground water resources spread over the country's main water-bearing areas. In all, the country has at least 120 billion m3 of useable groundwater resources; unevenly distributed. The proportion of Cameroon's population with access to clean water was estimated at 57.8 per cent in 2005.For rural areas, the estimation was 40 per cent. Groundwater Management helps for the water supply in Rural Communities of Cameroon. It provides information on the distribution of groundwater resources and the feasibility of the water supply technology through the building of traditional Hand Dug Wells. Our objective is to show how the technology of building and the management of HDWs is economically-viable and it relies on co-operation putting in place across projects of groundwater to improve water-supply in rural areas in many African countries. Methods/Materials The methodology of fieldwork involves three stages: the decision to establish a new, or renovate and existing Hand Dug Wells (HDWs) in the village, the construction/installation of the HDWs and Its management. The materials required: - Guided interviews/seminars/workshops with key informers (officers of the administration and NGO builders of HDW's technology, representatives of farmers and pastoral associations, professional diggers of HDWs, land committees, farmers, rural councilors and village chiefs). - Group discussions (focus groups to help identify key issues for field work and for the discussion of the preliminary results of research). Results and Discussion The results are: -the monitoring and the management of the HDWs by the rural communities; -the training of diggers, builders and users of HDWs; -the sustainability of HDWs; -the availability of water; -the supply of remote/ rural areas with water The Discussion The idea of common ownership of the HDW is a reality for more impactful stakeholders' engagement: 1) In local municipalities: -the economical development of rural areas; - the availability of potable water for the population; - the reduction of water diseases; - the improvement of the hygiene and sanitation within the population; -the development of agriculture/irrigation/breeding 2) In associations of women are interested in the management of HDWs: -the availability of potable water to reduce the burden of fetching water dedicated to women and children; -the improvement of the hygiene and sanitation in houses; -the development of agriculture/irrigation/breeding; 3) In associations of youth are interested in the management of HDWs: -the learning of the duplication of the construction/management of Hand Dug Wells for the future and for the sustainable development of the locality; -the availability of job opportunities in the construction/management of Hand Dug Wells Conclusion Our conclusion includes the village subsistence -level cropping- with groundwater use for the cultivation of vegetable gardens and seedlings to the improvement of food security at local scale. Significant findings and outcomes of the management of HDWs are in its replication: -by the learning of the construction/management of Hand Dug Wells in primarily/secondary schools, in the associations of youth and in universities; -by organizing workshops to train many trainees/teachers/diggers/builders to train in the construction/management of Hand Dug Wells We recommend that the technology of building HDWs been developed further in many countries in Africa to improve the availability of water. This communal approach based in the building of many HDWs could help the 'UN Millennium Development Goals' for rural water supply to be met. 1. André, W. (1999) Vina: l’eau potable est rare. La Voix du Paysan, 88:17 2. André, T. (2001): Establishing and Managing Waterpoints for Village Livestock. Establishing and Managing Waterpoints for Village Livestock, CTA and CIRAD, Agromisa Foundation and Cirad 3. Joseph, K.M. (2006): Tips on management of hand dug wells, Baobab, issue 46, 8-9 4. Stefen, F., Karin, K. (2006): Sustainable Groundwater Management. Concept & Tools. Briefing Note Series Note13, World Bank, World Bank, 3pp.
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