Before you can know a village, before you can begin a project, before you can create change, you must know the people .
Meet: The People of Darmang
Say “Hello” to the Children
Visit the village orphanage
Yaa Know individuals of the community
Kwame and Kwaku
Nancy and her Mother Meet the Families
The Katsky Family Girls
The KG Teachers
About the Community of Darmang
The Main Road in Darmang
Most of the people of Darmang are peasant farmers, living off of their crops and selling the meager remains they don’t eat in hopes of earning money for school fees, food they can’t grow, electricity, clothes, etc.
The majority of the people of Darmang live below the poverty line, living on less than $2 a day.
Some of the houses in Darmang
The economy is primarily labor-based (because they are farmers), thus any time away from the farm means less productivity and a poorer crop yield. Basically, it means one day more of starvation, struggle, and deeper poverty.
During the “dry season” (our winter), the water sources dry up meaning people have to walk for upwards of three hours to fetch water.
Fetching for three hours = Less time on the farm Less time on the farm = Less food The cycle of poverty deepens.
For those families with children, it is the children’s job to fetch water. Afia
Three hours fetching water = Three less hours in school Three less hours in school a day = Years lost over the course of a child’s education The cycle of poverty continues.
Current Water Situation:
There are two seasons- the dry season and the rainy season.
During the rainy season, there is consistent rain fall and an ample source of water (although not necessarily clean water)
During the dry season, there is little or no access to any water (clean or not) in Darmang, and many must walk upwards of three hours to fetch water
The majority of people fetch their water from an open stream.
There are two other sources of water in the village, the first are a series of open wells (pictured below)
Inside of Well
The other source of water is from a clean, ground water pump that is privately owned by a man in the village.
He has two water pumps he owns, one of which he allows the community to use as it is at the location of his former home and is no longer in use.
The borehole (or well) is on the outskirts of the village (a twenty minute walk from the center of town) and is insufficient to supply water to the whole village as there are nearly 2000 people.
Thus it is the least used water source and is overwhelmingly insufficient.
Story from Julie, a woman in the village:
“ The pump borehole is too far. I am sixty, I live alone, I must work my farm, cook. I cannot walk twenty minutes four or five times a day when I have an open borehole next to my house.”
( Bear in mind, each trip takes up to thirty minutes, and the water they carry weighs up to forty pounds. No only does it take away valuable time, but it is physically wearing and too difficult for many, like Julie . )
There is also a PolyTank attached to the school rooftop to catch rain water so that the children can drink clean water during school. This PolyTank is locked during non-school hours, therefore not accessible to the village, and dries up during the dry season when there is no rainfall.
What They Need:
A clean, stable source of water that is accessible to the entire village
Multiple sources of water throughout the village (for example; mutiple clean water boreholes)
The technology and funding to carry-out these basic needs
The impact it will have:
Extends beyond just clean water, it extends into a step away from poverty, into a reality defined by possibility and promise.
Clean water means more than just an end to disease, it means the beginning to an actual education, a full farm day, a life that is not limited by trying to gain the most basic human need, water.