Four months after implementation, the Mkyashi Water Project is showing promising signs of sustainability. Families have made their monthly water payments on time and the Water Committee has handled administration of the system.
The Water Committee’s first maintenance challenge occurred at the end of October when an electric outage prevented water from being pumped to families along the system. Whenever a problem arises, family members notify one the three Water Committee leaders. The committee leaders then discuss solutions. If the solution requires funding, all three leaders must agree and sign out funds to be used for maintenance or repairs.
In October, the committee had two options to fix the electric outage: pay a private electrician to fix the problem immediately but at a cost, or log the problem with Tanesco, the national electric utility company. The leaders decided to log the problem with Tanesco. While this caused downtime in the system, it also gave leaders the opportunity to learn how Tanesco’s processes work and to introduce Tanesco workers to the project so they can get faster service for future issues.
The Water Committee is also taking responsibility for system improvements. In September, members got together to improve the security of the spring collection system and pump house. They broke bottles around and on top of the system and ran barbed wire around it. This is meant to deter thieves and also to keep children from playing on the system and breaking parts.