“Well4Africa” project was implemented in Shisong village in the North-West region of Cameroon. Shisong water project was implemented in the Secular Franciscan community of St. Anthony of Padua. On 1 November 2020 (solemnity of All Saints), the Shisong water borehole sponsored by “Well4Africa” social initiative was blessed with the presence of fr. Andrew Ngah Soli, bishop’s delegate, and fr. Francis Bongajum Dor OFM Cap, general spiritual assistant.
The present socio-political crisis in Cameroon has resulted in a difficult water access situation in this part of the country and a delay of the water project implementation. The ongoing war in two English regions of Cameroon rendered building and electrical materials very expensive because of the constant blockage of the roads. Import of cheaper materials has also been suspended due to the ongoing war and the Covid-19 pandemic. Most workers had difficulties moving due to the constant blocks on the roads.
The project consisted of drilling a reinforced water borehole and equipping it with both electric and hand pumps as well as a water storage facility of 6,000 litres. The depth of the borehole is 12,5 metres. The electric pump supplies water to an elevated water tank from where it is distributed to various parts of the house and made available to the public through a stand-pipe. The hand pump is simply made and is far more useful considering the constant shortage of electrical supply, which sometimes is cut for months. In the future, the community intends to install solar panels to run the electric pump. From the funds received, a small stand-by generator was purchased to compensate for the electricity shortage. The OFS local fraternity remains the general supervisor of the Shisong well. The plan is to constitute a committee with representatives of regular user families and to establish contribution rates for the regular maintenance of the well. The estimated annual contribution per family per year is 1200 CFA francs (about 2 Euros).
Shisong has suffered without water for the past several years. With the digging of a new well everyone is presently a beneficiary of this water project. The Shisong project provides regular potable water to 50 families in the area of about 1 km radius. Other beneficiaries include internally-displaced persons due to the political crises as well as to numerous patients and visitors who come to the nearby Shisong general hospital. There is a tap installed by the roadside whereby everyone passing by can have free access to water and enjoy the fruits of the “Well4Africa” project. This regular source of potable water is of great necessity in the area especially in the dry season when water is most scarce due to absence of rain and when other sources are dry.
- The work was carried out from February to October 2020 by two companies: Nkor Destiny Construction (for construction: rings of the borehole and building of the tank) and Est Francis And Bros Ltd (for the general electricity and plumbing works).
- The amount donated to the project was EUR 8,429.50.