By Mbah Sonita ‘Now we have fine water and our children will no longer suffer from Cholera’ Ma Asoh explained. The construction and protection of water shed in Alegnwi community (a quarter in Bawum village) in Bafut Sub division was a challenging experience for me. This project was designed to examine how the construction and protection of one water shed could contribute to the improvement of the quality and quantity of drinking water in Bawum. Three days after start of project, the community said they were not ready to provide the financial and material contribution they had agreed upon at the beginning.  It was either full funding or abolition of project. Negotiations with community representatives brought us to agreement. We made the project their project and together we selected someone to be Mother of the Water and Father of the Water from the community. This provided transparency and ownership to the project and will help foster continued community maintenance and participation. With stewardship from BWC, Bawum Traditional Council and Bafut Council the success of the water project in this municipality was ensured. Technicians were provided to identify the strengths and weaknesses for the community, long term goals and priorities for community action and what could be financial contribution from the community. It was wonderful to see the local children, men, women, taxi drivers and motorbike riders transport construction materials. Throughout the 5 days of work,  over 45 community members’ daily participation from 8 am to 7 pm was a clear demonstration of a community power I had never experienced anywhere before. We succeeded to dig, harness and purify the spring source with a collection chamber. This community force also led to a spontaneous fundraising for the purchase of two pipes to complete the construction of the fetching point. Our accomplished goal of this project was to improve the people’s sanitation,hygiene and skills in catchment management and to establish an Alegnwi water management plan. The project has attracted the interest of Trees for the Future (TFTF) who in support of community based efforts will, as a first step to their Partnership with BWC, provide the Ndanifor Permaculture Eco village Nursery with over 500 tree seeds.

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