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Republic of the Congo: water for Nkouo

25-07-2003 News Release 03/87

Life is not easy when there is no source of drinking water close at hand. And it becomes very difficult indeed when the nearest spring lies several miles away – a long distance to travel when you have to do it every day.

The problem has now been partially solved for the 2,000 inhabitants of Nkouo, a village situated in the Pool region.

On 23 July the ICRC and the local authorities inaugurated a 60 m3 concrete water tank equipped with a rainwater-catchment system and a hand pump. The rainwater passes through a sort of stainless-steel funnel and then through a filter into the tank. The village can now store up to 60,000 litres of drinking water in clean conditions.

Construction work began on 12 May and was completed on 4 July. The villagers took an active part in the project, doing the necessary excavation work themselves. A committee was set up to manage the village’s water supply and maintain the tank. Under the agreement concluded between the local authorities and the ICRC, the committee will collect a modest sum from the villagers to ensure that the water is available to everyone. During the dry season, this money will also be used to have water brought in by tanker truck along highway No. 2, thus ensuring an adequate supply of drinking water throughout the year.

Since 1997, the ICRC has built or repaired 280 water points in the country’s rural areas. It has also carried out similar work in Pointe-Noire, Djiri, Djoué, Owando, Djambala, Dolisie, Nkayi, Madingou and Brazzaville. As a result, drinking water has now become more easily available to some 250,000 villagers and 1,650,000 people living in towns.

 Further information: Olivier Bangerter, ICRC Brazzaville,  

 tel.: ++242 50 30 17 or ++242 50 30 18, e-mail: brazzaville.brz@icrc.org