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OK Clean Water Project

2013 marks the tenth anniversary of OK Clean Water Project, an Ottawa-based charity that works directly with volunteers on the ground to help provide resources and support for access to clean water to villages in the area of Kumbo, Cameroon. Funds are directed mainly to families, schools, and community health centres.

Origin of the Project

In 2002 widows and single mothers of Kumbo in the North West region of Cameroon discussed their great need for access to clean water. A report of the discussion was printed in a small Canadian publication. The article described the difficulties of living and raising children without access to pipe-borne water.

They told of the challenges of obtaining and using water from streams in both the rainy and dry season.

Andrew & children in KAI

These stories sparked the interest of a small group of readers in Ottawa, Canada. The plight of the women in Kumbo energized the readers to try to help. Their self- appointed task was to find ways to finance the purchasing of pipes to extend the existing water systems. The villagers who would contribute local materials for the projects would also do the labor.

Over time, the financial backers of the project developed a website, a fund raising brochure, and powerpoint presentations to educate supporters about the global water crisis as well as the needs of people in Kumbo.

Kumbo, North West Region, Cameroon

Kumbo is located in one of the two English- speaking regions of Cameroon. Unlike regions of the South and the Extreme North where the terrain is flat, the North West Region is located in the highlands. The Region is blessed with rich soil that supports two growing seasons annually. The highlands contain many springs of fresh, clean water that have the potential for providing water for the basic needs of the villagers. Still many villagers are dependent on water from streams for all their basic needs. The walk to the nearest stream is anywhere from fifteen to fifty minutes The return walk carrying a full bucket of water, up to twenty liters, is often uphill. The streams are also used for bathing and laundry. In addition, animals are free to roam in and out of the streams.

Birthing center without water

The many villages scattered throughout the highlands are connected by “cutshorts” and rock-filled roads. The villagers, most of whom farm to support themselves and their families often “trek” up to three hours to reach their farm. While many villages have a government primary and frequently a denominational school, the older students must reside in an urban area to attend secondary school.

Primary school 47 years without water

Water Supply Systems

In a village a water supply system consists of several components. Once the streams are located, the flow of water is measured in both the dry and the rainy season. Fortunately, many streams flow even in the dry season that lasts for about six months of the year. A study is then done to assess the needs of the villagers and the cost to bring water to the village or to bring water to additional quarters (neighborhoods) of the village. Included in the estimated costs are the contributed services in supplying and carrying the needed material as wel as the labor of the villagers.

Building a storage tank

The villagers are also asked to make a cash contribution. The first component that is needed is the catchment that is strategically located to receive water from at least one spring. Since the catchments receive water that is flowing downstream there is the added advantage of gravity that reduces the cost of each project. No pumps are needed. Pipes are then connected to a holding tank closer to the village The distance has varied from 1.5km to 7.3 km. Pipes from the holding tank then connect to the public standpipes in selected quarters. Each public standpipe serves from six - eighteen families.

Transporting the pipes

The villagers dig the trenches for the pipes and so the entire back filling to cover the pipes. Given the great distances and the cost of the needed pipes and plumbing fixtures, the construction is usually divided into phases by the local water management committee. Work is then undertaken as funds become available. In order to maintain the village water system each village has a water management committee. The committee sets the fee that is needed for maintenance and repairs as well as to provide compensation to a trained technician who follows the operation of the water system. The committee also sees to it that the area around the catchment is protected by a fence and trees to prevent animals from polluting the water. They also see to it that the area around the public standpipes is well maintained. All this is done to ensure the sustainability of the village water system for the years ahead.

Thank you OK Clean Water!

Summary

As of December 2012, the OK Clean Water Project has worked with thirty-six villages in six subdivisions of the North West Region.

  • Water is now flowing to forty-three schools, and thirteen health centers/posts.
  • Twenty-eight catchments have been build or repaired.
  • One hundred sixty-two public standpipes have been constructed or repaired.
  • And more than one hundred twenty-three km of pipes have been laid.

The fact that this project is a partnership between the OK Clean Water Committee and the villages has enabled the limited funds available to be used most effectively. Collaboration on all levels of the project places responsibility on all the beneficiaries. The members of the OK Clean Water Project support the statement of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, who said:

No single measure would do more to reduce disease and save lives in the developing world than bringing safe water and adequate sanitation to all.

Kofi Annan

The project has Canadian and Cameroonian coordinators who are in frequent contact., hence the name “O K”. The membership of the OK Clean Water Project in Ottawa is composed of Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, CND Associates and friends. They organize fund raising projects annually including visits to schools. Presently, students are the largest single group of donors. The Cameroonian Coordinator is Sister Catherine Molloy, CND and the Consultant is Mr. Visi Edwin.

For more information see the project website: okcleanwaterproject.org

OK Clean Water News

The Pipeline Newsletter (Fall 2014)

OK Clean Water Brunch October 19, 2014

On Sunday, October 19th the OK Clean Water Project held its annual Brunch at the Centurion Conference and Event Centre with 100 great supporters in attendance.

Alana Giustizia spoke compassionately about her trip to Cameroon in February of 2014 and the welcome that she received from the people. She was moved by the dedication of many who work so diligently to bring clean water to their villages. Alana also praised the work of Sister Cathy Molloy, cnd the coordinator and that of Edwin Visi, the consultant who trains the villagers to ensure the water projects are maintained. Sister Cathy and Edwin journey with the people with the emphasis on dialogue to promote sustainability.  Alana’s power point presentation illustrated the progress made over these eleven years with forty-three villages now accessing clean water. This trip also made it possible for Alana to visit with her aunt Sister Cecile Buote, cnd, who has lived in Cameroon for more than forty years.

 

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OK Clear Water Project - Annual Brunch

OK Clean Water Project – Ottawa to Kumbo - Laying a Lifeline

Annual Brunch to be held Sunday, October 19, 2014, 11:00 am

Centurion Conference & Event Centre

170 Colonnade Rd. OTTAWA, ON

Craft Sale – Silent Auction - Raffle

Please note tickets to be purchased in advance at

horanc@sympatico.ca or 613 737-3681

$40 (adults) $20 (children and students)

OK Clean Water Celebrates Another Successful Year with Ottawa Catholic Schools!

The OK Clean Water Project is most grateful to the Ottawa Catholic Schools who have supported our water project in Kumbo, Cameroon again in the school year 2013-2014. This year twenty-nine schools brought in an amazing $26,608.50!

Presently thirty-seven villages have clean water and more villagers are waiting in hope.

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OK Clean Water Brunch October 30, 2016

OK Clean Water Brunch October 30, 2016

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OK Clean Water Project - Shepherd's Fashion FUNrasier

Ok Clean Water Project Newsletter - Spring 2017

OK Clean Water Brunch October 25, 2015

Another successful Brunch was held at the Centurion Conference and Event Centre on Sunday, October 25, 2015 with approximately 100 supporters in attendance.. 

Nina Glinski, CND, spoke compassionately about her three month visit to Cameroon and the welcome that she received from the people. She was moved by the dedication of many who work so diligently to bring clean water to their villages. Nina also praised the work of Cathy Molloy, CND, the coordinator and that of Edwin Visi, the consultant who trains the villagers to ensure the water projects are maintained. Nina’s presentation included photos of the work in progress and the people. 

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OK Clean Water Brunch October 25, 2015

Another successful Brunch was held at the Centurion Conference and Event Centre on Sunday, October 25, 2015 with approximately 100 supporters in attendance..

 

+ Read More

Annual Fundraiser For Villagers In Kumbo Cameroon

Come And Enjoy Our New Brunch Menu!!

October 25, 2015 • 11:00 Am

View poster

 

The Pipeline Newsletter


Newsletter Fall 2015

  • News From Cameroon

  • News From Ottawa

  • Next Fundraising Event

 

St. Matthew High School Supports the OK Clean Water Project

St. Matthew’s Social Justice Club under the direction of Fr. Zenon Hentosz presented their generous donation to OK Clean Water on Tuesday, June 16. The Social Justice Club organized a Bake Sale with many delicious goodies for the school population to purchase in support of the life-giving water cause in Kumbo, Cameroon.

During the school year 2014-2015 an amazing total of $32,499.50 has been donated from 26 schools. Your generous support will enable more villagers to enjoy clean water and a better quality of life.

A huge thank you to all.

Blessings for a safe and happy summer!

www.okcleanwaterproject.org

OK Clean Water Celebrates Another Successful Year with Ottawa Catholic Schools!

The OK Clean Water Project is most grateful to the Ottawa Catholic Schools who have supported our water project in Kumbo, Cameroon again in the school year 2014-2015. This year, twenty-five schools brought in an amazing $31,264.50!

The schools were given a power point presentation including photos, commentary and statistics on the number of villages, pipes, storage tanks, schools and health clinics served by the project. The students and teachers were most creative in their fundraising...

 

+ Read More

OK Clean Water Celebrates Another Successful Year with Ottawa Catholic Schools!

The OK Clean Water Project is most grateful to the Ottawa Catholic Schools who have supported our water project in Kumbo, Cameroon again in the school year 2014-2015. This year twenty-five schools brought in an amazing $31,264.50! The schools were given a power point presentation including photos, commentary and statistics on the number of villages, pipes, storage tanks, schools and health clinics served by the project. The students and teachers were most creative in their fundraising engaging in such activities as walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, spirit days, coin lines, bake sales, chores at home and other interesting activities to raise money for OK Clean Water Project.

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OK Clean Water Project’s Third Annual Fashion Fun-raiser at Shepherd’s

The OK Clean Water Committee held its third annual Fashion Show at Shepherd’s in the Train Yards on April 27th. It was an evening filled with fun and socializing as everyone shopped and enjoyed the appetizers and wine prepared by two schools and the OK committee. It was a great success bringing in a profit of $3505 from ticket sales, donations and a 10% donation from Shepherd’s on all merchandise purchased. Models for the evening were Madeleine Finner, Ann Hoy, Connie Johnson, Kathy Monkman and Sandra Moore each wearing casual and formal wear. Elaine Charron led the models on stage giving interesting commentaries on the outfits worn by each. We are most grateful to Immaculata and Holy Trinity hospitality classes and OK members for the food and drink. It was a very successful and fun-filled evening. Thank you to the models, the sponsors and to all who attended to make this event such a success. 

March 22 is World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day, click on this link for resources: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/home/en/.

OK Clean Water - Fall Newsletter

To read the latest newsletter, click on the link below:

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OK CLEAN WATER 10TH ANNIVERSARY BRUNCH

OK CLEAN WATER 10TH ANNIVERSARY BRUNCH is being held on October 20th at 11 a.m.

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10th Anniversary Brunch

Annual fundraiser for villagers in Kumbo Cameroon
 Ottawa to Kumbo - Laying a Lifeline

OK Clean Water Project Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary in Our Ontario Schools

As The OK Clean Water Project celebrates its 10th Anniversary we are proud to say that again schools in the Ottawa Catholic School Board were most supportive

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All the News

 

 

 

Merci. Beri Wo!


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