Clean Water

A watertank under construction

Day 12: Heading to Djottin

Djottin (pronounced like Jottin) was our next destination. We arrived after an hour or two's ride from Kumbo in a 4x4. It's hot, and the scenery is stunning; the closest I can suggest to imagine is, perhaps, a tropical Snowdonia. The village is in a valley, and mountains stretch into the far distance cloaked in a verdant green. We're staying in a house that belongs to a convent, and it's pretty luxurious: it has clean sheets, soft blankets and a (cold) shower. At the front, there's a veranda looking out over the village and down the valley: the view.

However, we had no time to enjoy our surroundings, as we arrived and were straight down to work. The village's water management committee were there to meet us, so to start with we set off to collect samples. This was a good opportunity to see part of the village; it's a large, we probably walked 10km there and back to the furthest standtap we tested, and that was only one half of the village.

On returning with the samples, we turned on the incubator and then sat down with the WMC to help plan a budget for next year. This felt like some of the most useful work we've done so far: the committee engaged with us, and have lots of great plans. It would be a shame for these to fail through lack of funds - and hopefully, with a budget, they'll be able to plan effectively. And not just that, but having gone through it with them step by step, hopefully they'll draw one up themselves in future years. I have to say, I don't think I'd ever expected to feel so satisfied by discussing budgeting and financial planning!

Tropical evenings are very different from those in temperate climes; night falls quickly, but the air also has a certain intagngible, almost ethereal, quality. As evening fell, I sat outside to write a couple of letters, take photos, and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of Djottin.

Day 13: Collecting samples, attempt no. 2

© Aidan Reilly 2013