Clean Water

A watertank under construction

Day 8: A look round Ntseni

Ntseni already has a water supply, and one of our aims was to assess the quality of the water, like in Wvem. Thursday saw us heading out into the countryside and fields above the village of Ntseni to look at the sources and tanks for their supply. It was a fairly long walk, and it was interesting to see the differences between the countryside in Ntseni and Wvem - Ntseni is closer to Kumbo, lower in altitude and flatter, and consequently much more intensively cultivated. Although there were patches of forest it was much more open, which made carrying the Del Agua kit easier. I discovered that the people here have a different attitude to old age: instead of giving the most arduous physical tasks to younger men, as in Britain, in Cameroon it is the older men who take on such duties. I found this out when, after a stop, the secretary of the WMC, who was the oldest in the group by a substantial margin, insisted on carrying the heavy bag with the water testing kit. Everyone else was happy to accept this as the default, telling me that older men are stronger - in fact they were surprised that I was surprised!

Frustratingly, the committee forgot the keys to two of the tanks we wanted to take samples from, so we had to settle for a reduced number of samples, though we still managed to take a representative selection. Walking back up towards the centre of the village with the committee, we were caught by the afternoon rain. It seems there is only one acceptable course of action in such circumstances: pop into the nearest house and drink palm wine!

Day 9: In Ntseni. Meetings.

© Aidan Reilly 2013