Cathy Molloy visit to MbokovThe village of Mbokov is a distance from the farthest OK village in Mbiame. It took us one hour to drive the last 10 km given the road much of which was no more than a bike (aka motorcycle) path. Thank God for the Samurai which drove through the bushes with Edwin tooting the horn when there was no visibility as what might be coming from the opposite direction! We arrived with no advance notice wanting to see for ourselves the need, condition of the village, and the response of the people. When we stopped at the first store we were welcomed and told many of the villagers were together at the government primary school for a community project. A major storm had passed through knocking out the back wall of one of the classrooms - all of which had been built by the parents. They were molding new sundried mud bricks which are used in construction. The parents were digging the soil, mixing it with water to make the mud, and then using the standard form to mold the bricks - all under a very hot sun at midday! We saw the commitment and hard work of the villagers.
From there we were directed to the Catholic primary school also built entirely by the villagers! In both schools we were "highly welcomed," with stories about the need, the water-borne diseases with no health post in the village, work that has been and is being done to prepare for assistance with a village water system.
They have a water project committee and have started an account at a credit union to keep funds raised - a very good sign of commitment.
In a nutshell..the need is great (NO pipeborne water; total reliance on a stream which is also used by local animals!) and the people are ready to do their part e.g. collecting the stones, carrying the sand and digging the trenches. One important piece of information they provided is that given the heat of the dry season they cannot start digging for stones until they know the project is appoved because the heat would render the stones unusable for construction!
Once they get a go-ahead they will start the digging of stones in order to be ready when the funds arrive. Edwin estimates that if work can begin as early as possible in the new year the first phase can be completed before the rainy season which begins any time after mid-March.