Big effort for big rewards, over 1000 people connected to safe water.
The Sibebe Rural Water Project was approved for development in July 2021, as the second largest project for MOSS at that time. The project is located in the Hhohho Region of Eswatini in a semi dry mountainous area with a widely dispersed community.
At the time of project design there was little in the way of cultivation or livestock farming because of the rocky and mountainous nature of the region. Over time, the soils have been leached of nutrients by the rains, resulting in soil conditions that are too infertile for most farming practices. The local farmers have done best to maintain their small land holdings but their lives can be much improved by a reliable and robust water supply. The Sibebe community was dependent on un-purified water, ferried on foot from nearby streams that is shared with livestock.
The Sibebe Rural Water project, upon completion, will serve over 450 residents who do not have suitable access to a clean water supply in addition to about 800 students ranging from pre-school age through to high school age. In addition, a day care centre and medical clinic will be provided with access to the water system, adding an additional 40 or so beneficiaries in the region.
The schools and some of the local residents in Sibebe have been using a significantly aged water system, installed approximately 40 years ago which was not very polluted, burdened with constant silt blockages and contained no filtration system. Such a system creates a high risk of transmitting water borne disease and results in the need for water collection, often at the cost of young women and girls going to school, due to unreliability.
MOSS will fund the hardware required for the project including pipes, pumps, water tanks, filtration equipment and standpipes. The local villagers will supply in kind contributions through work such as trenching works, land leveling, fencing and dam construction labor. As per standard MOSS procedure, time will be spent educating and training the local caretakers in the the maintenance of the system being constructed. Due to the sheer length of trenching, in excess of 7 kilometres, and extremely challenging terrain, the project was attributed a 6 to 8 month delivery timeline. Ground breaking for the project commenced in September of 2021.
The project design comprises two gravity fed water catchment dams, water treatment plant, transmission lines and controls, various storage tanks and reservoirs as well as over 40 standpipes across the region. There are over 13km of pipe trenching for this project!
As at March 2022, extensive trenching works have been completed and the catchment dam construction was almost finished. The delivery of the project has been hampered by the difficulty of the terrain, the distance to be trenched, weather events as well as geopolitical unrest in the region. The project is on track for hand over in the next few months.
We will update this post upon project completion.