The rural village of Antsikory is located in the commune of Antsirabe Nord, about a two hours walk from town, or an hour walk from the main road. The village is comprised of roughly 2,200 people, about 600 of them children under 5. There is a local primary public school and a local Antsikory Women's Group.
Villagers do not have access to public taps or other sources of clean water. There is only one well in the village, which is not adequate to serve the needs of the community members who live there. Most community members use the local stream to wash clothes and dishes, to bathe and to collect water. As the stream is often stagnant and is used for many purposes, it has become polluted with trash and other human waste. As a result, many of the children in village of Antsikory suffer from diarrheal diseases and schistosomiasis.
This project is to build two wells for public use by the community, and to carry out health education targeted at mothers and children concerning proper hygiene, sanitation and other prevention measures for diarrhea and schistosomiasis.
The project is being carried out by Peace Corps Volunteer Maya Rao, in cooperation with the Antsirabe Nord Women's Group, with involvement from the local Antsikory Women's Group, local leaders and village members.
The Antsirabe Nord Women's Group will provide transport of materials from Sambava to Antsikory. The Antsirabe Nord Women's Group along with the Antsikory Women's Group and village members will also gather gravel, sand, and rocks locally.
Community members will then help dig the first well along, with supervision and direction from a well construction expert. The well builder will proceed to complete construction of the well, and another worker will construct the fence.
Once the first well is complete, construction of the second well will commence and move to completion following the same plan.
Training will be provided to primary school students and their parents, and also the community at large, on prevention measures for diarrheal disease and schistosomiasis.
The Antsikory Women’s Group will maintain the wells, ensuring the sustainability of the project.
Through the construction of two wells, water is being brought to people who currently have limited access to safe water. The training sessions will ensure compliance with safe practices. The elimination of the use of contaminated river water will have a tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of the community.
Funds for this award came from distributions of the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund which was created with generous gifts to WCPCA and whose sole purpose is to support humanitarian programs. Beryl was a PCV in Afghanistan (1967-69), a founding member of WCPCA, and one of its most tireless leaders for over twenty years. The awards given in her name will honor her legacy of fighting poverty and building peace.