The Source of Our Water
by Nathan McFall, Soumdina Haut, Togo
The water in my village comes from four different sources: pumps, wells, rivers, and fresh mountain springs. My drinking water comes from a pump about 400 yards away. There is a total of seven pumps in the villages of Soumdina Haut with a population of 4,000 to 5,000. There are wells in grand abundance all over, and two rivers in the vicinity. The pump water and well water appear to be clean, although I feel certain there are bacteria in most of the well water. The rivers are relatively clean. Soumdina Haut is a mountainous region, so the rivers are mountain-fed and therefore free from much upstream contamination. Contamination caused by the people here will have consequences further down the mountain for the people there. The fresh mountain water sources are naturally wet areas where people have cleaned out a hole. They use this water in their houses or in their gardens. Many of these sources hold water long into the dry season, and some even hold water throughout the dry season.