Cameroon Catalyst

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The design of hygienic, sustainable and safely constructible hand dug water wells in the rural east region of Cameroon
University of Southampton, WSP, Mosame Trust, Energy for Development, Article 25, Groundwater Relief

Many in Cameroon have no access to clean water sources and as result are exposed to numerous life changing and fatal water related diseases. Last year Cameroon Catalyst began a five year project aiming to provide ten sources of clean water over the next three years, to villages in the poorest of the country’s ten regions. The project encompassed five stages: initial research and creation of the project brief, conceptual design, detailed design, contractor involvement and lastly post construction monitoring and evaluation. At each stage the work was compiled and professionally reviewed by the charity’s partners allowing the designs to be improved and evolve as the project progressed. One of the most significant design decisions made was between a spring protection system and a hand dug well. Significant time was spent during the conceptual design stage of the project researching and considering these two options, with a hand dug well eventually being chosen due its greater reliability. The most unusual aspect of the well design was the construction method. Unlike most wells constructed in the region, the shaft was not excavated prior to lining, but was instead lined with reinforced concrete rings sunk into the ground as the well was excavated. This eliminated the risk of well collapse during excavation.

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