From the Field: Roge, Director of Community Development
Meet Madame Julbert Monard. Everyone in the community of Bohoc#6 knows Madame Julbert. At 90 years of age, Madame Julbert is a small woman with a shaky, unsteady walk. But on February 3, Madame Julbert had a bit of spring in her step. Her community’s new sustainable water well was to be inaugurated that day, and Madame Julbert had played an important role in making it a reality. The land in which the community well was built on was donated to the community by Madame Julbert. She declared “Someday I am going to die, but I will leave this little bit of earth so that my community continues to have water long after I am gone.”
Before any community well is drilled, the deed for the land on which they plan to locate the well must be signed over to the community. This means someone from the community must step forward to donate the land. If this step was not taken, the person owning the land could legally take ownership of the well at any time. This is an important step for greater sustainability of the well.
The entire Bohoc#6 community, from the elders to the children, gathered on February 3 to celebrate the new well inauguration. Music is a key part of these celebrations, and as the drums starting beating, the people starting dancing – including Madame Julbert! It was as if the drums had converted her into a teenager! Madame Julbert and the rest of the gathered group continued to sing, dance, put on skits to share how happy they were to have clean water near their homes.
The 177 people of Bohoc#6 now have sustainable access to clean water, and all 35 homes proudly have latrines. Responsibility for well was officially transferred to the community water committee as they received the well house key, and they promised their care for their well so that they all have clean water for years to come.