When we saw the water system in Kalma Camp, we were really impressed. 9 solar panel installations provide the power that pumps water from deep underground directly to people at the dozens of water points around Kalma. There are even backup generators to ensure water is available on the rare overcast day.
As a result, water is immediately available 24-7. And there aren’t lineups for water like you see in many other refugee camps and communities.
But it doesn’t all happen magically. A group of residents comprise the water committee – they keep an eye on every element of the water system. Whenever anything breaks down or needs fixing, they get to work to get water flowing again.
“Our water committee in Kalma is really fantastic. They take a lot of pride in their work [though they are all volunteers from the community], and they’re doing a very big service for their community,” said Abbas, Alight’s Senior Program Manager for South Darfur. “But, they don’t have a way to stay connected.”
Abbas had the great idea to purchase nine cell phones, one for each water distribution center. So, when an issue or stoppage occurs at any location they can quickly call for reinforcements. Or they can escalate the issue for support from Alight. With communications lines open, they’ll be able to get water flowing again as quickly as possible.