Published on
19 April 2024

In the mountains of northwestern Cameroon lies the village of Djottin. Its streams, which once murmured softly, nourishing the land and its inhabitants, are today stifled by the echoes of conflict and neglect, leaving Djottin’s residents thirsting for more than just water.

Since 2017, the region has been shaken by political unrest, leading to the withdrawal of government and most non-governmental actors. This situation, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has created a humanitarian void, depriving the local population of vital support. Dilapidated roads are monitored by army and rebel checkpoints, exacting a toll from residents, adding to their daily burdens. Deteriorating living conditions have compounded pre-existing challenges, limiting access to education and healthcare.

The village of Djottin is experiencing these struggles, including a scarcity of clean water. Its inhabitants have been forced to draw from risky sources, exposing their families to waterborne diseases and daily uncertainty. Yet, amidst this despair, a glimmer of hope has emerged through an initiative of the local organization OK Clean Water and supported by the Roncalli International Foundation.


Djottin has been chosen as the beneficiary of a bold project: the construction of a water catchment system that will provide a clean water supply. This project embodies much more than mere infrastructure; it represents a symbol of renewal, resilience, and solidarity. The people of Djottin, alongside local volunteers and members of OK Clean Water, have united to bring water where it is desperately needed.

 

 

 


Guided by the determined vision of a sister of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, OK Clean Water has been committed since 2003 to addressing water supply needs in the region of Kumbo. The Djottin project aims to build a water catchment system from a natural water source located in the mountains, approximately 3.5 kilometres from the village. The water will be piped to a 20-cubic-metre storage reservoir before being distributed through five public fountains in the village. Additionally, the project provides clean water to three health facilities and eleven schools, laying the foundation for a healthier and more prosperous community. The community itself is constructing the system with technical support.

 

 

 


But this project goes far beyond mere provision of clean water. It is a catalyst for lasting change. By working hand in hand with the local population, OK Clean Water aims to strengthen the community’s capacity in water management and environmental preservation. Water management committees will be formed, placing women at the heart of the decision-making process. Furthermore, the planting of 2,000 trees around the watershed will contribute to preserving this precious resource for future generations.

 

 

 


With financial assistance of $31,870 from the Roncalli Foundation, this project will change the lives of 3,000 people in Djottin, including 1,800 women. By eliminating the threat of waterborne diseases, it will pave the way for new opportunities, allowing children to return to school without fear for their health. It will reduce the risks associated with water collection, bringing smiles back to women, who will gain greater autonomy in their lives. It will open up new economic possibilities through increased agricultural activities during the dry season, giving farmers the opportunity to cultivate their lands even during this challenging period.

 

 

 


With the support of the Roncalli International Foundation, hope is reborn in Djottin. And in the constant murmur of water gushing from the mountains, we hear the promise of a better future for all.


 

 

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