Govi Water Tower Project

The Govi Water Tower project supported the building of a drip irrigation gardening system in the village of Govi in Benin, West Africa.  The project included a moto-pump, PCV piping, 100 meters of tubing, expiration hose, the large holding tank, and filters provided with funds from the Beninese organization IDID (http://www.ididong.org/).  Friends Foundation International funds paid for the purchase of metal piping and construction costs associated with creating the support of the tower as well as the transport of the material.

Through the early part of the year the supports were assembled and implanted in the ground and a channel was dug for placing piping that would bring water from the moto-pump (placed in a nearby river) to the water tower itself.  In late March, the system became functional and water began being pumped up from the river and into the tower where it was held for the drip irrigation of the plot.  Currently okra, tomatoes, a few type of local green, hot pepper varieties, and a small amount of inter-cropped corn has been planted by four families of farmers who are using the land.

During the next dry season (starting December 2015) 11 more families from the village of Govi will begin to farm on the land as well.  To date over 200,000 cfa (around $400 USD) have been earned from the sale of local greens and okra.

Currently, gas is purchased by the four families at monthly meetings to power the moto-pump, which pumps the water up into the water tower.  The families are then free to use as much water as needed for the month.

A positive aspect of the project has been the involvement of the Beninese NGO IDID whose constant presence and visits to the site have assured that the construction and implantation have gone in a timely matter and that the water tower is being fully utilized.  This project seems to be one of 5 pilot projects for the country that IDID is attempting and their commitment to it has greatly helped the project.

Additionally, the produce from the garden has, thus far, been sold within the arrondisement of Gobada (the rural administrative district in which Govi resides), which is more resource and produce deficient in comparison with nearby cities where the crops could be sold.  Reasons sited for this have been transport cost and a feeling of solidarity with other members of the arrondissement.

The river Zou, from which the irrigation water is pumped has not run dry in each of the last two dry seasons and it is safe to assume that there will be enough water to produce a significant amount of crops for the arrondissement thereby ameliorating much of the dry season food insecurity that the arrondissement currently faces.

1. Dedo_and_Pump 3. Metal_supports5. Souder_(welder)4. River2. Field_and_Dedo6. Supports_constructed

Benin Water Tower

From top left to right and to bottom: Dedo I. Ishmael, project partner and the water pump and tubing and other materials provided by the NGO IDID that started this project; the metal supports purchased by the Friends Foundation International; the metal shop where the welder put them together into the tower; river – water source for irrigation; field where the water tower was constructed; water tower supports; and, finally, the completed water tower! Many thanks to Jon Zelasko for these great photos and the report above.