Cameroon clean water project springs to life

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A local couple have travelled to Africa to attend a ceremony marking the opening of a clean water supply for a rural community provided by kind-hearted St Andreans.

Hamish and Anne Tait have returned to Cameroon for the official opening of the Water Forage which has been arranged by St Andrews Kilrymont Rotary Club, in conjuction with local church congregations.

Anne, a member of the club, sent a report to be read out at their Tuesday evening meeting which revealed she and Hamish - a member of St Andrews Rotary Club - had twice visited the well at Mandoula School and seen it at work.

She told the members: ‘‘The school community and the villagers around it are delighted with it, and we have drunk from it ourselves and found the water clear, fresh and sweet.

‘‘A management committee has been set up to ensure that working parts are greased every three months and that the area around it is kept clean.

MAINTENANCE

‘‘The water from the well is only to be used for drinking, while clothes and bodies will still be washed in the river.

‘‘Parents of pupils are paying about 12 pence a month and village families about 25 pence a month for use of the well. The money collected will be saved for maintenance.’’

The couple, who spent two years in Cameroon with Voluntary Service Overseas, met Maroua Rotarians at Mandoula for the well’s official opening on Monday.

Anne added: ‘‘They are thrilled and proud to have been involved.

‘‘ My young former colleague, God-dam, and I bought books and school equipment with most of your £1000.

‘‘We got a 12 per cent reduction and some free books thrown in and the shop owner has now gone into early retirement on the profit he made! He was astonished to find that these documents are all going to bush schools and not to the expensive private ones in Maroua.’’

On Tuesday, the Taits purchased handballs and footballs before going back to Zidim to deliver them to the four schools there.

A spokesman for the Kilrymont club told the Citizen; ‘‘We are very grateful to people and Church of Scotland congregations in the town, and to our Rotary District, for their considerable support for the Rotary projects in Cameroon.’’