Mbohtong village is a small mission station of Shisong parish in the North-West region of Cameroon where “Well4Africa” has already implemented one water project. St. Anthony’s community of Mbohtong is a part of the Sacred Heart local OFS fraternity in Shisong. It is the second permanent residence of lay consecrated women’s group recognized by the local Church and assisted by the Capuchin Friars.
Mbohtong was a very small village until the Capuchin Friars founded St. Anthony of Padua Comprehensive College 10 years ago to meet the needs of less privileged children of that locality. Afterwards, the population of this area has gradually increased. The current socio-political crisis which has led to a difficult war in Cameroon has resulted in displacement of many people within and beyond the national territory. This has further aggravated the already difficult water situation in this part of the country. Recently, due to the war, many more people have left town areas seeking refuge in villages. Some of them have run away from daily shootings and many have lost their homes which have burned down during armed conflicts. This led to an increase in the population of Mbohtong from 50 to 400 people.
As the population of Mbohtong has drastically changed, the water supply which used to serve 50 people was no longer enough for several hundred. The villagers have found two good water sources, both of which had good water supply and the main issue was how to channel water from these two sources and provide tanks for people living down the hill.
Mbohtong water project consisted of two phases related with two water sources (the first one on the way to Shisong and the second one on the way to Mbuluf and Kingomen). Both working phases included excavation, building a channel and installing non-pressure pipes, building two collection chambers of 1 m3 each and two water tanks of 2 m3 each, installing two taps on each tank. Since two water sources have been identified on two major axes of the Mbohtong hill where the villagers are mostly settled, now water is piped down the cliff to the collection chambers, then flows down the hill to the stone water tanks where it can be accessed and used by people. Beneficiaries of the water project are not only the villagers of Mbohtong, but also people living in Kingomen and Mbuluf, two villages down the hill.
Mbohtong water project was a special one, because all the work was done by the local villagers themselves rather than a hired company. Capuchin Friars, who greatly assisted in technical implementation, say that the water project could have been implemented even within a shorter time limit, but the villagers, mostly being farmers, many a time had to take care of their farms.
Mbohtong water project’s maintenance remains under the supervision of the local OFS fraternity. The plan is to constitute a committee that will collect a symbolic contribution for the maintenance and repair of water supply such as replacing broken pipes, taps, etc.
The works were implemented by villagers of Mbohtong from February to July 2022. The amount donated to the project was EUR 7,260.