Conakry — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is supporting Guinea's water board by drilling two industrial boreholes in the town of Pita. The first phase of this project, which will provide water for 30,000 people, includes a detailed geophysical survey.
"Residents of the town of Pita, located in the mountainous Fouta Djallon region, face a daily struggle to find water," said ICRC engineer Doudou Fofana. "The unfavourable geological conditions and the hard ground have led to major water shortages in recent years," he explained. Welcoming the project, local resident Mariama Bah added: "It will make a real difference for us all, especially for the women - we are the ones who fetch the water and spend hours waiting our turn at the well."
Over the past 20 years, the water-supply network has fallen into disrepair while the population explosion has driven up demand. This combination is exacerbating shortages.
The two new boreholes should reveal a hitherto untapped underground water supply, which will triple the national water board's production capacity. More than 30,000 people currently rely on Pita's water-supply network.
These two boreholes are just one example of the ICRC's water projects in Guinea. The ICRC has been working closely with the Guinean authorities since 2001 to improve people's access to clean water in urban and rural areas. In 2012 alone, 20 new wells have so far been drilled and 30 rural wells repaired.