Czech enthusiasts launch clean water project in Guinea

Foto: Offizielle Facebook-Seite des Vereins OliMali

OliMali is a civic association of enthusiasts who help to improve living conditions in poverty-ridden parts of the world. Their latest project Kapka Života (Drop of Life) aims to bring clean water to people in Guinea, western Africa.

Photo: archive of OliMali
For millions of people in Africa the lack of clean drinking water leads to a cycle of sickness, lack of education and poverty. Women and children walk six to ten kilometers a day to bring home clean water for the family. Among the many civic associations in the world who are striving to change this and bring safe drinking water to communities, schools and hospitals is the Czech civic association OliMali.

Their latest project is to drill as many water wells as they can raise money for in Guinea, western Africa. The association plans to send a drilling team with the necessary technology to the chosen location and build water wells in the vicinity of schools, orphanages and medical posts. Patrik Kutaj, an experienced driller, who heads the team, says Oli Mali chose this particular location because it is easily accessible for the heavy technology required.

Patrik Kutaj,  photo: archive of Kapka života
“The heavy drilling technology presents a restriction. We cannot travel at more than 50 km per hour so the idea of unloading the technology and then travelling three thousand kilometers to a given destination is simply unrealistic.”

Patrik Kutaj, who drilled water wells in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010, is now on a fact finding mission in Guinea to ascertain the conditions in the field and map the possible location of future wells. The association closely cooperates with another NGO working in the field - Centrum dialog which is involved in helping to give children in Guinea a basic education. Martina Tůmová, who is in charge of the project’s financing, says that cooperation with Centrum Dialog is helping to shape their plans.

“We should first of all start building wells in the vicinity of schools in the capital city Conakry. We are cooperating with an organization called Centrum Dialog which has already been there for 15 years building schools. They have plenty of experience and are helping us with the legislative and administrative side of things. So we promised them the first wells would be near schools in the capital and after that we will move to the villages.”

Photo: archive of OliMali
The price of one water well, including the cost of travel, food and accommodation for the team would amount to 140 to 150 thousand crowns. Moreover OliMali wants to involve as many locals in the work as possible in order to help them acquire new experience. The association would also provide any necessary maintenance in the years to come. The money for the project is to be raised by crowdfunding, and sponsors gifts from individuals, organizations and companies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.