For years Talodi hospital in South Kordofan state in Sudan had to purchase most of its daily water supply from donkey carts because it did not have the funds to upgrade its ageing water system.
“This carried with it a high risk of contamination,” according to the Health Department Manager in charge of Talodi locality, Mr Said Ahmed Alkheir. “Being a hospital, this posed an even higher risk for the patients. Mostly the hospital could not raise cash to purchase water and this resulted in severe water shortages and poor hygiene standards.”
A new system increases water supply
But thanks to funds from ECHO, GOAL upgraded the water system in this important referral hospital serving a catchment population of 32,400 (15,876 males; 16,524 females) people. And life for patients and staff has been transformed since.
Before the rehabilitation, the water supply from a hand dug well was intermittent and limited, way below what the hospital needed. And the storage capacity of the tank was also not enough, as it could only hold 5m3 of water. This meant the hospital incurred high bills for the purchase of water and even higher costs for fuel to operate the existing water system.
The upgrade of the water supply system by GOAL means Talodi hospital is now a safer place for patients and staff. There has been a 150% increase in pumped water supply to 25m3 daily, solving the water shortage issue and improving sanitation and hygiene in the referral hospital at the same time.
As well as upgrading the hand dug well to increase the water yield, a new elevated water tank with a total capacity of 25m3 was installed. In addition:
- A solar hybrid power system, including solar panels with support structure, a generator and a room to accommodate it, was installed.
- A submersible pump and delivery pipes, inventor, switch box and a protection fence for solar panels were installed.
- A 1,400 pipeline system was run from the new elevated tank to supply water to all buildings in the hospital including the maternity delivery room and the laboratory. The pipeline also services latrines and hand-washing facilities.
- 14 hand washing stations were constructed, with a proper drainage system, in the hospital yard.
To contribute to the sustainability of the rehabilitated water system, GOAL installed a solar pumping system, which will greatly reduce the running cost of the hospital and offset challenges from fuel shortages. In addition, GOAL trained technicians within the hospital on the operation and maintenance of the system, ensuring that the water point would continue to benefit the community members.
‘A step in the right direction’
According to Mr Said Ahmed Alkheir: “The system has resulted in good hygiene standards and has made handwashing at the hospital possible for all the medics and patients who visit for consultations. I would like to thank GOAL and ECHO for these works which have resulted in the hospital having continuous access to clean and safe water.”
The Hospital director, Mr. Ahmed Abdalla, also thanked GOAL and ECHO for supporting the new water system. “The rehabilitated water point has totally transformed this referral hospital. Being a medical facility with in-patient services, access to water is paramount for day-to-day activities. All our services need this precious commodity, including the maternity ward and the stabilization centre. And I really thank GOAL and its donors for all the support as we now have access to affordable water which is clean and safe for use.”
GOAL’s Area Coordinator, Jotham Ochieng, said: “There is a lot to be done in Talodi Hospital to enhance WASH services, including Infection Prevention Control measures. But this intervention is a big step in the right direction. And this requires an ongoing capacity building and joint supervision, particularly during this Covid-19 pandemic.”