Cali – transformed

Cali is a small village with a total population of 408 people in rural Guinea-Bissau.

WellFound has been working here, in partnership with the local people, since June 2017.

Before starting work, the WellFound CEO and local Project Manager in Guinea Bissau undertook a needs assessment. They identified that the village lacked access to fresh clean water, had very poor sanitation facilities and no access to nutritious food. People had to rely on an open spring for drinking water, and this spring was shared by animals. Children were carrying water for long distances back to the village and as a result did not have time to attend school. The rate of water-related disease was alarming and many villagers were malnourished.

The original source of water for the community. They used this swamp for drinking and washing.


The swamp was about 30 minutes walk from the village.


WellFound’s approach is to plan for sustainability from the beginning.

The community was consulted and engaged to devise a plan of how the facilities were to be used and maintained long term. A Community Development Group and a Health Promotion Group, comprising all sections of the community, were set up. Regular financial contributions towards a Village Saving Scheme were agreed. With the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the community decided the location of the well and the market garden and agreed to build individual family latrines.

The plans, showing names of the different families and the position of latrines, were marked out in the sandy ground in the centre of the villlage.

The WellFound CEO made an evaluation visit in February 2018 and the village is completely transformed.

  • The villagers have access to fresh clean water provided through a pipe in the middle of the village rather than an open spring.
  • The community is now declared “Open Defecation Free” (a status given by the Government) where all members of the community now have their own latrines which they use.
  • A market garden is being run and a variety of vegetables are now harvested improving their nutritional intake.
  • Women have increased their income through selling vegetables at market and at the time of writing have earned a total of £340.
  • A “Village Saving Scheme” is in place with regular savings to address any maintenance issues with the facilities. At this stage the community has £52 in their account.
  • Six young women are trained in health and hygiene.
  • A small school has been built by the community, encouraged by our health promotion worker, to teach children basic health and hygiene and also basic literacy and numeracy.



For the first time we have installed a solar powered system which feeds an overhead storage tank leading to taps in the village and the market garden.


The water flow is excellent

Every family now has a private toilet

All this through the transforming power of clean water…

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