Upholding a promise of reliable water during a pandemic

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

A team member gathers functionality data at a protected spring.

At The Water Project, we spend a lot of our time ensuring that every water point provides safe water today. More than 1,500 water points are visited up to 4 times a year to ensure that they function properly. That information is made public for anyone to see.

If someone supported a well in Sierra Leone 5 years ago, they could look at its current functionality and data from past visits – right now. The Water Project has always taken pride in being one of the first to report the impact of each water point transparently through photos, project descriptions, stories, maps, and follow-up updates. We continue holding ourselves to ever-higher standards and values to ensure the promise of water keeps flowing for every community we serve.

We call this “The Water Promise.”

Our live impact tracker. Click to explore the map.

One of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic is the inability to travel to each of our water points. Organizational safety concerns and government restrictions make the task of monitoring more difficult. But it does not alter our commitment – our promise – to reliable water points.

Join us on the frontlines in every community we serve in the fight against COVID-19.

To continue to monitor each water point, we are turning to phones. We reached out to leaders with the water user committees associated with each water point to both get a phone number for a contact person and to provide a call-in number for people to report issues. In Western Kenya, we affixed plaques on each water point with a toll-free hotline people can call if there is ever an issue.

Plaque with toll-free number in Western Kenya.

Our teams recorded nearly 200 calls since the beginning of April. And now, this data is connected to each water point. More than 150 repairs took place during the same time – many are the result of information collected through calls. And some of the repairs were initiated by community members. They saw a problem and called our teams to come and fix it.

Our work is deemed essential by each of the governments in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Our teams support communities in each country with up-to-date information on COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread. We continue to refine and adapt our work to live up to our promise of safe, reliable water. The call-based system is one of the ways that we are doing just that.

Learn more about The Water Promise here and support TWP’s monitoring work here.

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