We have learned each community we serve is different. From basic geology, to climate and culture, many factors determine the most sustainable project type to provide access to clean and safe water.
The Water Project has experience helping communities drill boreholes, dig wells, construct small sub-surface dams, catch rain, protect fresh-water springs, filter surface water, and maintain proper sanitation and hygiene practices.
Technologies vary and so do costs. Prices vary from one village to another due to geology, local climate and the technology used. Catching rain or repairing a pump might be less expensive and just as valuable as digging a well.
The Water Project is committed to funding the most appropriate, efficient and sustainable solutions available for each community we serve.
We've seen low-cost water projects often ignore the most important aspects of community-building and long term impact. We ensure our partners are holistic in approach and accountable over time. Your gifts enable robust community mobilization, careful project construction and rigorous long-term follow up and evaluation.
For each project you support, you'll receive an in-depth project report detailing the technology used, the location of the effort, the number of people it serves, and photographs of the process and completed water project.
If your project's total expenses are less than your gift, we'll show you any additional project(s) you've supported as well! For larger gifts, there may instances in which you'll be the sole sponsor on multiple projects.
When students are freed from gathering water, they return to class. With proper and safe latrines, girls stay in school through their teenage years.
Safe water, clean hands, healthy bodies. Time lost to sickness is reduced and people can get back to the work of lifting themselves out of poverty.
Access to water leads to food security. With less crop loss, hunger is reduced. Schools can feed students with gardens, reducing costs.
Access to water can break the cycle of poverty. The communities we serve are ready to grow. We can't wait to see how they choose to do it.
We work hard to make sure that a community's needs are always considered first. Our partners in the field help ensure that happens and we work with them to make the best possible decisions.
We've heard too many stories of a "default" technology, like a well, being installed because of a donor's preference, only to see that same project rejected or abandoned by a community who were never involved in the process. We're here to lend a hand, not lead the way.
We hope you'll join us in working to put others' needs first.
The process of sponsoring a water project in Africa is simple.
We work very hard to keep our implementers busy, and try to ensure they always have a back-log of work. That simply means that your project will be constructed about 8-12 months after your donation.
We won't send your donation to the field until just before it's ready to begin construction - keeping everything safe, secure...and accountable.
A water project costs more than just the hardware.
To ensure each project is done right and lasts for many years, there are three essential phases to every project including:
The majority of your donation goes to our field implementers in the construction phase. They use it to pay for supplies, well pumps, concrete, drill bits, wear and tear on the rigs, fuel, and wages for the drill crews.
When you sponsor an entire project, you'll be an integral part of the effort from the very beginning to clean water flowing and throughout its lifetime! We'll show you how all along the way.
Currently, we're working to fund new wells, well rehabilitations, rain water catchments and spring protection schemes at schools, medical clinics, and churches and community centers in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Individual sites are each open to the public and can serve large groups of people.
Our teams and partners prepare each community for their new water water project. They ensure the community is committed to the project, and in most cases will require some form of investment of time and/or money on their part. This is a critical step to ensure that a water project is sustainable so that your investment has the longest possible effect.
We're committed to providing a reasonable estimate of usage. It doesn't help anyone to overstate the true impact of a water project.
Most of our recent projects actually serve around 500 people, which we consider the upper end of a reasonable limit for any hand-pumped well. Spring catchments serve around 200 or so.
Still, the number of people who use a water project will vary by location. If you've seen claims of wells serving thousands, ask questions. It's important to realize that simply because a community has a population of 1,000 people, it does not mean a single project can serve them all.
An overused well, for example, won't last very long.
Managing a water project over time is just as important as how many people it can serve. To make sure the projects we fund last as long as possible, we go back and check to find out what's working and what's not. We work hard to do the greatest good with your gifts.
Properly maintained, a pump can provide clean, safe drinking water for upwards of ten years or so before needing a complete overhaul or replacement. Properly maintained, other types of projects can last even longer.
Yes, of course! Our implementation teams are great at sending pictures and updates back to us as they work. We'll pass those on to you through our Project Updates - listing you and your team as the sponsors (you can choose to remain anonymous too).
You'll be able to track your specific project from its beginning, through construction and for many years to come.
Proving water projects and wells is hard work, but we believe it's essential to building trust through transparency.
We ask our drillers to send pictures of the actual drilling process when possible. In many cases we're provided with before and after photos.
In addition to pictures, we insist that every well be documented with Govt. drilling permits and GPS coordinates. We have folks on our team visit random wells, using these coordinates, to keep everyone honest.
Finally, we ask for itemized expense reports and copies of deposit/withdrawal forms from the banks to which we wire funds for projects. We trust our teams, but also try to remove any opportunity for others to question their integrity.
At this time, we are not able to ensure either safe travel or participation by volunteers at water projects in the field.
Well drilling is specialized work carried out by trained professionals and it is often quite dangerous. Our teams, made up of local drilling techs, don't have the ability to manage visits while they work.
The locations in which they work are often very remote and not frequented by foreigners.