1. Can you tell us a little bit about what life is like in CAR? Especially for those communities who don’t currently have direct access to fresh water?
Imagine a world where there is no clean drinking water. You walk miles each day, only to carry gallons of dirty water back to your family which, without a doubt, will make them sick. This is water poverty and the harsh reality of those living in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Located in the middle of Africa, CAR is a bit smaller than France and is ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. It lacks any type of water infrastructure that we take for granted each day.
2. How do you decide on which community gets the next Well?
There are several steps our team takes before deciding on a well location. We first have to consider how many people live in the area (we literally do a headcount), we use drone technology to map out the location, and of course, work closely with the government and community. You can’t simply roll in and start digging a well on someone’s property. It typically takes years of planning before the implementation begins.
3. Once you have a Well planned for the community, what are the next steps?
When the drill team arrives, it takes several days to get the pump installed. Next, a concrete team comes to pour the slab around the pump and teach the community about hygiene, etc. Just as you pay for your water, we believe communities need to have a responsibility for their water infrastructure. There is a well manager put in place that collects a small fee for clean water. This does not begin to cover the cost of the well or future maintenance but it at least creates a sense of ownership among community members.
The community is then placed into our maintenance team rotation, so their well will be visited a couple of times a year, ensuring clean water will continue to flow for years to come!
4. Why is a maintenance program important?
Although drilling is exciting, without a maintenance program in place, these wells will be inoperable within 18 months and the community will be right back where it started. Here at Water for Good, we hire over 75 Central Africans that drill and maintain their water well systems.
Each month, the maintenance men pile into a Toyota truck filled with tools, sleeping gear, and gasoline. They complete their circuit in about 20 days, checking in on the communities and fixing their wells.
5. Can you give us some examples of how a Well has changed the lives of a community?
Imagine actually not having clean water....clean water creates jobs, allows children to attend school, gives hours back to women, and helps men continue to work because they aren’t home ill. Not being plagued with typhoid, cholera, giardia, salmonella, etc. would change anyone’s life for the better.
6. If someone wants to support Water for Good what’s the best way for them to do this, apart from buying from Nourish!
Your generosity can make a huge difference in the lives of those in CAR. Just 3 pounds provides one person a year of clean drinking water. You can give confidently, knowing the water projects you invest in will still be running years from now. You can join the mission here and be sure to follow us on social media for impact stories!
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