For women and children in five rural communities, the 4 am water trek is over. New water wells now provide clean local water to the African communities of Chiana-Katiu-Wurunia, Chiana-Saboro, Kahelo Navem, Sirigu Bugsongo, and Kuliyaa. The wells, funded by donations made to the ASEA Advancing Life Foundation, were each installed through a specialized boring process by Engage Now Africa.
The challenge of clean local water
The region’s water table fluctuates throughout the year and is often extremely low during the dry season. This means many of the old hand-dug wells here don’t reach the water. Those that do can be more than 50 feet deep. Even then, they are extremely dangerous to build and can cost the lives of many unskilled laborers. These wells are often left uncovered and easily become contaminated. Other attempts to obtain local water include dugouts and damming.
With success rates low for these local efforts, the majority of people have had to either make do with sharing polluted water sources with livestock or walk long distances. Lacking adequate storage containers, even this solution comes with major difficulty, draining the health, education, and economic wellbeing of countless families.
A specialized solution
Given the region’s unique challenges, installing a viable long-term solution required a thorough geotechnical investigation and environmental site assessment. This process included collecting soil samples, water samples, and rock cores. Samples collected help to assess levels of various chemical constituents or potential contaminants.
Thankfully, for the five new community sites, sighting, drilling, and borehole development were successful and water samples from all locations came back with positive results, certifying the water as safe for drinking. With the new state-of-the-art freshwater wells installed in the boreholes, the health and well-being of countless villagers will be much better.
Training the community for a brighter future
Training workshops are being organized and facilitated by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency to help members of these communities understand proper water sanitation and how to maintain the freshwater wells. After training, community teams are given a position and role to play in maintaining the quality of the water source. The various committees also have hands-on involvement in the installation process so they understand the various components of the borehole.
The work of improving lives continues
Globally, one in nine people still has no access to clean water. Without water, families have no ability to grow food, build housing, stay healthy, stay in school, or keep working to support everyone. Children often bear the burden of walking to find water in streams and ponds, full of water-borne diseases that can make them and their families sick.
Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys to be the family member in charge of fetching water, which means they’re less likely to attend school than their brothers. With proper and safe access to water, girls are also more likely to stay in school through their teenage years. Access to water leads to food security, with less crop loss, hunger reduction, and schools that are more able to feed their students with local-grown crops.
You can aid the cause of clean water when you donate to the Advancing Life® Foundation today. Make your donation a monthly pledge to become part of the Donor Alliance and see your impact go a long way! See here for details.