W.A.T.E.R!  …  Wells And Toilets Everyone’s Right!

Have you ever wondered how they build these wells?  What an incredible process!  Please see these short videos to get the picture.

W.A.T.E.R! Build a Well for $330
W.A.T.E.R! Build a Well for $330
Wells have a powerful impact on an extended family for generations. Imagine washing your dishes or laundering your clothes from a hole in the ground that is without a cover, allowing ground water to carry debris and pathogens into your well, let alone using that water to drink and cook. Clear clean water helps move a family to a new standard of prosperity in their health, and also their wealth, because irrigation becomes a reasonable task. Plus, a fresh kind of happiness is generated because of the gratitude they feel when they see your name on the lid. Each time they draw water from the well, knowing that someone unknown in a far-off place cares about them, their heart is renewed with hope. This may seem like an abstract benefit, but it is tangible and palpable. Due to the depth needed now to find water, it costs more in bricks, cement and time for the builder, and so the cost has increased over the last few years. Each family helps with digging, and we also now add whatever is needed to get to water. Many people can contribute to building one well, thus creating a team-built well by putting together smaller amounts. All names of the team will be on the top. Thank you so much for anything you can do!
W.A.T.E.R! - Well REPAIR
W.A.T.E.R! – Well REPAIR
Wells can crack due to earthquakes or other inclement weather. With little effort we can repair these wells and restore the family’s ability to have clear, clean and abundant water. Even if one has enough firewood to boil their water for consumption, having enough water radically impacts crop production. Getting a well back online is important. Any amount helps!

For the last several years, clean water for everyone has become our main priority. Although toilet, huts, and fuel-efficient stoves are all very important components influencing the health of villagers, clean water has the largest impact on all activities of all members of the family. One might wonder if a toilet wouldn’t be a bad idea, and yes, if there was more funding available, by all means!

With funding being directed to specific solutions, we have to ask what is the most important.  What if we were living in the bush?  If you don’t have a toilet, you can use the bush, right?  But, if a family doesn’t have a ‘good’ well, then they only have a hole in the ground to retrieve water to drink, wash and irrigate.  That hole is unprotected from the elements, ground water, air borne pathogens, etc.  So, we have opted to build as many wells as possible, and until more funding becomes available, people without toilets continue to use the bush as they have for thousands of years.

As of 2022 we have built 154 wells, and deepened 72 of those in 2020 due to the drought.

The Importance of Water in Daily Life

Think about all the ways good, clean and accessible water can change one’s life:

    • Drinking pure water affects our health. Pulling it up with a bucket is the least expensive approach to providing residents of the households with a consistent supply.  “Bore holes” are drilled with large equipment, inserting a pipe into the ground, giving the best option for the purist water, but they are quite expensive.  Bore holes can now be built without pipes that have a greasy residue, which not only tastes poorly but also makes laundering a much larger and somewhat impossible task. That has historically been the experience with most existing bore holes in the area. Village residents prefer our wells to how long they would have to wait to get a bore hole, primarily due to cost. We do gratefully continue to make headway with water availability!
    • Washing a wound with clean water is a far superior method of first aid.
    • Water that doesn’t require boiling to purify means that less wood is being used thereby reducing the impact on a depleting supply of fuel wood.
    • SODIS is a wonderful method of sterilizing water with sun (see www.sodis.ch). Even though some days have cloud cover preventing adequate purification, we still count on this to support cleaning the water. As we learned in our 2019 visit, the moringa seeds, native to the area, can be used to remove turbidity.  SODIS has been a highly successful program for us to transition until we create another sterilizing technique.
    • A ‘good’ well has a cover that prevents rain water from washing dirt, composting debris and other infectious bacteria into the well.
    • When a well is dug for the family it normally will be deep enough to provide irrigation water for the growing season. This water depth then greatly impacts the prosperity of the gardening, both potentially financially, and also nutritionally for the family. The entire community benefits! During our visits we most often need to visit the city to buy produce, which doesn’t make sense in an agrarian community, but its due to a lack of water, not know-how or hard work!
    • When women wash clothes with water from a hand dug well it will often be so high in particulate matter that the clothes can’t come clean. Often women are trying to wash clothes with out soap due to economic hardships, so using dirty water certainly adds further burden to the daily chores.
    • The same applies to washing dishes: the most sanitary approach includes using clean water, helping to reduce the spread of water borne disease.

While we have built 158 wells for residents, there are so many more to build.  Our 2010 survey indicates that 103 families in Nhimbe for Progress and Jangano had wells that had collapsed due to inclement weather. The survey also says that 7 out of 100 people had access to a well with pure water at home which means the remaining 93% of the people would use a hole in the ground.


Contributing to building a family a well has an enormous affect on many lives – the well lasts for generations and is used by the extended family which includes many relatives who may live at the home.

Please indicate above how many wells you would be able to build or otherwise contribute. We are able to combine donations of any amounts and create a team approach to build the family’s well.

Our goal is to send you a picture of the well your money has built. Your family name (or the team of family names) are painted on their well and every day when they draw their water, they are reminded that someone in America cares!