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 $500
W.A.T.E.R! Build a Well for $500
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, otherwise the costs would double. 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!
Due to an ongoing drought of several years, the water depths have plummeted. With an average cost of $120 per well deepening, up to $180 for the elderly who have nothing to contribute, we are working to upgrade all existing wells so they have water! Additionally, 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!

Please read about how Covid-19 makes water availability an even more urgent issue!

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!

If you don't have a toilet, you can use the bush.  If a family doesn't have a 'good' well they have a hole in the ground to retrieve water to drink, wash and irrigate.

As of 2020 we have built 136 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.  Village residents prefer our wells to building what are called "bore holes" which drill the well with large equipment, and insert a pipe into the ground.  The pipes always have greasy residue which not only tastes poorly but also makes laundering a much larger and somewhat impossible task.
    • 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), but often many days have cloud cover preventing adequate purification. It has been a highly successful program for us to use as a transition to being able to build wells for everyone.
    • 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 is contrasted to the water depth availability that a hand dug well can provide.
    • 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.

As of 2010, we had built over 50 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. Our goal is to send you a picture of the well your money has built. Your name is painted on their well and every day when they draw their water, they are reminded that someone in America cares!