Featured Projects

Water Charity is proud to have completed projects in 70 nations and has recently finished our 3,000th project! Here you can find a selection of our featured programs, noteworthy projects, disaster relief efforts and the like. If you would like to find specific projects, we encourage you to use our "Find-A-Project" page where you can sort through our work a number of ways. To see every project, article and conclusion page we have, go to our "Announcements" section.

Ango Compassionate Hearts Program - Congo (DRC & Central African Republic)

Kids going for water - Liberia

Ango Compassionate Hearts - Congo

Location: Ango, Bas Uele Province, Congo-DRCRefugees in Ango, Democratic Republic of Congo

Summary:
Water Charity is pleased to announce that we have begun a comprehensive project for the people on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo & the Central African Republic.  Most of these people are refugees from the ongoing crisis in the CAR, and the aid available in the DRC is minimal at best. 

This is an ambitious program involving a series of water filter manufacturing trainings, soapmaking instructions, and also includes medical components as well.  Eyeglasses, medical supplies and doctors will be brought to this beleaguered area in addition to the manufacture of on-site BioSand Filters.  100 youths and widows are being trained to make long-lasting BioSand water filters, distribute them, and give sanitation instruction. The net benefit of this effort cannot be overstated.  Not only will people be able to deal effectively with the poor water quality, waterborne illnesses and hygiene issues that are rife there, but the trainees will be learning valuable, teachable and commercial skill sets that will enable them to create income while helping others.

Water Charity has paid for all of the WASH elements of this effort.  All of the training supplies, molds, tools, soapmaking supplies, teaching, transportation, supplies and local expenses have already been funded by us.  The project is being done in partnership with a local group and our friends at Friendly Water For The World, under the direction of David Albert, and there are other donors covering the medical costs.  Together we will have a profound effect on the health and wellbeing in the Ango region.

Woman getting water in AngoPlease consider donating to this effort here.  As usual, Water Charity has funded this project out of pocket, and only presents it to you once it is already underway.  We ask people to "reimburse" us for funds we already spent, and adopt projects that are already underway or completed, because this allows us to be extremely agile and quick to deliver our aid.  We are not raising money for something we envision doing in the future, which can't start until X amount of dollars is raised.  We do projects immediately, and then show our donors what we are actually doing.  In this way, you can know that you are contributing to something that is actually happening... NOW. 

Problem Addressed:

Ango is in Bas Uele Province in north-central Congo-DRC, on the border with the Central African Republic. It is a “village”, but, with its surrounding population, has about 100,000 people, all living on subsistence (or sub-subsistence) agriculture. The area is very isolated. Road travel is extremely difficult, and the area is very cut off, as the war in northeast Congo (some 900 miles away) to the east makes supply provision extraordinarily difficult. The provincial capital – Kisangani – is more than 500 miles away (14 hours at under ideal conditions) by road.

There are several schools (some of them currently occupied by refugees). There once was a health clinic, now abandoned, and few or no medical supplies. There are very high rates of child mortality and morbidity, mostly from waterborne illnesses, as well as malaria. Typhoid is epidemic.  Water and sanitation conditions are horrific. There is one well, set up by Ango Compassionate Hearts.  Housing consists mostly of grass and thatch huts. There are churches (both Catholic and Protestant), and a mosque. There is no reliable data from the area.
Refugee Housing
The ongoing war in the Central African Republic – ostensibly a religious one, including the Lord’s Resistance Army and Muslim insurgents, but really just a struggle for power – and a lack of stability – has sent thousands of refugees, both Christian and Muslim, into the province, in areas around Ango. There is no NGO or United Nations or government presence to deal with them.  They are mostly welcomed by the local inhabitants, provided with space to build a hut, and food is shared as people are able.
 

Project Description:

This is the first of what is likely to be series of visits. Note that the initial services are not aimed at refugees, but at the permanent residents of Ango. Refugee services may be in our future planning. However, it is a good assumption that the refugees will not be returning home anytime soon, and will be there into the long-term future.

There will be four major elements:

Current Water Source1. Training two groups to build BioSand Filters. One group will be an already existing youth group. The other will be widows nominated by several churches. The lead organizer Neema Paininye (see below) is working to make sure we have teams ready to be trained. We have allocated enough funds so that each trainee (100 total) will be able to get a Filter for their own family at cost.

2. Training one group in soapmaking. Our team will be trained in soapmaking by Richard Kyambadde, Friendly Water Country Representative in Uganda, and then take the knowledge to Ango. We already have one group in Uganda that has become self-sufficient through soapmaking. (There is virtually no soap to be had in Congo.

3. An environmental health assessment. Led by Holly Myers (below) we will try to assess where "the low-hanging fruit is”. Where would be the most cost-effective future interventions? Is it better food storage? Water? Mosquitos? Waste disposal? Toilets? Rainwater catchment? Where would an NGO (not necessarily us) get the most "bang for the buck"?

4. Medical care and medicine - Obviously, the needs are overwhelming. Besides helping to lead BioSand training, Dr. Riziki will provide medical services to at least some people. She will, with Neema, purchase needed medical supplies with MAP Medical Missions (with whom Neema has worked before). In the longer run (though we might start now), it would be great to begin to train a team of women in very, very basic nursing care (and how to administer the little in the way of supplies they have). This may be the start of a larger venture later.
 

Project Impact:

The project aims at beginning the process of ameliorating the conditions faced by the people of Ango and, eventually, refugees streaming into the area. The two BioSand workshops will bring a source of employment to widows and to youth, and provide for the first 100 BioSand Filters to ensure clean water in the community. More than 1,200 people will immediately have access to clean water; over the next 18 months, it should increase to at least 8,000. Soapmaking will provide additional employment, and bring soap to a community that has virtually none. Immediate health care needs will be provided for. An abbreviated environmental health assessment should provide direction for the next steps for the community, and will increase the possibility that other NGOs might be convinced to step in. Contacts will be firmed up with what little local administration there is. Communications with the area will be streamlined.

Person Directing:
Neema with a widow in Ango

Neema Paininye, who was born in Ango but who lives in Tracy, California, returns to Ango at least twice a year. She visits with her family (her mother and sister are still there, both often sick with typhoid), brings medical supplies and other things of benefit to the community, and works with community leaders to try to better conditions there. On her most recent visit, she began working with refugees in a surrounding community as well.  With difficulty, she also arranged for the construction of a well. She has been in touch with Friendly Water for more than two years, and came to the August 2017 training, where she made many friends.

She writes:

Ango Compassionate Heart’s main goal is to end poverty in the region of Bas Uele, in north central Congo-DRC. Most of our work is done in the village of Ango. We are developing and implementing programs that address the basic human needs so that one day the people of Ango and their surroundings can take the lead within their own communities and develop it. Our program includes four categories:

  1. Water Sanitation
  2. Education
  3. Women’s Programs
  4. Healthcare

Clinic in Ango, CongoWe are a group of people driven by the desire to bring assistance to the people living in extreme poverty. Our hope is that more people will join us in this effort and partner with us in order to improve the lives of the poor in the Bas-Uele region and around the world. I started life in a tiny, remote Congolese village to very poor parents, yet, by the grace of God, I grew up to earn a degree in psychology at an American university, and returns to the Congo each year to minister to the people of my village.

In 2013, I was burdened for the people of the Congo, especially those in my village of Ango. The people of my village live hopeless, helpless lives, and wake up in the morning not knowing when they will have their next meal. I then decided to start Ango Compassionate Hearts Foundation, with the vision of bringing assistance to the people leaving in extreme poverty in Bas Uele region in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Holly Myers (who will be the second trainer) is Environmental Health Director of Yakima Health District, one of the largest health districts in Washington State. She met up with Friendly Water at the annual Washington State Environmental Health Association (WSEHA) Conference three years ago, and had wanted to come to the training since. She brings a wealth of knowledge and 20 years of experience on all aspects of environmental health (though she hasn’t traveled abroad previously), and an encyclopedia of people who can help! She can do an environmental health survey of the entire community. On her return, she can also bring Friendly Water to a larger stage, with environmental health people across the country.  We have already scheduled a presentation at WSEHA (being held in Olympia in May).

Dr. Riziki Mupelevendu is a general practitioner who deals primarily with children. She has trained many groups in Congo-DRC in BioSand Filter fabrication and use, including one in Butembo where Filter sales support her health clinic. She has dealt with all waterborne illnesses endemic to Congo-DRC.

Kids fetching water at the refugee camp

Monitoring:

Each group will have a trained monitor, who will go into homes to ensure BioSand Filters are installed properly and are being used correctly. Reports from each group will be due in 90 days, at which time business plans will be adjusted as necessary. An epidemiological questionnaire (before and after), translated into Lingala (the local language) will be administered to all those being trained, and all those who receive BioSand Filters.

Although the funds for this project have been contributed by an anonymous donor, your donation using this Donate button will ensure that we have fund available for our next project in these countries.

Clean Water For Schools Initiative - Fiji

Clean Water For Schools Initiative - Fiji

Clean Water For Schools In Fiji

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This initiative has been completed!  Read about the #Conclusion & watch the video by clicking the link, or scroll down.

LOCATIONTeacher Fiji
The Ba Subdivision is located in the Ba District of the Western Division of Fiji.

COMMUNITY
Much of the Ba District is rural. There are over 56,000 people in the District.  Being a rural district in Fiji, much of the work in the area consists of sugar cane, and most working members of the families will be found working in the sugar cane industry.

Within the Ba Subdivision there are 9 secondary schools with approximately 22 staff/faculty and 20 classrooms. These schools serve over 3,600 students and 198 faculty on a daily basis.

PROBLEM STATEMENT
In any given month approximately 1,200 secondary students miss school because they are sick from dirty water. As these children fall behind, their education is further and further delayed.

PROPOSED SOLUTION
In order to help reduce the impact of sickness from water-borne illness, each classroom receives two 20-liter buckets (one for dirty water and one for clean water) and a Sawyer PointONE™ Water Filter. Along with each classroom receiving a system we send a system home with each staff/faculty. We have found that this increases the use and maintenance of the systems in the classrooms as well as helps keep the staff/faculty healthy and missing fewer days of work.

At each school our Fiji team will host a training time for the staff/faculty to show them how to use and maintain the system. The training takes approximately 30 minutes and consists of hands on learning and demonstrating proficiency. At the end of the training all of the systems will be assembled and ready for use.

PROJECT IMPACT
378 clean water systems

Approximately 7,000 people will directly benefit from this project if you count all the children, teachers, workers and guests to the schools.  

Primary School in Fiji
COMMENTS
This project is part of Water Charity's worldwide Filters For Life Initiative, which involves giving people access to the life-saving Sawyer Hollow Membrane Filters.  In this particular project, WC has partnered with a local Fiji oriented NGO called Give Clean Water (givecleanwater.org) to help achieve the distribution.  It is the intention to provide water systems to each school and household that does not have access to treated water in the entire district.  


Classroom in Fiji Primary School

SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF CLEAN WATER INITIATIVE

As it turned out, the original secondary schools targeted for filters were placed on a government water source, and while it is possible they may still need filters, it was not prudent to move forward with those schools at the time.  Meanwhile, the primary schools in the area were in desperate need, so we shifted the project to serve those schools and their teachers.  Waterborne illness is even harder on younger children, so this was not a downgrade in the project and didn't cause any delay or waste...Map if anything, it only made the initiative stronger by focusing on children for whom poor water quality was an even greater concern, and whose water quality was even lower to begin with.

1.Nalotaw District School - Water Source:Catchment

2.Naloto District School - Water Source: Catchment

3.Balevuto Public School - Water Source: Bore Hole & Catchment

4.Nakoroboya Primary School - Water Source: Catchment

5.Qerelevu Hindu School - Water Source: Bore Hole & Catchment

6.Navala Catholic - Water Source: Catchment

The Ba District receives some of the highest annual rainfall amounts in all of Fiji.  Over 230 inches of rain can fall in some areas.  Due to the heavy rains, many of the villages and settlements in the Ba use some form of catchment whether that be from rain gutters, or local streams and rivers being dammed.

Each of these schools use catchment, while Qerelevu Hindu School and Balevuto Public School also have access to a bore hole for their water source.

By installing clean water systems in these schools, the school children can now drink bacteria-free water. In addition to the children, all of the teachers and 6 school directors not only have clean drinking water at school, but were provided with filters for their use at home or in their quarters!  Furthermore, we were able to give out filters for more than 150 households with the most serious issues (i.e. children frequently missing school due to illness etc.).

By providing the clean water systems, children will be able to attend school on a regular basis as well as the teachers and directors.

It is our hope to finish the rest of the schools in the Ba District in 2018. In order to reach this goal we will be searching for financial partners to donate to this effort.  Thanks again to the Paul Bechtner Foundation for providing the funds for this effort.

Please click the Donate button below to allow us to continue this great work.

small classAnother Small Class with Sawyer Filter
Learning about the filtersTeacher in Fiji class
 

Grand Cape Mount Well Repair & Filters Program - Liberia

Grand Cape Mount Well Repair & Filters Program - Liberia

NPCA and WC logos

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Grand Cape Mount District Well Repair & Filters - Liberia 

Location: Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia

Counties in Matching ChallengeFollowing on the heels of our successful adoption of Liberia's Rivercess District (click here to see that program), in which Water Charity repaired all of the broken wells there, we decided to come in and do the same for the Grand Cape Mount district.  In addition, this county was part of a County Matching Challenge whereby if we could get the entire county done... funds were allocated to handle the neighboring district of Gbarpolu.  This means that by doing the last piece of the work needed in Grand Cape Mount, we were instrumental in making sure that Gbarpolu would be fully funded to be done next!  This is huge.  Water Charity, in concert with our partners, specifically our friends The Last Well who are coordinating and monitoring the nationwide effort that syncs all of our various nonprofits together, is on track to have Liberia be the first country to have its water issues dealt with border-to-border by 2020.  Exciting stuff!
 
Problem Addressed:
 
In 2008, it was estimated that 100 people die every day from water-borne illness in Liberia, West Africa – half of those being children. Since then, Water Charity has joined with The Last Well and dozen other water Water and BoyNGO's to tackle the entire nation by the end of 2020. As a part of this mission, the county of Grand Cape Mount in Northwestern Liberia is schedule to be completed by the end of 2018.  
 
Project Description:
 
This program involves well rehabs and filter installations throughout the county of Grand Cape Mount.  We are fixing the last 23 wells in the entire district that are non-functional.  The program involves monitoring, maintenance, education and community involvement so that these wells will remain functional, and be sustainable for the future.  Involving the community in the upkeep of their own wells is a key component, empowering them to maintain it and keep it going without feeling dependent on foreign aid workers, NGOs or government agencies.  Preventing people from consuming water from unimproved sources is essential to improving health, as standing water and pools used for washing are dangerously contaminated.

A breakdown is as follows:
 
GRAND CAPE MOUNT COUNTY, LIBERIA

Project Activities
     23 major well rehabilitations
     10 filter systems
 
Project Impact
Number of Communities Benefited: 24
Number of Individual Beneficiaries: 13,860 directly (plus another 6,000 plus regular visitors)
​    * The number of beneficiaries and communities is effectively doubled due to a generous matching grant for the neighboring district.  See below.

 
Group with new well - LiberiaProcess/ How-it-works:
 
1. New Wells – for any community that is accessible by road with a minimum population of 350 individuals, and that does not currently have daily access to a clean water source, a new well with an Afridev hand pump is provided. More than one new well can be provided for larger communities working from a 600:1 (community members to well) working ratio.

2. Major Well Rehabilitations – for any community that meets the same criteria as mentioned for new wells, but its well is not currently functioning, teams will rehabilitate each well/hand-pump both for simple repairs and also major rehabilitations. 

3. Safe Water Systems / Filters – for any community that is unreachable by road, or that has a population under 350, teams will provide, install, and educate each family with a  Safe Water System to provide clean water for every family within the community. 
 
Stories from the Field:
 
• A Priceless Gift
 
"The safe water system is the one thing they no one will sell." This is what our partner told us in the field last week when we visited a remote village in Fuamah County that had received Safe Water Systems for every household in the community. 
 Current Water Source
The significance of this statement is hard to fully comprehend for many of us, but when you look at the reality of what daily life can look like in Liberia you can start to understand the perspective. Look at the water source that they had to use on the right and you will better grasp it.

When a family receives clean water for the first time through their very own Safe Water System they view it as a priceless possession unlike anything else they own. Often, in order to survive and provide daily needs for each other many gifts and other household items are sold to sustain life for a family. But the gift of clean water is something no one will sell because "Water is Life." 
                                                                                                                              
Our team was truly impacted when we heard this statement and are so thankful to be a part this mission that each of you have chosen to support. Thank you for generosity and encouragement as we press on to reach EVERY Liberian community with Clean Water.
 
• Thank you’s from Liberian families
 
"The safe drinking water provides good health and is taking away sickness from our body. Thank you people for your support!" - Mr. Baysah
 
“I am very happy to have this filter. We have not experienced sickness since the day we got it. Thank you people!" - Mille
 
Matching Grant = Additional Benefit:County 4 County - Liberia
 
A family out of the Washington DC area has agreed to fully-sponsor the county of Gbarpolu, Liberia, which borders Grand Cape Mount, if Water Charity & The Last Well are able to raise the funds needed to reach all of Grand Cape Mount.  When both counties are fully-sponsored, another 180,000+ Liberians will be reached with clean water. Through this matching grant challenge, every dollar that is given towards Grand Cape Mount is doubled and will help reach those living in Gbarpolu County as well. 
 
Organizations Involved:
Funding: Water Charity
Monitoring & Oversight: The Last Well
Water-provision: AG SoCal, COHDEP  

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.  If you like the work we are doing, Donate to Water Charity for use where needed.

Stats
Communities Map

Youth "Water Cadre" Training Program - Uganda

Richard showing water before & after filtration

Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association, together with Friendly Water, present YOUTH FOR WATER: Creating a Water Corps

Location:
Mityana, Uganda

Problem Addressed:
Children of Mityana, Uganda gathering and drinking water.Mityana District in west central Uganda has some 80,000 households and more than 350,000 people (54% aged between 0-17 years and 21.4% aged between 18-30). Two-thirds of them live in rural areas.  Unemployment is the norm, and among youth who are not in school, the unemployed are the clear majority.

Nearly 70% of these people, and far higher for rural residents, lack access to even ostensibly clean water.  Three-quarters of the population live more than five kilometers from any public health facility.

Waterborne illnesses are the norm. More than 8,300 people are receiving HIV-related services; likely more than double that are affected. Deaths from opportunistic infections related to contaminated water are common, even among those receiving anti-retroviral drugs.  Health systems are entirely overwhelmed.

Project Description:
Mityana Rotary President Richard Kyambadde is building a Center for Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in western Uganda. While the center isn’t finished yet, the people of Mityana District can’t wait for clean water!  To this end, this project will train 150 youths to make and distribute BioSand Water Filters.

With the assistance of the district water committee on which he serves, and his Rotary, Richard plans to train 10 groups (15 per group) of unemployed youth in fabrication, distribution, installation, and maintenance of BioSand Water Filters, as well as in teaching community sanitation and hygiene. There will be one group for each of the subdistricts in the region, with workshop space provided by local authorities.

Subdistricts of Mityana, Uganda
Busimbi, Butayunja, Ssekanyonyi, Bulera, Kikandwa, Malangala, Manyi, Kalangalo, Namungo, Manyi and Mityana TC


Each group will be equipped with a pair of Molds, tool kits and all the necessary start up material in kind and delivered to the construction site.  Each group is expected to be self-sufficient in the first three months, as demand for clean water is very high in an area where it is simply otherwise unavailable. The training will take place over a seven-month period.

Once this new “water cadre” is created, there will be additional trainings in fabrication of rainwater catchment/ferro-cement tank systems, MicroFlush toilets, spring- and well-head protection, interlocking bricks, and soapmaking. All of these activities will take place at the new Friendly Water Center. The idea is to create an ongoing “Water Corps,” with youth at least partially employed in ensuring clean water, community sanitation, and hygiene-related services to the entire District.

Training a group, Uganda
Project Impact:
The project aims at tackling the twin problems of lack of clean water and mass unemployment. A business plan for selling BioSand Filters has already been developed, and each of the ten subdistricts is providing workshop space for the project. Diagram of BSFThe objective is not only to ensure clean water and employment for some, but by working so intensively with youth, to change consciousness around water-related issues in the entire District.
 
Immediately:  150 youth will be trained in this skill, with 4 filters made in each group during the training (40 filters).  The filters will be used at the center and community places, and will help as many as 100 people each.
 
After 3 MonthsThis initial project will yield a total of 500 BioSand Water filters which will be installed in 500 homes, reaching approximately 2,100 people in a period of not more than 3 moths. 
 
Long term:    The first batch of the filters will be sold at 100,000 in Ugandan currency, with  customers paying  a down payment of 50,000 each, and the last installment in two months.   The proceeds from the BSF will be managed by the group`s treasurer. Collections will be used to purchase materials for the next production and payment of salaries.  The groups will be assisted to develop a self-reliant model through a period of 6 months.  This will form phase one of this project   Phase two will involve construction of affordable latrines using interlocking stabilized soil blocks.  Future phases will involve rainwater catchment, water storage tank construction, and training of other youths.
 
​While it is impossible to say how many people will be affected by this work, we estimate that something like 20,000 people will be touched in the first year.  (either by clean water, income or both)  Many households will be spared the indignities of both unclean water AND extreme poverty.  Once the Water Cadres and the Water Corps at large are established, it is quite possible that this first step might result in the entire district benefitting!


Person Directing:
A young man of 27, Richard Kyambadde has been Friendly Water for the World’s Uganda Country Representative since he was 20. He is President of his local Rotary Club, member of his District’s water committee, and is completing a degree in environmental management, all while working on the Friendly Water Center in Mityana. He has trained groups in India, Rwanda, and the Congo-DRC, and has traveled as far as South Korea while doing this work. He wants it to be known he is HIV-positive, and is international chair of Friendly Water’s Building New Lives Campaign, which works to transform people with HIV into the water protectors of their communities, with projects currently in five countries.

Monitoring:
Each group will have a trained monitor, who will go into homes to ensure BioSand Filters are installed properly and are being used correctly. Reports from each group will be done in 90 days, at which time business plans will be adjusted as necessary. There will be “before” and “after” health surveys.
Children Drinking Unclean Water - Mityana, Uganda

BUDGET for Youth "Water Cadre" Training Program - Uganda

Item Definition

Qty

Price/Unit  (USD)

AMOUNT (USD)

Provided by Rotary Mityana

Provided by the trainees

Provided by Water Charity

 

 

BSF construction

Steel Molds

20

 500

10,000

 

0

10,000

 

Tool kits

10

470

4700

 

0

4700

 

Startup material (send, cement, gravel, tubing, Crisco, metal sheet, sieves)

10

250

2500

 

2500

 

0

 

 

0

 

Transportation of materials to the training site if applicable

 

 

50

 

0

50

 

 

Educational Costs

BSF training Manual

 

150

 

10

1500

 

0

1500

 

Training materials (sand, cement and gravels)

02

500

500

 

 

500

 

Certificates

150

2

300

 

0

300

 

Note books and pens

150

0.5

75

 

75

0

 

 

Trainers costs

Trainers honorarium

2

200

2000

 

 

0

2000

 

 

Trainees costs

Meals for Trainees

5x150x3

44

3

2250

 

2250

0

 

Transport of trainees

150

44

10

1500

 

1500

0

 

 

Evaluation and follow up

Follow up visit

6 Months

 

200

 

1200

 

 

1200

 

Transport

 

 

250

 

 

 

 

This project has been implemented through the generosity of an anonymous Water Charity donor.  Your contribution using the Donate button below will allow us to continue to expand this amazing project.


Friendly Water Training Uganda
 

Oaxaca Earthquake Relief & Water Filter Project - Mexico

Oaxaca Earthquake Relief & Water Filter Project - Mexico

This project is made possible by the partnership of Water Charity & the National Peace Corps Association

A massive earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Mexico in September of 2017 caused widespread damage, and many people were killed in this region.  There was a lot of press and a good deal of aid directed to Mexico City, rightly so, but many people failed to realize that people closer to the epicenter were being ignored by and large.  Due to the work of volunteer Denise Lechner, Water Charity has been able to put together this project to help the still struggling people of South-Eastern Oaxaca. She is to be aided in this effort by our Project Base friends Nate and Sam, who have raised some of the money for this project already.

LOCATION
San Mateo del Mar is located on a sandy ridge between the Pacific Ocean and the “Laguna Superior” (Superior Lagoon) in the area of Oaxaca State known as the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  This is the southernmost are of the state, bordering with Chiapas.
Google Earth of the Oaxaca Region
Zoom in on San Mateo del Mar

COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION
San Mateo del Mar is considered the second most marginalized municipality in Oaxaca State and the 12th nationwide. It is home to the people from the Ikoots ethnic group, commonly known as Huaves. There are 14,252 people in the municipality and their main economic activity is small scale fishery.
Woman of San Mateo del MarFishermen of San Mateo del Mar
Community of San MateoThe Laguna

PROBLEM ADDRESSED
On September 7th 2017, an 8.2 earthquake in the Richter scale hit the States of Oaxaca and Chiapas. According to the National Seismological System the most affected area was the Tehuantepec Isthmus located in Oaxaca, bordering Chiapas, both considered the most seismic of the country. [1] 12 days later, another big earthquake hit the center of the country affecting this area as well.

According to the first statistics, there were at least 110,000 properties affected in Oaxaca and Chiapas, without considering the damage produced by the second earthquake. [2]

In San Mateo del Mar, due to its location on a sandy ridge, the earth went through a liquefaction process during the earthquake damaging a total of 1887 homes affecting approximately 9000 people (about 60% of the population).
Earthquake Destruction Oaxaca
Beside the overall infrastructure destruction, one of the main concerns in San Mateo del Mar is related to water issues. The lack of services such as piped water and drainage systems, has people depending on water wells to obtain their water, and use septic tanks for sewage. With the earth movement, many septic tanks broke and contaminated the water wells and the lagoon.

The immediate solution from the government was installing big drinkable water tanks in different areas of the main town, but someone from CONAGUA (the government department that deals with water issues) has told us that the government doesn’t have the capacity to solve the problem in the long run, and that the ideal would be to help with filtering systems since it is most likely that the groundwater aquifers are polluted.
Earthquake Destruction San Mateo Del Mar
Three months after the earthquake there is still no permanent solution, just a few temporary bathrooms have been installed, and there’s started to be shortages in the water tanks. Many people are still defecating outdoors.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
250 Sawyer Point One Bucket Filters are being delivered to San Mateo Del Mar.  They will be distributed by Denise, along with her colleagues.  There will be trainings to teach people how to properly use these filters and maintain them.  With occasional backflushing, they last for 10 years or more and are guaranteed up to 1,000,000 gallons.

These 250 filters are to be distributed in the three main communities of the area: The "Third Section" or "Head Town" of San Mateo del Mar (Section most affected by the earthquake in the main town), San Pablo and Colonia Juarez.
San Mateo Del Mar DwellingWoman in Water
This effort will be completed by mid-January, and will be aided by the arrival of Sam Hardy and Nate Jones, our wingsuit flying daredevil friends from Project Base.  Water Charity has been building a partnership with them for a couple years now, and the fact that they were flying nearby in Mexico and are friends with Denise created a perfect situation for them to come and lend a hand.  We expect they will gather some of their famously stellar footage, so check back!
San Mateo Home
Since September 11th, Cultural Anthropologist Denise Lechner and Pediatrician Anja Widmann have been in San Mateo del Mar to do relief work. Since then, they’ve been working in the three main communities affected: The Head town of San Mateo del Mar and the neighborhoods of San Pablo and Colonia Juarez.

Denise and her team, have continued to help with temporary shelters, workshops to make cots and distribution of staples and other necessities.

There have been a small number of filtration systems received in the area, that were installed in households, but the filters WC is donating will make a big difference, as the vast majority of people are still dealing with unimproved water sources.

We’ve managed to have a permanent team in San Mateo helping us with the distribution and the follow up of our projects while we are not in the community.  The way the workshops are designed, it allows the people who received the training, to teach others on the same subjects, reaching a much larger amount of people. We’ve been working mainly with schools, and with organized groups in the small sections or neighborhoods.

PROJECT IMPACT
While the initial filters would be installed in schools that need them, and health centers, we’ve noticed that the people suffering most with the water problems live far away from these places... so we are organizing three or four neighboring families to receive each filter. This way we would be impacting a total of at least 2250 to 2,500 people since families are large.

VOLUNTEER DIRECTING PROJECT
​Denise Lechner

MONITORING AND MAINTENANCE
The filters are to be installed in the first couple of weeks of January, and we will do a couple of workshops in two or three communities for people to learn how to use and care for them.  The women of the community already hold regular meetings and are working with our team, so this will be a relatively easy task.  The filters themselves require very little maintenance.  Occasional backflushing with the included backflush syringe to remove sediment build up is all that is required.  Otherwise the filters are quite robust and can last for 10+ years without issue.
Women of San Mateo del Mar

The initial workshops are connected to the distributions, and then our permanent team in the community will be going to check their use, and issues that may arise. Follow up pictures of these visits will follow.

COMMENTS
​This project is part of our Filters For Life Program, and relies on the Sawyer Hollow Membrane Water Filter technology.

This project has been funded by the Paul Bechtner Foundation.  Please contribute to our Filters for Life program using the Donate button below, and your donation will be used for our next water purification project.


Community Meeting San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico 
Working after the Earthquake to repair roofs etc.

Caribbean Clean Water Hurricane Relief Program

Path of Hurricane Maria, 2017

Caribbean Clean Water Hurricane Relief Program

Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION, working with SAMARITAN'S PURSE

 

Aftermath of Irma in St. Maarten
 

As most of you know, a series of destructive storms hit the Caribbean this year with a ferocity and intensity that was truly catastrophic.  The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a hyperactive, deadly, and extremely destructive season, featuring 17 named storms!  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria did the majority of the damage, though, setting records and leaving a wake of devastation in their wakes.

Hurricane Maria was regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica and Puerto Rico, and caused catastrophic damage and triggered a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto RicoEye of the Hurricane (Maria).  In Maria's wake, Dominica's population suffered from an island-wide water shortage due to uprooted pipes, nearly every roof on the island was damaged, and 100% of the banana and tuber plantations were lost.  In Puerto Rico, the hurricane completely destroyed the island's power grid, leaving all 3.4 million residents without electricity, and an outbreak of leptospirosis materialized in the weeks following the hurricane, as standing water remained and became contaminated with animal urine and feces.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which was also a Category 5, development on the islands of Barbuda and St. Maarten (also St. Martin) was described as being "95% destroyed" by respective political leaders, with 1,400 people feared homeless in Barbuda. In many areas, every building was damaged or destroyed, including the shelters!  The winds at Irma's peak were in excess of 185 mph, the strongest to hit the area on record.

Water Charity has done a lot of disaster response over the years, and we believe very strongly that water filters save lives.  In the wake of a natural or man-made disaster, people are displaced and in the shelters and camps that spring up, waterborne illnesses can spread very quickly.  In many cases, deaths from cholera, typhoid, dysentery and the like can surpass that of the disaster itself by orders of magnitude.  Water Charity was helping in Haiti after their 2010 earthquake, when a cholera outbreak took hold that went on to affect nearly 700,000 people (more than 6% of the population)!  It is only recently coming out that the number of deaths from that event are probably at least 3x as great as what were reported at the time.

Caribbean Clean Water Hurricane Relief Program

The Solution

In order to help as quickly and efficiently as possible, Water Charity teamed up with our friends at Samaritan's Purse to deal with the water issues from the outset, and get filters where they were needed.  We are happy to say that these filters were among the first to be distributed and placed in the afflicted areas. 

There are 3 types of filters, 4 Islands covered, and 5 projects in our relief program, so far.  We are proud to say that more than 100,000 people are drinking clean water due to this program now, and we would like to expand it if we can raise more money.

Here, we will give an overview of all the various projects in the program.  Each of them will also have their own dedicated page on this site where you can go to see more detailed information, pictures and video from the work and so on.

SAWYER FILTER DISTRIBUTION (Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. Maarten)

​Those of you who know Water Charity will know about our longstanding and frequent use of the Sawyer "hollow Sawyer Distributions so farmembrane" water filter technology. See our Filters For Life Program for some examples.  Many of our distributions fall into other programs, but you will see that we were one of the earliest adopters of this method and product, and have helped Sawyer build out an entire international relief effort to match their commercial efforts.  This has caused an explosion of use around the world, a huge drop in price, and a lot of people having access to safe water who wouldn't otherwise.

Fast forward to 2017, prices for filters are now less than 1/4th of what they were when we started using them, and they were a deal back then. They have many advantages over the ceramic and carbon filters we used to use. They are light, small, last forever (guaranteed for a million gallons, and they go way beyond that), require almost no maintenance and are engineered so the carbon nanotubes do not let anything larger than .1 micron (or .02 for the extreme model) through. No living pathogen is smaller than .1 micron, so it is a brilliant solution.  See a testimonial from Kenya here.

Now, in many homes across Dominica, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten, Sawyer filters are providing hurricane-affected families with clean water. These personal filtration systems filter more than 150 gallons of water per day. In certain remote areas of Puerto Rico—where residents were trapped by blocked roads and had neither running water nor power—some people resorted to drinking from local streams. Using a helicopter, our disaster response staff airlifted thousands of Sawyer water filters and buckets to these remote communities. Once residents received the filters, they had ongoing access to clean water.

  • 5,500 Sawyer Filters installed in Puerto Rico (also see Community Filter Installation below)
  • 1,000 Sawyer Filters installed in Dominica
  • 88 Sawyer Filters installed in St. Maarten (also see Community Filter Installation below)

BarbudaBARBUDA COMMUNITY FILTER UNIT

Barbuda is a sparsely populated island in the nation of Antigua & Barbuda, that was hit rather hard by Irma. Much of the population of the island has simply left, but the people who stayed had very serious water needs.  The Parker Unit (desalination) was chosen to meet the needs there.  It is a workhorse, community-wide device that is designed to be in constant operation.

The Parker unit is installed at the Fisheries Complex. This location was chosen because it is secure, at the main arrival point for boats, and an ideal access point for the saltwater. The Parker unit produces about 500 gallons of clean water on an average day. The water is being used by everyone on the island, which currently is approximately 300 people.

*UPDATE* Last week (December 4-10), this unit filtered and produced 3,940 gallons of clean water which has been about average since Irma struck.


PUERTO RICO COMMUNITY FILTER UNIT

​In addition to the Sawyer Filters we have distributed, this program has also built a large Living Water Treatment System capable of providing clean water for thousands of people a day.  It has been installed and online since Puerto Rico LWS locationbetween Irma and Maria serving 800 households nearby as well as people from around the region.

The Living Water Treatment System was installed in Canovanas municipality, Campo Rico Barrio, which was devastated by both hurricanes Irma and Maria. Irma caused severe flooding in the flood-prone valley, followed by Maria’s winds that destroyed many homes in the exposed mountainous areas. The municipal government identified the population in Campo Rico as among the most vulnerable in the community. The exact location of the filtration system was determined according to proximity to a constant and sufficient water source, a secure location for the system to operate, and easy accessibility for the local population to come receive water. The system is installed at the base of a hillside with an estimated 800 households. The location is immediately adjacent to the main road passing through the southern half of the municipality, so there was constant heavy vehicle traffic that had access to collect treated water. The Water Charity & Samaritan’s Purse partnership was the first aid organization to arrive in Canovanas—even ahead of the government response.​

  • Over 58% of all residents in Campo Rico lived below the poverty line in 2016.
  • 72% of the head of households have less than a high school education.
  • Many immigrant families in the area are not eligible for FEMA funding.

St. Maarten filter locationsST. MAARTEN COMMUNITY FILTER UNIT

In addition to the small Sawyer filter distribution we did for St. Maarten (see above), we also installed a large community filtration system that was able to generate water for 2,500 people a day.  Reverse osmosis is a technique that allows for complete removal of all pathogens, and was a good choice for the specific conditions on Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin.

Samaritan’s Purse installed four community-size reverse osmosis treatment systems in St. Maarten: • Two at Pelican Key Pier • One at Simpson Bay Coast Guard base • One at Oyster Bay.  Water Charity was responsible for the one at Oyster Bay. These locations were selected in coordination with the municipal water authority on St. Maarten to supplement their water trucking capacity. Each of these locations were at the fringes of the damaged water distribution system, among larger populations without clean water, able to be secured, and had access to non-turbid sources of seawater. We estimate that our water system served a population of approximately 1,200 people during the critical period after Hurricane Irma, and before municipal potable water distribution could be restored on the island.

Puerto Rico Living Water System
Puerto Rico Living Water System​

This disaster response program has been a big deal, and we are committed to continue helping the people who suffered from Hurricanes... even after the events have faded from the media coverage.  We would like to expand our help, and are currently looking into ways to aid the hard-hit US Virgin Island St. Croix.  Updates will be posted here when available, and we will nest book pages for information on the 5 projects currently comprising this program.  

Please consider supporting this work.  Every donation counts.  With more money, we can help more people.  Having lost their homes, and livelihoods, the least we can do for them is to make sure the water they drink is not causing loss of life as well.

Initial funding to implement this program has been provided by the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

 


Helicopter deliver of bucket filters
Puerto Rico Helicopter Deliver of Sawyer Bucket Filters

Barbuda Parker Filter InstallationSt. Maarten Reverse Osmosis System
Barbuda Parker Filter Installation​                                               St. Maarten Reverse Osmosis System               

 

Rivercess Well Repair Program - Liberia

Rivercess Well Repair Program - Liberia

​Water Charity Joins Effort to Bring Clean Water to EVERY Person in Liberia By 2020!

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This is a truly ambitious goal.  

Historically, there has never been a developing country that has had access to clean water for every citizen. There has never been a country where water borne illness has been eradicated.  We’re here to change that.Hut in Rivercess

Water Charity has joined forces with our partners at The Last Well, to do what has never been done before.  Along with a large group of our fellow colleagues in the hydrophilanthropic world, we have coordinated our efforts in this country of 4.7 million people so that every village, every hut and every person in the country gets served by the collective effort.  Each of our organizations are focusing on specific aspects of the overall problem. 

The entire country has been scouted by teams on motorbike.  They went to every village, hamlet, and collection of huts, and conducted their own "census" with a focus on water and health.  Based on the information gathered, data that wasn't even known to the government itself for the most part, it was possible to break the task down into do-able parts.  Done in this way, in an extremely efficient manner, the endeavor has become not just a possibility, but a certainty. 

This particular program within the broader initiative encompasses 27 well repairs to rehabilitate boreholes and handpumps that have been unusable due to wear and neglect.  It is just one of many avenues of aid by which the lofty goal for Liberia is being carried out.  The overall picture involves, not only well repairs, but new wells, filter distributions, and other efforts in tandem with the Liberian Ministry of Health!

As you can see in the map below, we have adopted the Rivercess County of Liberia and it's 8 districts of Beawor, Central Rivercess, Deodain, Fen River, Jo River, Norwein, Sam Gbalor, and Zarflahn.
Counties of Liberia & Groups Helping
​Rivercess has as its main economy rice and cassava plantations.  

Total Population: 115,000
Population Needing Access to Water: 66,348Liberia Child Last Well
Population to be served by projects: 66,348!
 

​Believe it or not, this effort is already well underway.  The December 2020 date is not "pie in the sky."  By the end of 2017, a large percentage of the country will have already been served.  Something like 1.5 million people!  

Naturally, different areas need different solutions, and what works in the city will not work in the bush.  Nevertheless, based on the historic census-style documenting of actual need... we know exactly what to do for every person in the country, regardless of how remote or inaccessible their location.

We are already underway doing our 27 well repairs in 6 of the 8 districts that comprise Rivercess County.  This is actually ALL of the wells that currently need repair!  When this is done, we will move on to another collection of projects for the area.

We are very excited about this program, as it is something new in this field, and one rarely sees that.  Traditional organizations, despite all the good they do, and have done, have not even attempted this kind of thing. Water Quality Liberia They wind up spending more than this entire effort will wind up costing, but never in an efficient and focused way because there have been certain obstacles in the past, and large organizations are not usually able to change gears quickly or embrace innovation.  The fact is, that no one, not even the Liberian government, actually knew how many people needed water!

The first thing that had to be done for this effort, was to go to every village and hut in the country and conduct a kind of water and health census.  This was painstakingly carried out by teams of dedicated guys on motorbikes, and this first-ever dataset has made this entire work possible.  Gratitude goes out to the vision and effort that went into that.  Exploring the remote regions of Liberia is no easy task.

Water Charity wants to particularly thank Todd Phillips, Ryan Tew, and their team of people at The Last Well for organizing the effort.  Todd, a pastor, decided to focus on Liberia, because he determined it to be the "hardest place," and, as we are all well aware, water to be the biggest issue.

LIBERIA
 Flag of Liberia

Over the years, this small, English speaking, West African nation has consistently ranked as the 2nd poorest nation on Earth.  It has often been known as the most corrupt as well, and was rated the most miserable place in the world according to the CIA World Fact Book’s Misery Index.

Enduring 14 years of brutal civil war truly decimated this country.  It was a haven for warlords, rogue generals, mercenary armies, conflict minerals and atrocities.  The conflict in Liberia, and across the border in Sierra Leone (another country with a similar story), gave rise to in "blood diamonds" and illegal timber imports. Liberian Coat of Arms

43.5% of Liberians were below the age of 15 in 2010​, and the average life expectancy is only 53.7 years.  During the conflict years, "child soldiers" were the norm, and more than 90% of the hospitals were destroyed.  Most of the indices by which one can rate the health of a nation had Liberia near the bottom.

Very sad for a nation founded as a hope and refuge for former slaves being repatriated back to Africa.  Many are surprised to learn that Liberia is actually Africa's first and oldest modern republic! 

The Republic of Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom in Africa.  The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847, but the U.S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until during the American Civil War on February 5, 1862. 

Somehow, Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa. Along with Ethiopia and The Dervish State (now Somalia), Liberia was one of only 3 countries not controlled by Europeans by the early 20th Century.

The main issue for Liberia, though, as it pertains to our work, is that when this project began very few people in the country had access to clean drinking water.  Many waterborne pathogens and diseases were widespread, and this took its tool generally on the children under 5. 

​27 Wells Currently Being Repaired and Rehabilitated

  • ​12 Wells in Central Rivercess
  • 2 Wells in DeodainKids want water
  • 4 Wells in Fen River
  • 2 Wells in Jo River
  • 3 Wells in Norwein
  • 4 Wells in Zarflahn

​Repairs are underway already.  At the time of this posting 2 repairs have already been completed!  Updates and conclusion reports will be posted below.

These are all fairly standard and straightforward well repairs.  They are being done with community training and involvement, so that these wells will be maintained; the lack of maintenance being a big reason why many of these wells need repair now. 

With these Afridev & India Mk II handpump type wells, repairs and upkeep are inevitable, but if maintenance is done regularly, a simple bushing replacement doesn't have to turn into a borehole repair.  Parts for these setups are easy to come by, and knowledgeable technicians are widespread.  For these reasons, this "old school" technology is superior to any "cutting edge" invention you may have heard of.  Plus, it is at least an order of magnitude more economical.

In addition to the basic thriftiness of repairing these old wells, due to the economy of scale and efficient planning, we are able to actually bring these wells back online for far cheaper than what one normally spends on such repairs.  Naturally, the costs are a fraction of that needed to drill new wells... or even completely replace hand pumps. 

All of this combines to make this effort one of the most economical, high "bang-for-the-buck" aid efforts you are likely to see.  If you would like to adopt a well or a district... or help fund the next round of this work in Liberia, use the Donate button below.  Note your desire in your donation notes, or feel free to contact us directly. The more money we can raise for this, the more people we can help!

This is truly an exciting effort, and we are proud to be playing our part.  Hopefully, this type of model can be replicated all over and we can put an end to waterborne illnesses in every country. 

Water is life.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.  Future donations will be allocated to other projects in Liberia.


Drinking clean water, Liberiakids getting water, liberia
Liberia Rivercess ProgramGirls Carrying Water, Liberia

Bannakaroli Brothers - Kiteredde Water Project - Uganda

Bannakaroli Brothers - Kiteredde Water Project - Uganda

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Bannakaroli Brothers - Kiteredde Water Project - UgandaLocation
Bikira Catholic Parish, Masaka Diocese, Kasali Sub-County, Rakai District, Uganda

Community Description
The project will serve five communities, including three schools, one novitiate, and the Bannakaroli Brothers community. The schools are St. Joseph’s Secondary School (co-ed), Sacred Heart School (boys), and Kiteredde Vocational Institute (co-ed). Students in the three schools range in age from 12 to 20 years old.

Girls form the majority of the population in the two co-ed schools. More than half of the students are boarders at the schools, and the others walk to school from surrounding areas. Most of the students come from poor farm families. In addition to the students who live in the schools, the community is also made up of teaching and support staff, half of whom are women.

Problem Addressed
In recent years (2014 and onward) the Rakai district of Uganda has experienced adverse climate changes with reduced rainfall. This has negatively affected agricultural production and lowered the quality of life of the people.

Bannakaroli Brothers - Kiteredde Water Project - UgandaProject Description
This project is to implement an irrigation system to improve the productivity of two square kilometer area of farmland run by the Bannakaroli Brothers Institute to enable them to produce enough food to feed the students at the nearby schools, the people in the community, as well as their own group of teachers and workers.

The project will be implemented by the Brothers. They will contribute to the project a 25,000-liter water tank, connecting piping extending 2.5 km, and 250 cubic meters of construction material for the water dam. The purchase of the water pump and the electrical components will be financed by the Brothers of Charles Lwanga Foundation fundraising activities.

Water Charity funding will go to the remaining expenses, including the pump house, plumbing, electrical accessories, and labor.

Project Impact
2,500 people will benefit from the project, including students and staff of the schools (which are open to everybody), Brothers and employees, and the local farmers around Kiteredde. The breakdown is as follows:

Bannakaroli Brothers - Kiteredde Water Project - Uganda500 Kiteredde Vocational School--Staff and Students
650 St. Joseph Technical School--Staff and Students
700 Kiteredde Senior Secondary School--Staff and Students
50 St. Teresa Novitiate--Kiteredde---Staff and Novices
350 Bannakaroli Brothers Community--Brothers and Novices
250 Local Farmers and Family members

Project Adiministrator
James Salvatore, Returned Peace Corp Volunteer, Peru ‘66-‘68

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Brothers will monitor the condition of the improvements, and maintain and repair the piping, facilities, and equipment as necessary to maintain regular and full functionality.

Comments
This is a follow-up to the Bikira Catholic Parish Community Water Projects - Uganda previously completed. That project has increased the available water supply for the Brothers, the four schools in the area, and the rest of the community.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.  If you like this project, please donate to our East Africa Water and Sanitation Program, of which this project is a component. 

BioSand Filter Training Program - Liberia

BioSand Filter Training Program - Liberia

New Groups Being Trained in Liberia to Make Filters!

 

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION working with Friendly Water for the World.

Location: Paynesville, Liberia

Problem Addressed

Flag of LiberiaThe first and second Liberian Civil Wars took place from 1989 to 2003, and destroyed much of this very small country. A combination of tribal hostilities, personal power grabbing, and interference from neighboring countries left some 250,000 dead, and a million displaced, and most of the water and power infrastructure destroyed. The country has been faced with trying to rebuild trust and infrastructure at the same time. It hasn’t been easy.

WHO reports that only one out of every four Liberians gets water from an “improved water source” – this doesn’t mean that the water is safe, only that it comes out of a pipe. In the countryside, the percentage would be far lower than that. It is estimated that as many as one out of every five Liberians die of a condition related to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation. Many rural and urban areas are almost entirely without toilets. Cholera and other waterborne illnesses are common. 80% of the population lives in poverty; unemployment is extremely high, and the cause of continued unrest.

Between 2014-2016, there were almost 11,000 cases of Ebola reported, and close to 5,000 deaths. However, it should be noted that many cases went unreported. At the start of the outbreak, there were only 50 doctors in a population of 4.3 million. Liberia was declared “Ebola free” in early 2016.  However, even at the height of the Ebola epidemic, far, far more people were dying from waterborne illnesses. And while much foreign assistance was received, little of it has gone to improving water and sanitation conditions.

Today, there are over 4.7 million people in Liberia, and WASH continues to be the biggest issue.  There is hope, though... as Water Charity is part of a multi-NGO effort to bring clean water access to every person in Liberia by December 2020.  See our Rivercess Well Repair Program - Liberia for details.

Project Description

Getting water from turbid source, LiberaiFour groups will be trained in the fabrication, distribution, installation, and maintenance of BioSand Water Filters, and in the teaching of sanitation and hygiene.

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a training program designed to enable participants to respond to potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. First developed by Quakers and others working in U.S. prisons in the 1970s, it has since proliferated around the world. The first training was organized in Liberia in 2010, and it has spread. Many of the participants are students, and are also seeking employment opportunities, and are excited about BioSand Filter projects.

Camp for Peace Liberia (CFP-Liberia) was established in 2005 by a group of visionary youths with the goal to transform the lives of young people through community-based education and awareness in response to the manifest need for sustainable peace and development. CFP-Liberia was incorporated in 2010 as a non-profit organization with an overarching goal to contribute to the development, empowerment and self-sustainability of young people in Liberia. It focuses on the promotion of the culture of nonviolence, reconciliation, promotion of education, and creating awareness of accountable governance and social transformation. It creates opportunities for young people to be equipped to deal with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and to participate socially and economically in Liberia’s post-war development. CFP also provides micro-credit to enable youth to establish their own enterprises. To focus on its vision, mission and goal, CFP is supervised by a management team comprising of 75% young people including a vast number of volunteers who offer activities through a network of trainers.

AVP and CFP-Liberia will be trained as a single team.

RICCE – The Rural Integrated Center for Community Empowerment (RICCE) empowers rural communities to participate in decision-making in Liberia, with emphasis on issues that impact on their lives and threaten community peace and security. To do this, RICCE facilitates community based peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes, and works for the promotion of biodiversity and transparency in natural resource management. RICCE was established by development specialists, engineers, health professionals, grassroots activists and professors at the University of Liberia who were alarmed by the conditions of rural residents in 2005. At the time it was observed that the rural people were neglected when it came to political decision-making, economic opportunities, better schools, hospitals and basic protection of fundamental human rights. These conditions still exist today, contributing to conflict in Liberia. RICEE is also involved in advocating for women's rights, promoting female empowerment through programs that allow them to participate in leadership and decision-making processes.

Peaceful Lutheran Church in Paynesvile, on the outskirts of Monrovia, will be hosting the training, and will be sending a team to be trained, with a workshop to be set up there.

Woman with pail of water, LiberiaRescue Women Liberia is a non-governmental organization established in 2015 by group of gender activists. The organization is involved in promoting basic human rights of women including access to justice, sexual and reproductive health, combating gender-based violence, and promotion of clean water and sanitation. Currently they do not have funding, but have been involved with voluntary community service in health education in communities and schools, awareness on gender based violence in and around Montserrado County.

Project Impact

The project is likely to have considerable impact. Fifty people will be trained, and four ongoing workshops set up and equipped. Health and employment will immediately improve among the 50 families. Taken together, the four groups have substantial contacts with NGOs throughout Liberia, with demand for Filters likely to be high among their constituents. The four groups will also have considerable contact with small community-based organizations throughout the country.

There will be a significant reduction in waterborne illnesses, increased employment, and new small business opportunities generated. The four groups, taken together, should be able to create significant synergies in the development sector.

Immediate Beneficiaries:

-          50 Individuals trained
-          200 members of their families

Community Beneficiaries (in first two years):

-          Four groups build and distribute 500 BioSand Filters each in first two years = 2,000 Filters
-          Each Filter serves on average 10 people – 20,000 people served
-          50 Filters go schools and orphanages – 3,500 children served

Future Beneficiaries:Bio Sand Filter System

-          Programs expand and require more than two molds each
-          Large orders likely to be received from other NGOs working in Liberia

Impacts:

-          Waterborne illnesses curtailed
-          Health improved
-          Child morbidity and mortality reduced
-          Medical/pharmaceutical expenses curtailed
-          School attendance increases
-          Community productivity enhanced


Person Directing
The training will be directed by Friendly Water for the World Technical Advisor Wayne Medrud, with assistance from Alisa and Ken Malloch, both of whom has significant experience with missions in sub-Saharan Africa. Philip Quoqui, Director of AVP in Liberia, will serve as interim country coordinator.

Monitoring 

Each group will have a trained monitor to visit homes post-installation and keep records. A first report from each group will be due 90 days after they start operations. Following the reports, each group will meet to adjust their business plans as appropriate. The coordinator will keep track of the activities of the four groups.

Comments:

The joint training and operation of these four groups together create an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the long-suffering people of Liberia.

Liberia Training Budget Breakdown

Description Amount raised by Water Charity Quantity Cost per Item  Funders Budget Justification:
Liberia Project -  4 groups          
Steel Molds  $4,800.00 8 $600.00 Water Charity Each mold makes one filter/day.* Equip all four groups
Toolkits $1,900.00 4 $450.00 Water Charity Needed for Filter Fabrication*
Starter Materials $1,000.00 4 $250.00 Water Charity Sand,gravel,cement,tubing for first 20-25 Filters
Printing and Copying Materials $800.00 4 $200.00 Water Charity  
Travel for Trainers - Wayne $1,800.00 1 $1,800.00 Water Charity  
Honorarium - Wayne $400.00 1 $400.00 Water Charity **
Lunch/Tea for Trainees   50 $25.00 Local Community Lunch and Tea for five days**
Training Space   1 $200.00 Paynesville Church **
Trainers - Accommodation/Food $1,800.00 3 $600.00 Water Charity  
Internal Transportation $400.00 1 $400.00 Water Charity  
           
(Two trainers - Alisa and Ken Malloch - are paying their own transportation)        

*Molds and Toolkits are provided on long-term loan

**Local community contributions are required. 

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor. Please donate to Water Charity to allow us to expand our efforts in Liberia.

AVEC Water Filter Training - Democratic Republic of Congo

AVEC Water Filter Training - Democratic Republic of Congo

AVEC – Northeast Congo

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION working with Friendly Water for the World.

Location: Nzulo KAMURONZA, Northeast Congo

Problem Addressed:
There is currently a major cholera epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 20 of 26 provinces affected. There is no clear count of the number of cases, as only those who show up at health centers are counted, but it is likely that there are 100,000 cases, and perhaps close to 2,000 deaths.

Nowhere is the epidemic worse than in the hilly areas to the northeast of the city of Goma. Because of mining operations (many of them illicit), water from the few streams there are is virtually undrinkable. People make do gathering water from small ponds and even puddles, or from ground-level cisterns. Waterborne illnesses seriously weaken the population, constantly ravaged by war and civil strife.

Project Description:
Initiated in 2009 when the great humanitarian Zawadi Nikuze began aiding survivors of war-related rape, the Peace Center for Healing and Reconstruction of Community (CPGRBC) has been a leader in building a framework to respond to inter-ethnic violence and rebuild social links, and to Drawing Filters in Classassist communities in seeking solutions to their own problems in the Congo. All of this takes place in the context of continuing war and civil strife, and as backdrop, a new, massive outbreak of cholera.

Over the past eight years, CPGRBC has created and sustained 120 peace committees and 23 village savings and loan associations (AVECs) (banks are not trustworthy), built a management office in Goma, and trained four new groups in BioSand Filters/community sanitation and hygiene. The original group of rape survivors that Friendly Water for the World trained in Goma has played a major role in fighting the cholera epidemic there. CPGRBC has also recently acquired new space to build a headquarters and training center.

The plan is for CPGRBC to train and equip four new groups, each representing one of the AVECs. These groups already meet weekly, so they are organized to take up the challenge, and to market BioSand Filters to all of their members. They will also include community sanitation and hygiene as part of the peace/conflict resolution curricula. CPGRBC is experienced in monitoring and evaluation, and is an excellent, trustworthy partner.

Project Impact:
The project is likely to have substantial impact among the populations CPGRBC serves. Already existing CPGRBC BioSand Filter projects in the region have made massive differences in people’s lives, both in the provision of clean water and new employment opportunities. Other projects in chicken and goat production have been generated, and many people now have enough income to be able to afford to send their children to school. People with HIV are now able to fight off opportunistic infections.

What makes this project special is that those trained come from the CPGRBC savings and loan associations. Banks in the area are unstable and untrustworthy. By banding together, members of the associations have new access to credit, all within the context of their local community. Once the new teams are created, there will be ready market for BioSand Filters among their own members, and those in need will be able to access funds to purchase them. This may become a new model program, and could later expand to all 23 savings and loan associations.Bio Sand Filter

Immediate Beneficiaries:

-          60 Individuals trained
-          300 members of their families

Community Beneficiaries (in first two years):

-          Four groups build & distribute 600 BioSand Filters each in first 2 years = 2,400 Filters
-          Each Filter serves on average 10 people – 24,000 people served
-          60 Filters go schools and orphanages – 4,200 people served

Future Beneficiaries:

-          Program spreads to as many as 19 other AVEC groups
      

Impacts:

-          Waterborne illnesses curtailed
-          Health improved
-          Child morbidity and mortality reduced
-          Medical/pharmaceutical expenses curtailed
-          School attendance increases
-          Community productivity enhanced

Person Directing:
Aristote Bwaire has long experience working with CPGRBC since its inception, and in carrying out BioSand Filter training programs with CPGRBC throughout the region. He will work with Friendly Water for the World’s Medical Officer, Dr. Kambale Musubao and Congo-DRC Country Representative Eliphaz Bashilwango.

Monitoring:
Each group will have a monitor trained to go into homes and check on Filter installation and use. The groups will report 90 days after the workshops are set up, and business plans adjusted as appropriate. CPGRBC will be responsible for communicating results. Funds are included in the project for follow-up.

Trained with filters, Congo

Budget 

PROJECT COSTS
  Transport facilitators 2X5 days @ $15 ea = $150  
  Certificate 40 @ $2.5 ea = $100  
  Molds 8 @ $650 ea = $5200  
  Sand, gravel, cement 4 groups @ $250 ea = $1000  
  Tool kit 4 groups @ $450 ea = $1,800  
  Facilitation (2 people) @ $150 ea = $300  
  Printing modules 40 modules @ $7ea = $280            

LOCAL CONTRIBUTION (BENEFICIARIES)   
  Training Materials = $1OO
  Coffee break 40 persons @ $3 x 5 days = $600  
  Room rental 5 days @ $50/day = $250  
  Transport of participants 40x5 days @ $10 ea = $1,000  
Local Participation$2,950  

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor. Please donate to Water Charity to allow us to expand our efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

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