Flood Emergency Relief—Pakistan

Flood Emergency Relief—Pakistan

Flood Emergency Relief—Pakistan

It is hard to comprehend the scale of the flood disaster in Pakistan, the 5th most populated nation in the world. Nearly 1600 dead, 1 million houses were damaged or destroyed, and over 60,000,000 people were displaced. 1/3 of the country is underwater. The extent of the August flooding in Pakistan was unprecedented.

As the floodwater slowly recedes, a new disaster is emerging as tens of thousands grapple with diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, dengue fever, cholera, and malaria. And it is the nation’s poorest that are most vulnerable.  Every day children die from dehydration or from diseases due to drinking contaminated water: like cholera, an acute diarrheal illness contracted by drinking water contaminated with bacteria.

More than 10 children die every day at the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital in Pakistan’s Sindh province alone, according to doctors at the facility – all from water-related ailments stemming from this summer’s devastating floods.

Moreover, there are an estimated 650,000 pregnant women without homes or access to healthcare, with around 100,000 due within the month of October.

“Many children are not even reaching hospitals because the medical facilities they could access are either underwater or just not accessible,” said Aadarsh Leghari, UNICEF’s Communication Officer in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s residents are at extreme risk of waterborne diseases and need support immediately.  Water Charity, along with partners Wine to Water and Sawyer International, as well as the cooperation and coordination of our Liberia team, has funded the distribution of thousands of Sawyer (hollow-membrane) water filters to the affected regions in Pakistan. Please use the button below to donate to our efforts in providing water filters to those suffering in the aftermath of the floods in Pakistan. The more we can send, the more lives we can save.

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase Three—The Gambia

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase Three—The Gambia

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase Three—The Gambia

Foni Jarrol is one of the nine districts of The West Coast Region, which is located to the south of the Gambia River in the southwest of the country. Foni Jarrol is in the far east of the region, between Foni Bondali and the border with Senegal. The district is widely dominated by the Jola tribe and is well known for its traditional cultural festival called “Futampaf.” This is a Jola traditional initiation ceremony which dates back centuries.

The district has played host to thousands of refugees fleeing the Southern Senegalese region of Casamance’s crisis, which saw fighting between Senegalese forces and Casamance separatist rebels. This has posed serious difficulties—both economic and social—affecting the district, including the scarcity of clean drinking water. Environmental issues are still persistent due to illegal logging, causing mass deforestation within the district.

KOLLEY KUNDA (GPS: N13°10.281 W015°48.943) Population: 250

2 Conversion heads, 2 new cylinders (twin pump) check-nuts, rod couplings, 12 centralizers, 4 stainless steel pipes, handwashing station, the contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

BRUMEN (GPS: N13°14.842 W015°49.945) Population: 300

1 conversion, dewatering and sanitizing the well, ground concrete fortification, and handwashing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

AHDULAI (GPS: N13°12.684 W015°52.317) Population: 350 

New cylinder, 1 conversion head, rod couplings (stainless steel), dewatering and sanitizing the well, plus handwashing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

JARROL (GPS: N13°14.544 W015°50.731) Population: 400 

1 Conversion head, new cylinder, 2 stainless steel pipes, re-digging the well extra 2 meters, de-watering and sanitizing well, handwashing station, new concrete slab. The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

KALAGI VILLAGE (GPS: N13°14.817 W015°50.203) Population: 950

New cylinder, conversion head, dewatering and sanitizing well, rod couplings. 6 stainless steel pipes, 6 centralizers, concrete slab, and handwashing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase Two—The Gambia 

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase Two—The Gambia 

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase Two—The Gambia 

Foni Jarrol is one of the nine districts of The West Coast Region, which is located to the south of the Gambia River in the southwest of the country. Foni Jarrol is in the far east of the region, between Foni Bondali and the border with Senegal. The district is widely dominated by the Jola tribe and it is well known for its traditional cultural festival called ‘’Futampaf’’. This is a Jola traditional initiation ceremony that dates back centuries ago. 

The district has played host to thousands of refugees fleeing the Southern Senegalese region of Cassamnce’s crisis which saw fighting between Senegalese forces and Cassamance separatist rebels. This has had serious difficulties both economic and social affecting the district, among which is the scarcity of clean drinking water. Environmental issues are still persistent due to illegal logging causing mass deforestation within the district.

WASSADU (GPS: N13°12.867 W015°51.714) Population:1500 

5 stainless steel pipes with rods, 1 conversion, check-nuts, dewatering and sanitizing the well, hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

NIORRO JARROL (GPS: N13°13.921 W015°50.906) Population:350

Conversion head, new cylinder, 3 stainless steel pipes, re-digging the well extra 3 meters, de-watering and sanitizing well, hand washing station, new concrete slab. The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

JOREM DRAMEH KUNDA (GPS: N13°14.225 W015°53.893) Population:300

1 Conversion head, 2 new cylinders (twin pump), de-watering and sanitizing well, check-nuts, hand washing station, new concrete slab, The contractor will construct a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

KANGMAMUDU (GPS: N13°10.714 W015°48.476) Population:500 

2 New cylinders (twin handpump), conversion head, dewatering and sanitizing well, hand washing station, rod couplings. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

CHEWELL VILLAGE (GPS: N13°10.736 W015°48.834) Population: 300 

New cylinder, conversion head, rod couplings (stainless steel), dewatering and sanitizing the well, plus hand washing station. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically. 

NB: WATER QUALITY TESTING FOR 5 VILLAGES (FONI JARROL DISTRICT REHAB TOUR PHASE 1)

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase One—The Gambia

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase One—The Gambia

Foni Jarrol District Handpump Repair Tour Phase One—The Gambia

Foni Jarrol is one of the nine districts of The West Coast Region, which is located to the south of the Gambia River in the southwest of the country. Foni Jarrol is in the far east of the region, between Foni Bondali and the border with Senegal. The district is dominated by the Jola tribe, and it is well known for its traditional cultural festival called the “Futampaf.” This is a Jola traditional initiation ceremony which dates back centuries ago. (See picture below.)

The district has attracted thousands of refugees fleeing the Southern Senegalese region of Casamance’s crisis, which saw fighting between Senegalese forces and Casamance separatist rebels. This has had posed serious economic and social challenges to the district, among which is the scarcity of clean drinking water. Environmental issues are still persistent due to illegal logging, causing mass deforestation within the district.

Sintet (GPS: N13°14.293 W015°48.835) Estimated population: 900

After de-watering and sanitizing the well, we will replace the twin handpump rods, two conversion heads, and check-nuts; we will install a handwashing station and 4 stainless steel pipes. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

Kansambou (GPS: N13°10.275 W015°48.261) Estimated Population: 250 

After re-digging the well an extra two meters, as well as de-watering and sanitizing the well, we will replace the conversion head, the cylinder, and a new concrete slab. We will install new pipes, and the contractor will construct a new water trough for the village livestock to drink from.

Jorem Bunda Kunda (GPS: N13°15.186 W015°53.048) Estimated Population: 300

After de-watering and sanitizing the well, we will replace the conversion head, install a new cylinder, replace the check-nuts, and pour a new concrete slab. The contractor will construct a handwashing station and a new water trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which will help the community economically.

Kampassa Village (GPS: N13°10.074 W015°48.810) Estimated Population: 800 

After de-watering and sanitizing the well, we will install a new cylinder, conversion head, check-nuts; we will pour a new concrete slab and install four stainless steel pipes, and a handwashing station to halt the transmission of COVID. The contractor will construct a new trough for the village ruminants.

Arenkoli Kunda (GPS: N13°14.122 W015°51.823) Estimated Population: 300

After de-watering and sanitizing the well, we will install a new cylinder, new stainless steel rod couplings, a new conversion head, plus a handwashing station. In addition, the contractor will construct a new concrete trough for the village ruminants to drink from, which should better the community’s economic situation.

A Project to Create Access to Water for Libertad La Fuente – Mexico

A Project to Create Access to Water for Libertad La Fuente – Mexico

A Project to Create Access to Water for Libertad La Fuente – Mexico

Ejido Bellavista, Chiapas, Mexico

Libertad La Fuente is home to 41 families many of whom are descendants of the Maya refugees who fled the war in Guatemala to find safety and freedom deep in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. The community is located literally at the top of the world about 4 hours from the City of Motozintla. 

To get from their remote location to the nearest town of Siltepec, people board one of the few trucks that provide scheduled transportation.  They sit on wooden benches set up in the bed of the pickup as it picks its way through the impressively steep mountainside where one would not want the driver to deviate from the rough dirt track.  The most difficult aspect of life in this impoverished region is the lack of access to water, a problem they have been collectively trying to solve for many years.  They say that the possibility of having water on tap in their homes is a long-held dream for them. 

Description of the Community

These families live by growing corn and other subsistence crops. While at the lower elevations below the mountains where they live, thousands of families produce the high elevation coffee that is sought by gourmet roasters but at the elevation of Libertad La Fuente, the cold and fog prevent them from growing this cash crop. The lack of opportunity to work affords them an impoverished standard of living. 

However, some families have been able to enroll in a new governmental program that provided them with avocado trees and other commercial crops.  For those who can transport their product to a market, this has given them some additional income. For the rest, the typical path to a better quality of life is to send a family member to the United States to find work and send the money they earn home. 

Those families who have a relative working in the United States are able to build homes of cinderblock. The rest build their homes from rough-cut boards taken from the ever-shrinking forest. But no matter the material, those who can afford the luxury paint their homes in exuberantly bright colors even if it is just the front facade. 

Problem to be addressed

The community does not have a communal water system.  Fetching water every day is a tremendous burden for the women. They have to make many trips every day to fill their “canteras”, the large jugs they carry on their heads, with water from small openings in the limestone subsurface where it bubbles up. A woman can spend hours over the course of her day scooping water out with a small bowl to fill their containers and then haul them home. 

The chore of obtaining enough water for household use consumes a woman’s time, and, as they explain, “It wears you out because you can’t get other things done.” The elementary school that serves Libertad and the surrounding communities also needs water for drinking and sanitation, a priority for the leader of the Ejido of Bellavista, the local peasant authority. For years they have unsuccessfully tried to obtain support from the local municipality to build a water system. Without official help to build the infrastructure, the investment needed to buy the materials has been out of reach for them.

This proposed water project will serve 246 people and the local school. 

Project Description

The leaders of the community first approached Sexto Sol in 2019 to ask for assistance to enable them to build a water system. The water source they had at the time turned out to not provide an adequate amount of water during the dry season when it would most be needed.  Fortunately, in 2020, the people pooled their money to buy a large spring that has good flow all year long.

The proposed plan is to build a gravity-fed system using a two-inch diameter polyduct hose that will deliver the water 3.8 kilometers through the cornfields and stands of forest to where they will build a distribution tank. To date, we have successfully used this material to bring water to over two dozen communities. Given the steep terrain from the source to Libertad La Fuente, part of the hose will be the more expensive reinforced caliber that will be used on the steepest grades since it will withstand the increased pressure of the water at those points.  

The work will include digging a short trench at the source to create a passage for the hose where a small rise would otherwise stop the flow. Each joint of the 100-meter sections of hose will be fastened with metal O-ring clamps that will be screwed tightly to prevent the sections of hose from separating due to water pressure, thirsty animals or vandals. 

We have secured a commitment from the manufacturer to deliver the hose all the way from the coast to the turn-off where the road leaves the pavement and travels into the extremely steep mountains. At that point, it is expected that the mayor of the local municipality will provide a ¾ ton truck and a local driver familiar with the area to transport the materials up to the community by making several trips. This will be an epic feat but the local people are accustomed to working out logistics to get challenging tasks done.     

The community is organized and neighbors enjoy good relations. They have an elected water committee whose leaders will coordinate the work needed to install the hose.  

Once the materials are delivered, they will organize work teams comprised of a person from each family for the collaborative effort to build the water system. Teams will carry the huge rolls of hose to the points where they will be connected. As the work progresses to lay down the water line, they will bury the hose where the terrain allows to protect it from the elements. They have secured permission for the hose to pass through the private lands it must traverse to reach the community.

Part of the work will be to build the necessary air intake vents or “respiraderas” as a safeguard against suction in the hose that could otherwise cause the hose to collapse when it traverses the varying grades in the mountainous terrain. Sexto Sol would provide technical assistance to help them achieve this. 

Project Manager:

The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.

This project is part of the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort between the Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association to improve access to water in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala. To date, this collaboration has brought water to more dozens of villages impacted by a major earthquake in the region and left without aid from the government and ignored by most aid agencies.

Monitoring and Maintenance:

Once the project is completed, it will be the responsibility of the water committee leaders to oversee the wise use and equitable distribution of the water by all users. A designated person elected by the members of the water association will be responsible for assessing the need for communal work that might be needed to maintain the water system including cleaning the tank at the source, repairing any clogs that might occur after heavy rains, and generally keeping the system in continuous working order. The parents’ committee will oversee the upkeep of the water going to the school. 

Amount requested:  $6,684.40 U.S.D. 

The people in Libertad La Fuente extend their sincere thanks for your considering their needs and for offering them the hope of the possibility of making this most significant improvement to their quality of life.

Odropi Well Project – Uganda

Odropi Well Project – Uganda

Odropi Well Project – Uganda

Location 

Odropi, Yumbe, Uganda

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, scroll down below.

Community Description

Odropi is adjacent to Yumbe, Uganda. It has 400 households, and 2000 residents, but little potable water, sanitation, or hygiene. At least two residents died of dysentery in September 2019. The community is on the border with South Sudan and 15 miles from Bidi Bidi refugee camp, a camp with 270,000 refugees. The area is deforested and suffers low production and low incomes. 

Problem Addressed 

Description of Problem: Contaminated water, low latrine coverage,  lack of handwashing facilities, one latrine for 247 children and staff, inadequate food availability, malaria, large refugee population that results in deforestation produce a high incidence of diarrheal diseases and death, pneumonia deaths, and malarial disease and deaths. Over-population results in low food production and inadequate income. Severe protein-calorie malnutrition is frequently observed. 

Project Description

Working with the community and collaborating agencies, installing well with a submersible pump and solar power, latrines for the school, handwashing facilities, complete latrine coverage in the community, stopping malaria, increasing coverage of fuel-efficient stoves, and increasing food production or income generation. 

The problems:

  • 64% of clinical visits malaria
  • 30% respiratory infections
  • 3% diarrhea
  • 3% malnutrition

Community Organization: CCEDUC

Project Impact

2,000 people will benefit from the project 

Project Administration

This project will be managed by Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Roesel. The project will be implemented with CCEDUC Child Development, an organization that supports orphans and vulnerable children, vulnerable women, and marginalized communities in Yumbe district and beyond. Work will be done with the community and collaborating agencies. 

Monitoring and Maintenance

A baseline study was done. An evaluation will be conducted with a DHS survey subset questionnaire evaluation. Chris will plan for maintenance of the facilities in on-going community meetings. He will monitor the progress of the work for the month he is on-site, then follow-up with the CCEDUC director, Ajaga Buran Innocent, and his National Pediatrics Hospital collaborator, Dr. Brian Nzano. One of his collaborators is an international community involvement consultant, Dr. Charles Pendley, who will advise him on additional ways to follow up. 

Project Funding

This project is being paid for through fundraising by Chris, together with the Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

If you like this project, please make a general donation to Water Charity so we can continue to support great projects like this one in Uganda.

Comments 

Zakia Ayiko said, 

“I would like to thank our donors for rescuing thousands of lives of people in this community of Odropi Village through the construction of shallow wells and latrines. I am very happy to pump this  clean water which will help us live in healthier lives. Previously, the only source of  water  we had was from the  stream which led to the spread of waterborne diseases. Recently, we lost a woman to typhoid in this village. 

Thank you so much for thinking about our vulnerable communities. 

Be blessed.” 

Success story from Faida Bint  

I wish to thank  individual donors for bringing this water source nearer to us and helping to stop water-born diseases in our community. I am very excited  to pump it. Before we used to buy water, moving about 3 to 4 kms looking for water  and at times fetching water from the open wells.  

Success story from Ajiba Adraki  

Since I was born I did not use a latrine my latrine was bush. And the same for my neighbors. I am very happy that you  have put 100%  latrine coverage in this village. Thanks to our donors for rescuing our life,  my latrine is well  constructed with no  smell and a tippy tap installed.

Let Girls Learn 

Foni Bintang Karanai District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

Foni Bintang Karanai District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

Foni Bintang Karanai District Handpump Repair Tour Phase 1—The Gambia

The Fonis are south of the river Gambia and part of The Gambia’s West Coast Region north of and bordering the Casamance region of Senegal. Many refugees live in the Fonis, following historical cross-border patterns of human mobility. The refugee community, variable in size but generally in the thousands, is long-standing and very largely “self-settled” with kin or other social connections.

For communities along the border and beyond, informal trade is normalized and quite visible. It is a livelihood and money-saving activity for many people. llegal timber exploitation in the Fonis has recently brought Casamance and The Gambia to international attention amid concerns over poorly-regulated global trade networks and the deteriorating planetary environment. If water were readily available to the people of the Fonis, they would be able to make a living by way of trade, husbandry, or subsistence farming. Residents of the Fonis would not be forced to turn to illegal or informal trade, nor deforestation of the Casamance region of Senegal.

Batendeng Kajara (Coordinates: -16.317, 13.257) Estimated Population: 350

We will replace the bearings and the cylinder, install 7 stainless pipes, a new chain, rod couplings, and construct a new concrete water trough and handwashing station.

Batabut Danelu (Coordinates: -16.153, 13.194) Estimated population: 300

We will replace the cylinder and install 2 stainless steel pipes. We will re-dig, de-water, and sanitize the well. We will then build a new concrete water trough and a COVID-19 prevention-related handwashing station.

Sitta (Coordinates: -16.161, 13.234) Estimated Population: 300 

We will re-dig, de-water, and sanitize the well; we will install 2 stainless steel pipes and construct a new concrete slab, a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Jakoi Sibrick (Coordinates: -16.291, 13.268) Estimated population: 550

For the twin handpumps on the village’s well, we will replace the 2 cylinders and the 2 conversion heads, the rod couplings, the bearings and the axel. We will construct a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Gilansary Village (Coordinates: -16.137, 13.167) Estimated population: 400 

We will replace the well’s cylinder and the conversion head. We will add extra ground concrete. We will rebuild the covering concrete slab, construct a new concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Bulan’jorr (Coordinates: -16.250 13.278) Estimated population: 400 

We will replace the cylinder and the conversion head. We will add extra ground concrete around the well. We will construct a concrete water trough, plus a handwashing station.

Sitanouggo (Coordinates: -16.131, 13.184) Estimated Population: 600 

We will replace the well cylinder and install 4 stainless steel pipes. We will construct a new concrete water trough for watering ruminants, plus a handwashing station.

Buram (Coordinates: -16.224, 13.258) Estimated Population: 200

We will begin by dewatering and sanitizing the well. We will replace the 2 cylinders, as well as the bearings and axle, on the twin handpump. We will add extra ground concrete to the base, as well as construct a new trough for animals and a handwashing station.

NB: All these projects include cost for hand washing station in each community as part of Water Charity’s efforts in fighting Covid-19.

Refugee Aid Initiative – Worldwide

Refugee Aid Initiative – Worldwide

Refugee Aid Initiative – Worldwide

WATER CHARITY INITIATIVE TO HELP REFUGEES WORLDWIDE

​A large percentage of Water Charity projects help refugees and internally displaced people. Our typical projects often make a huge difference for people contemplating leaving their homes. Having clean water can be a major factor in deciding not to flee your home, to begin with.

And, we have done a good number of projects that have explicit refugee components to them over the years. Click Here to see some of our projects with major refugee elements.

Now, in this time, we are seeing an unprecedented number of people risking their lives with only a thin hope of making it somewhere they imagine to be better. People are setting out on rigorous, potentially deadly journies with nothing but what they can carry, crossing deserts, risking drowning at sea, and finding themselves at the mercy of human traffickers, and there are many casualties in this humanitarian crisis. A growing number of these people are “climate refugees” who leave their homes (at least in part) due to changes in the climate making their homes unlivable.

In addition to our normal work, Water Charity is attempting to provide assistance to these displaced people on a greater scale.  We are setting up projects now to deliver direct assistance at refugee camps where possible.

We all know that life in a refugee camp is no vacation. People who have already suffered trauma, atrocities, abuse, and victimization find themselves, at the end of a long and difficult exodus… in a place that is often deplorable and depressing. Furthermore, many refugees are doomed to stay in these places for interminable amounts of time, with little hope of ever getting out and restarting their interrupted lives.

What to do about this is beyond the scope of what Water Charity can deal with at this time… but we CAN commit to trying to make the conditions in these camps better.

As such, we are pleased to be expanding this initiative designed to create water, sanitation, public health, and solar lamp programs for refugee camps around the world. The inspiration for this effort was seeing the situation at the Eritrean refugee camps in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

In case you didn’t know, an amazing diaspora of Eritreans have fled the small nation in northeastern Africa… many of them unaccompanied children of 10-12 years of age. (In fact, 51% of refugees worldwide are children.)

These are not problems restricted to the camps in Ethiopia, though.  Many areas of the world have tragic, sprawling encampments of people displaced for a wide variety of reasons, often in a political limbo where they can’t go home, can’t settle in the host country, and have little or no way to leave. Ethiopia is unable to extend much help to their displaced neighbors, as their own citizenry is dealing with droughts, famine, uprisings, and severe water crises.  While not completely forgotten, these refugees are forced to depend on whatever the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), and a small group of NGO’s can muster to give them. They have severe shortages of many things we take for granted… including space to lay their heads, proper sanitation facilities, and lighting in their dwellings.

In addition to helping out with water filtration, water storage, hygiene facilities, and the like, we are also engaged in distributing solar lamps.  While many refugees are able to receive some education in these camps, they are unable to read or study at night if they can’t afford a kerosene lamp or some other smoky, air-polluting device that brings with it long-term health issues. While seemingly not directly tied to our water & sanitation mission on the surface, having a safe, dependable light source leads to increased personal health and security. Having a solar lamp available to them makes it easier to find and use restroom facilities in the dark.

The ability to read after dark ties in with our global “Let Girls Learn” campaign as well.

We are hoping this initiative will spawn many programs, and allow us to bring aid to camps across the globe. Sadly, there is no lack of people needing help… and the number of displaced people is reaching new records. According to the UNHCR, there were at least 65 million refugees last year… the first time we have crossed the 60 million mark on record. And if anything, this year has only been worse.

Measured against Earth’s 7.5 billion population, these numbers mean that 1 in every 115 people globally is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced, or a refugee – a level of risk for which UNHCR knows no precedent. In all, there are more forcibly displaced people today than the populations of the United Kingdom, France or Italy.

Please support this initiative to help us start as many programs and campaigns in as many refugee camps as possible.  As they are implemented, you will be able to donate directly to each of our individual efforts.  You can expect the same level of transparency and reporting that we are famous for.  Every project we do is posted on our site in a timely manner with photos, video (where possible), updates (when needed), and conclusion reports upon completion. We bring to this endeavor our stellar track record of successful and sustainable, low-cost WASH development work.  Our field-leading efficiency, due to our unique model, will ensure that we get the most bang for our buck… and that the largest amount of people possible will be served.

It is hard enough being a refugee, without a home, stateless and overlooked… the least we can do is make sure they have clean water to drink, a safe place to defecate, and the ability to wash. And if, due to our relations with the manufacturer of the wonderful d.light, we can provide a little bit of extra light along the way, so much the better.

For more insight into this issue, consider watching our friend and filmmaker Chris Cotter’s “The Eritrean Exodus: Refugee” after watching the trailer below. It is a great film and is available on iTunes and other such services.


This initiative is being carried out in conjunction with our partners, the National Peace Corps Association.

Conclusion of Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program – Rwanda

Conclusion of Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program – Rwanda

Conclusion of Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program – Rwanda

Water Charity with Friendly Water for the World put on a 9-day training program and conference in Gisenyi, Rwanda in January 2017. The technology taught was the construction and maintenance of rainwater catchment systems, with a focus on Ferro-cement tanks. The conference and training were a great success, and publication of the conclusion was delayed until the results, including the spin-off effect, could be fully evaluated.

To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

Water Charity and Friendly Water for the World Take on the Long Walk for Water

With generous grants from Water Charity and the Leiter Family FoundationFriendly Water for the World organized a nine-day training program in Gisenyi, Rwanda in building rainwater catchment systems, using Ferro-cement tanks. There were 41 people from seven countries, including Water Charity’s Chief Operating Officer, Averill Strasser, and Executive Director, Beverly Rouse.  Hosted by Friendly Water’s partner organization Hand in Hand for Development, trainers came from the Friendly Water affiliate in Uganda, where they have been using the technology for three years.

Background: Two major water issues face people in much of the developing world, especially in rural areas: access and quality. In some way, they are really one issue, because a lack of consistent access to clean water is one of the most critical causes of extreme poverty in East and Central Africa. The costs in mortality and morbidity from waterborne illnesses are vast and are especially acute in rural areas where there is little access to health care. Families are engaged in a never-ending cycle of trips to doctors and hospitals, and a search for pharmaceuticals, which are then often taken with the very water that made family members ill to begin with. Child mortality is particularly high, which, besides being linked to funeral expenses, also results in women having more children, as grown children are the only safety net an elderly family may have. Lack of access to clean water defeats efforts at education and micro-finance schemes as community development strategies to improve people’s lives.

While in certain areas, water from rivers, streams, and lakes is plentiful, elsewhere it is only available seasonally, or not at all. In volcanic areas, the soil will not hold water. In others, relatively shallow wells are dug, and re-dug. In Kenya and Uganda, it is estimated that 70% of shallower wells fail within three years. In other areas, deep wells bring up dangerous levels of fluoride and other naturally occurring contaminants, often leaving children crippled or mentally challenged.

“The Long Walk to Water” represents the reality that women and children in most of the developing world walk on average four miles each day to collect water, water that will often make their families sick. Even in places where water may be plentiful, the long walk to water remains. Five hours a day may be spent in the collection and preparation of water, rendering other occupations for women difficult if not impossible. Children, especially girls, are taken out of school at early to collect water. Education is disrupted, and it is estimated that in certain parts of sub-Saharan Africa, female literacy rates are actually declining. During the long walk to the water, girls are in many instances at high risk of rape and sexual assault.

Without clean water, the impact of providing education as a strategy to end poverty is circumscribed. A study undertaken by Friendly Water for the World found that, in many areas, children enrolled in school are absent on average two out of every five days because of waterborne illnesses. In addition, girl children are much more likely to drop out of school at puberty because of the lack of clean water and sanitary facilities. But even worse, without clean water, young children ages 1-5 spend precious energy that should be going into brain development fighting off waterborne parasites. This condition, called “Parasitic Stress”, often renders children permanently unable to learn effectively even if they get to school.

Among the trainees were 12 young adults – half men, half women – from western Rwanda, comprising two teams of six each. Most of them had been orphaned in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

In the nine days, under close supervision, the trainees built both a 20,000-liter and a 5,000-liter tank. Participants learned how to estimate the water needed to support a household or a group of households through a dry season and to design a catchment system to meet that specific need. In addition, trainees learned to build “water hives”, smaller, 2,000-3,000-liter tanks constructed in a single day, using a prefabricated internal mold. Water hives are particularly useful as sanitation stations at schools, or in rainy climates where, nonetheless, an enclosed vessel for capturing rainwater can assist in keeping water clean. Coupled with BioSand Water Filters, rainwater catchment is the gold standard for clean and accessible water. In Rwanda, Ferro-cement tanks cost only 40% of the cost of plastic ones and will last twice as long.

The two catchment teams, equipped with tools by Friendly Water, now have orders for more than 25 systems, valued at more than $40,000. They have already conducted a five-day training of a group from Kibumba, Congo-DRC, who hope to build some 100 water hives. Once the teams have a broader range of experience, they will be prepared to travel throughout east and central Africa, building new systems, and setting up new fabrication teams.

Meanwhile, the 5,000-liter tank is immediately being put to good use! The Tunywamazimeza (“Use Clean Water”) group (Gisenyi, Rwanda) – a group of 20 HIV+ widows, many with children, who have now built and sold more than 2,200 BioSand Water Filters, is using the water from the tank to clean sand and mix the concrete for the Filters. No more walk for water! (and no paying for it either).

      

Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program – Rwanda

Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program – Rwanda

Gisenyi Rainwater Catchment System & Ferro-Cement Tank Training Program – Rwanda

Water Charity will be joining with Friendly Water for the World to put on a 9-day training program and conference in Gisenyi, Rwanda in January 2017. The technology to be taught is the construction and maintenance of rainwater catchment systems, with a focus on Ferro-cement tanks. 

This program will proliferate the technology through 7 countries (Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Ethiopia), and will focus on “training the trainers”. Water Charity will provide additional funding for the new projects that are spawned by the process.

During the week, two teams, of six Rwandans each, will be trained. They have among them a proficiency in English, Swahili, and French in addition to Kinyarwanda. They will set up cooperative businesses, and proceed to train others, while they build systems throughout the country. They will be available to train serving Peace Corps Volunteers in and around the communities where they live and work. They already have orders for 50 tanks.

Representatives of several local NGOs will be trained as well. All told, more than 80 people will attend the training, and most of them will go back to their agencies, villages, and communities to build catchment systems, construct tanks, train others, and incorporate the technology into their operations.

The training will be led by Friendly Water’s Uganda Representative Richard Kyambadde, who is Africa Representative to the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, and a three-person team from Uganda with which he works.

Averill Strasser, Water Charity’s Co-Founder and COO, and Beverly Rouse, its Executive Director will be at the training, providing support, and lining up new projects in Rwanda, as well as the rest of East and Central Africa.

Participants will learn to make three types of systems:

(1) Larger 5,000-20,000-liter free-standing tanks,
(2) 2,000-3,000-liter tanks made with wooden molds, and
(3) 1,000-liter “water hives”, which are semi-prefabbed.

Aside from the hands-on work, there will be meetings to teach the determination of the optimal type and size of units under differing conditions. There will be a focus on the continuing training and production of systems in a way that it is self-supporting in the community, eliminating the need for further assistance.

This is the implementation of a bold new concept to provide needed improvements while also creating business and employment opportunities. It is a part of the Water Charity Training and Support Initiative. In addition, since the benefits will accrue to displaced persons in 6 countries, it is included under our  Refugee Aid Initiative – Worldwide.

Water Charity has contributed all the costs for this conference and training through the generosity of an anonymous donor.  Any further donations to the effort will be used to fund the various projects that arise from this training.  As we anticipate this to be quite a few, we ask that give what you can.  We hope to expand our highly successful training efforts dramatically in the new year!

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.