Bringing clean water to people looks different in each country. Water sources, terrain, and population all play a part in determining what technology is required to serve people well, but by working together we can find a tailor made solution for each village.
Our Unique Model
Long term sustainability of all projects is key to the success of our organisation. Water for Africa ensures that long term funds are available for communities affected by the water crisis so that they can maintain, service and repair water and sanitation points. This is maintained by an agreement with the community through a ‘memorandum of understanding’.
The agreement is clear and the community understands that Water for Africa intends to work with them on a long term basis and is responsible for the monitoring of the progress and the funds raised for the project. No committee member has access to any funds raised from the water system, for either its maintenance or sustainability. It is Water for Africa’s responsibility to work with the villages on the ground to improve and update the water systems and to deliver a thorough repair and maintenance program within every project.
This is what ensures that the project is culturally suited and truly sustainable. Water for Africa believes that when a donor sponsors a project, they become a stakeholder in the welfare of that community. Sustainability and accountability are therefore two crucial aims of our organisation. By having a local team on the ground, with whom we share a smart network and knowledge base, we are constantly informed of any changes and have the ability to respond in an agile manner.
Utilising our state of the art drilling model, we have provided over 120 communities within West Africa with water for health, education and agricultural production. Our model of support, training and investment in the local regional areas, enables Water for Africa to provide employment and skills training to the local population, which in turn improved the livelihood of African employees and their families.
Addressing open wells and broken hand pumps
Damaged boreholes and broken hand pumps have the greatest affect on women and children as they are traditionally responsible for collecting water. If hand pumps are broken, they are required to walk greater distances to alternative sources, often rivers or marshes. Furthermore, risks to children and babies suffering from mortalities are high if they are born consuming water from unclean water sources.
The main water sources in rural African countries include boreholes with hand pumps or standpipes and open wells. A borehole, used as a water well, is essentially a narrow shaft with a vertical pipe bored deep enough to reach groundwater. Boreholes are the safest water source because they are completely enclosed and protected from contamination. Unlike boreholes, open wells are dangerous to use as they have minimal protection from contaminants and usually contain unclean water contaminated with pathogens. The chance of dangerous pathogens in other water sources is significantly higher and tends to lead to water related illnesses.
We have also seen how open wells are at risk of drying up during dry seasons, due to not being constructed deep enough into the aquifers and dangerous to construct manually due to the risk of caving in during construction. Water for Africa therefore focuses on a targeted borehole model which gives room for flexibility and allows upgrade from a simple hand-pump to a fully integrated, piped tap system.