WATER IS LIFE !
Water for Africa has provided over 100 communities with boreholes to date. These have included villages, community gardens, schools, health clinics, hospitals and horticultural projects.
The sad thing is …. There are thousands more which are in desperate need for water! We have a long list of communities in urgent need of water for :
DRINKING – Their water source has broken, they are using an old un-protected well or they are having to walk to a water source, such as a river to collect water to drink
EDUCATION – Imagine having to work or study, in very hot climates, without access to water? Schools are in need of a dedicated water source
HEALTHCARE – As well as access to clean water for hydration, health clinics and hospitals need water for cleanliness and sanitation, to prevent cross infections and to scrub up for surgical procedures
HORTICULTURE / AGRICULTURE – To rely on rain-fed agriculture means many African countries can only grow crops for a few months of the year. To provide a community with a water source that is continuous, sustainable and does not require a manual method to extract. We know that if you provide a community with a full scale irrigation source, a community can grow its way out of poverty. To grow vegetables for consumption and to sell, gives the community a source of nutrition and an income source to support themselves, their families and the extended community
As we have already said, we have a long, long list of communities needing a water source and we can give you, your school, your community group or your company the opportunity to support a whole community with the provision of water, just contact us today to enquire about specific communities.
Between 40%- 60% of Water Sources Across Africa are Failing ….
“For many years the failure rate had been attributed to technological reasons alone. It has now become clear that social and institutional factors play equally important roles. The critical question to ask is no longer solely, “Why do water supplies fail?”, but “Why do they fail and why haven’t communities or service providers kept them running?” (RWSN)
Providing water to communities in Africa has historically been challenging for many reasons. The litany of failed hand-pumps scattered across Africa is extremely disturbing, both for the community and for the original donors who have invested their time and resources in providing a water solution for the community. We know it is not sexy to raise money for repairs and we also know the costs involved of maintaining a water source over 20 years are not only more expensive than the original build, but it is more complex in terms of management, ownership, servicing and repairs.
Water for Africa believe that is it timely for an open and honest debate about how these water points should be funded, whose responsibility it should be and repairing the broken water points. Millions have been invested in providing new water points across Africa, we are in danger of wasting this money and putting peoples lives at risk if we do not address this issue.
Where does the money go?
Millions of pounds have been invested into the installation of water pumps across Africa in line with the Millennium development goals which governments across the world agreed to abide by. These targets were put in place 12 years ago, with the aim to cut the amount of people who don’t have safe access to water in half. However, despite the investment, many communities are still living without access to clean water.
This is because the emphasis has, for too long, been focussed only on the installation of wells and water pumps, with too little focus on the upkeep of these essential water sources. In fact, in Africa 40 to 60 percent of water points are now falling into disrepair – an incredibly disappointing statistic for investors, and a life threatening one for African communities.
Wells have basically been invested in, installed and handed over to the local communities to look after. This is often where the problem lies.
The traditional community management model is not working in many of the areas that have had wells dug. The local authorities and service providers have not – for a variety of reasons – been able to service and repair the water pumps which are so vital to sustaining health and life. So what needs to change?
Water for Africa is currently funding projects to help communities service, maintain and repair their water source. Think about it in terms of your own water supply – if a pipe burst in your street leaving your taps dry what would you do? You would phone the relevant authorities. How can we expect some of the most deprived communities in the world to have the knowledge, power and finance to keep their wells in good working order, if we in the developed world wouldn’t know how to do it ourselves?
In terms of investment ethics, Water for Africa is looking to make the most of donor’s money for the long term. Not looking after the initial investment is a waste of millions of pounds of cash which people have worked hard to raise and earn, and donated to the cause. We need to protect this investment by extending these short-term projects, building both the infrastructure and ensuring the suitable, sustainable, long-term hand-over to management within Africa.
A change in installation
In addition, many of the hand-dug wells in use, while they are cheaper to set up in the short term, are problematic in terms of the dangers involved in excavating in the first place due to having to dig for 30 or 40 metres to access water. Plus, this type of well often poses problems in terms of water shortfall, if it is not dug deep enough.
Wells may also be dug by drilling into the ground using a rig. Drilling is more expensive up front, and most communities will find it very difficult to afford such equipment without the input of governments or non-governmental organisation. However, this level of technology is more likely to sustain and support a community for the long-term.
Time for a Different Approach
Being based locally and permanently within Africa, has enabled us to provide a permanent level of support and service to the communities we work with, We can assist with major repairs and spare part replacements, after the work has been completed. However, with between 40%- 60% of water sources now failing across Africa, it is imperative that permanent support is provided to the communities on the ground and we are proud that our model provides this necessary infrastructure, after all, we should not expect communities to be able to be independent and completely self-sufficient, when we in the developed world receive services which are maintained, upgraded and supported.
As well as being able to provide communities with support from the ‘Water for Africa’ team based in Africa, we also ensure that joint cooperation and agreement with the community to ring-fence community contributions are put in place. This will ensure funding for future repairs, service and upgrades is always put in place and a long-term follow up programme to monitor and evaluate the impact of the new programme on the community.
We believe that communities across Africa should be able to access support and service, in a similar way that we receive and pay for from our ‘Water Companies’. To expect a rural community suffering from endemic poverty to be able to support and service their water source, without access to technical assistance, parts and labour, is something which we know is not working. Millions have been invested over the last few decades to provide water sources across Africa, we need to ensure that these are supported and maintained.
Please join us in raising awareness of this important issue, if anyone wishes to know more about our philosophy and model to address all of these issues, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Without water, life, in every form ceases to exist.
Billions are spent every year, trying to look for water on distance plants, yet so many people on earth, lack access to this resource which is easily accessible beneath the ground. This is why Water for Africa’s mission is to ensure sustainable ‘Water’ is at the top of the third sector’s list of priorities when starting any new programme.
In 2000 world governments signed up to the Millennium Development goals (MDGs) to halve world poverty by 2015, including targets to halve the proportion of people without safe water and adequate sanitation. In order the the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ to be achieved, Water for Africa believe that ‘Water’ is an essential foundation for every goal.
- Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
- Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
- Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women
- Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality Rate
- Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
- Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
- Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Water is vital to support every single one of these goals. Goal 7c, which is to halve by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is specific to the provision of water and basic sanitation and this can be broken down even further to the following targets: –
1/ Proportion of population with sustainable access to an an improved water source, urban and rural
2/ Proportion of urban population with access to improved sanitation
Water and Sanitation Facts
Fact 1 // Over 2.6 billion people – two fifths of the world’s population – do not have access to sanitation. To reach the sanitation MDG, nearly 400,000 people (the population of Manchester) need to gain access to sanitation every single day – a 90% increase on performance since 1990.
Fact 2 // 1.1 billion people – one person out of every six in the world – do not have access to safe water. To reach the MDG on water, nearly300,000 people (the population of Newcastle) need to gain access to safe water every single day.
Fact 3 // Annual spending on water and sanitation needs to double, from around $14billion to $30billion – a gap of $16bn which is the equivalent to 15% of Europe’s annual alcohol bill.
Fact 4 // Between 2000 and 2004 the percentage of international aid dedicated to water and sanitation fell from 6% to 5%. Among G8 countries the drop was from 7% to 4%. UK bilateral aid fell from 3.8% to 0.86%.
Fact 5 // Funds made available by central government to the local authorities with the responsibility to provide water and sanitation services are usually worth less than $1 per person per year.