We believe that access to a secure supply of clean water is a basic human right and is a key factor towards achieving sustainable development for individuals and communities. In the areas where we are working the vast majority of the rural population has to rely on collecting water from unprotected and unsafe sources often walking long distances in the process.
‘Clean water isn’t just a matter of life and death.
It’s not just about thirst, hunger and sanitation.
It’s about opportunity.’ Water for Women 2015
Since early 2014 we have financed the construction of 44 shallow wells and spring protection schemes at a number of rural villages in both Chato and Biharamulo Districts. These wells are providing close to 40,000 individuals with easier access to a sustainable supply of clean water for a total cost of approximately £100,000 or around £2.50 per person.
We work in partnership with local communities who provide some of the basic materials – sand, aggregate etc – used in the construction process. The community is also required to form a water user group comprised of an equal number of men and women to manage and maintain the well and to collect a small water rate to provide funds for the sustainability of the project. We provide training to these groups and maintain regular contact to monitor performance.
Working with and providing adequate training for local communities is an important aspect of this project. It builds a sense of ownership and responsibility within the community and goes a long way to ensure sustainability and resilience.
All of this work is carried out in consultation with the district governments and we are grateful to them for their cooperation and encouragement.
This aspect of our work will continue as a core activity for as long as there is an identifiable need within communities. During 2018 we are planning to construct a minimum of 25 improved water sources thus benefitting at least a further 20,000 individuals.