Building wells in Africa

Building wells in Africa: A fountain of blessings

According to the World Health Organization, half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025.[1] Africa is one of the hardest hit places in the world due to drought, shifting population needs and infrastructure demands. This is why building wells in Africa must be a priority for organizations who can help ease the crisis millions are facing.

A 2022 brief by UNICEF says of the situation: “The protracted drought has led to a water crisis,

with more than 8.5 million people, including 4.2 million children, facing dire water shortages across the region. Water scarcity is killing livestock, drying up crops and driving families from their homes in search of water.”[2]

Africa has mostly arid climates. Surface water is limited, and large bodies of water to draw from are simply not available in most places. However, there is a sustainable solution. As one article from the University of Texas explains, “Most cities in Africa rely on surface water from lakes, rivers and human-made reservoirs. But there is an abundance of groundwater across the continent, with annual groundwater recharge being comparable to the volume of water that flows through the Congo, Nile, Niger and Zambezi rivers each year combined.”[3]

In order to access this water, you must drill deep below the surface of the land. Drilling below the surface reaches pockets of water with minimal contamination, which is a major issue for many water sources on the surface, like lakes, ponds and streams. Debris, runoff and waste are common contaminants for surface water in many places in Africa. Dry climates also mean that this surface water is unreliable, with water sources often drying up completely during the hottest months. Drilling for water eliminates this problem as underground water does not evaporate.

This is a key time for building wells in Africa. The water crisis is in full swing, but partnering with a charity building wells in Africa can mean the difference between life and death for many millions of people.

In a region of Asia where GFA World serves, Kylan and Esmae knew this firsthand. Several times a day, they traveled to the local water hole, sometimes in hazardous conditions, to fill their containers with water for cooking, cleaning and drinking. If it was a rainy season, the path to the water hole was muddy and slippery, causing them to stumble with their heavy loads of water.[4]

Yet, the water they collected from this open source was often contaminated. They tried to filter it through muslin or other fabrics, but it was never very clean. Drinking water from sources like this leads to intestinal issues, headaches, lethargy and more. Illness and hours spent getting water create a hardship cycle that is difficult to escape.

Then help arrived. The local GFA World pastor announced to the village that he had requested a Jesus Well for the people. One of the villagers donated the land for the well to be drilled, and just a few months later, the drillers arrived.

Each Jesus Well is drilled and constructed to be resilient, protecting the water source and the well’s longevity. A well-maintained Jesus Well can serve a village for 20 years of 8 hours use per day. The local congregation dedicates themselves to the regular upkeep of the well, making sure it is available to everyone in the area.

“The water from the Jesus Well [is] very tasty and very clean and good to drink,” Kylan said. “We can’t thank enough God for the blessings that He has given to our village, and we are so happy to have a Jesus Well in our village.”

You can donate a well in Africa, changing the lives of people like Kylan and Esmae. They no longer have to spend hours taking their containers to a dirty water source, sometimes in terrible weather and dangerous conditions. Now, they have clean, healthy water just minutes away from the well right in their village.

Clean water is the most basic physical necessity for any life. Without it, families and livestock will suffer and die. Africa’s water crisis will not abate soon without the intervention of charities and organizations like GFA, and we need you to be a part of this lifesaving work being done to drill more wells and install other clean water projects in the hardest-hit drought areas in the world.

GFA World installs clean water projects according to the particular need in a community. Water projects include BioSand water filters, water infrastructure improvements which make clean water more readily available, and bore wells. Give to GFA clean water projects today, or invite others to join you in funding a clean water project, helping cover the cost to build a well in Africa. Together, you can provide decades of clean water to villagers facing multiple hardships and vulnerabilities. It is another way to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

“We were very glad that our troubles and our problems from the [lack of] pure and clean water were solved by the church,” Kylan said.

Collectively, we are the church, and together we can save lives with clean water projects like Jesus Wells.

Learn more about sanitation challenges in developed nations

[1] “Water.” World Health Organization. Accessed August 11, 2023.
[2] “Water Crisis in the Horn of Africa.” UNICEF. 2022.
[3] “Sustainable Groundwater Use Could be Answer to Africa’s Water Issues.” UT News. March 1, 2022.
[4] “Gift Ends Village’s Torrent of Hopelessness.” GFA World. March 2023.