When you invest in a water well through one of the clean water organizations, who maintains the well?
Clean water organizations and water charities handle this issue differently. Oftentimes, a well is drilled and then left without anyone to maintain it. When the villagers don’t know how to maintain it, the well becomes useless. In Africa alone, an estimated 50,000 projects now sit abandoned.1
At GFA, our wells are maintained by a local church and the people of the church. The well becomes a community service of that church and the people of the church take responsibilities for everything related to that well, including lubricating the hand pump. They also are trained in replacing parts. The church people or volunteers from the community even clean and cut the grass around the well, making it a welcoming place for the community.
Why is this important?
When the community takes pride in their community well, they are likely to take care of their new well and see it as a blessing to the community. The well is available to all people in the community, no matter their economic class or ethnicity.
GFA Jesus Wells use the Indian Mark II model of handpump, a heavy-duty durable pump. This model is designed to operate 20 million cycles before repairs are needed. That is the equivalent of 20 years of usage (8 hours per day).
A pastor had this to share:
The first GFA Jesus Well was installed in 2000 in a struggling village in South Asia. Prior to the well, members of the community regularly walked miles to collect water. This caused kids to miss school and their parents to miss work. The water they gathered wasn’t clean or safe to drink. It often caused sickness. When the well was installed, the community had access to clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing. This first well is still working well and being maintained by the local pastor.
1 Why are Africa’s wells failing? World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/why-are-africas-wells-failing/. Accessed November 25, 2019.