"Grazing," the common practice for centuries, results in exposed human waste. When this waste enters the groundwater, or is touched by small children, severe illness and death can result.
The construction and use of latrines puts an end to all this.
We install latrines, educate villagers about their importance, and use a "buy-in" system to promote their consistent use.
Our wells are drilled by experienced and highly professional water engineers and their team - all locals.
It takes serious drilling equipment and 3-4 days to drill a well.
All water samples are sent back to the U.S. for testing to ensure that there are no contaminants.
There is great joy and celebration when a well is drilled. The villagers know their quality of life will improve dramatically.
Death and disease from contaminated water are virtually eliminated. Childhood mortality drops by 70%.
Ai is no longer in pain
Before we had a well, we used to get water with ropes... our hands were very rough and painful... our backs and necks always hurt. But since you drilled a well for us we're so happy.
Adama loves the feeling of being clean
We can now wash ourselves properly and our children. We don't smell.
It's not easy to get people to adopt new ways of basic living. It challenges generations of ingrained habits and must be addressed over time, through repetition, patience and sensitivity.
The people working with villagers are all locals themselves, trained to educate others. They are committed to improving the quality of life of their people. Hand and face washing are the two most important behaviors for adults and children to learn and practice.
Child deaths reduced by:
We also teach villagers how to keep their water containers and utensils clean to protect clean water from contamination.
With a plentiful supply of safe water, villagers learn drip farming and how to use the "grey water," techniques that enable them to grow vegetables and improve their diet.
Women can even grow enough to sell in the local market, becoming micro-entrepreneurs.
We visit a village about once a month to check progress and offer continuing reinforcement of good sanitation practices.
Meanwhile, our partner, World Vision is a steadfast presence to ensure that quality of life will continue to improve for generations to come.