5 STEPS ON HOW TO GET WATER TO THOSE IN NEED
We've set it as a mission to help provide safe water for communities in developing nations. But has anyone ever wondered how we find these communities we serve? In most cases, it is the communities that find us. Curious? I guess the following will help enlighten you how we bring safe water source to the areas where it is most needed.
Step 1 - Determine the needs
In determining the needs, we will have to answer some probing questions:
- Where are they getting their water now?
- How far do they have to travel?
- How many people does this source serve?
- And most importantly, how safe is their water source?
Often, the answers to these questions lead us to dire and even frightful situations, such as cow ponds or stormwater ditches where the water is not fit to drink. Sometimes, when a community is blessed to have a nearby spring, it may only flow for certain seasons of the year. And even then, an adequate flow of water cannot be assured such that the wait to fill a five-gallon pail can take hours. By asking these questions, we can devise a plan that will best serve their needs at the least cost.
Step 2 -Estimate the cost to provide water
Most communities or individuals that come to us ask for a borehole (well). But whether this is the best option for them, we have to ask both of ourselves and them. Are there other options that might better serve their needs, such as a rainwater catchment/pond or rainwater harvesting from churches or other community buildings? If a borehole seems best, the first step is to have a hydrogeological survey performed by a federally registered geologist. Only after we address these queries can we begin to estimate the projected cost of the project.
Step 3 - Find the necessary funds for the project
Once we have a budget established, we need to identify funding sources to execute our plan. In this process, we first look into our internal resources on hand, such as the balance in our NGO bank account. If we do not find sufficient funds (plus contingency and residual), we look for funding partners or request additional donations. We always look for potential financial partners here and abroad and other international NGOs. Sometimes, other NGOs bring these projects to us and they already have full or partial funding.
Step 4 - Execute the project
This is where we commence with the actual work: drilling a borehole and completing the well, installing rainwater collection gutters and downspouts to storage tanks, or perhaps installing a simple sand filter system for an existing perennial surface water pond. We set our eyes on completing the project, whatever it takes! Sometimes, if you have followed us for long, you may have noted that we incur equipment breakdowns or borehole stoppage due to hard rock or underground caves, making it impossible to continue. In these rare cases, we have to start over, after securing additional funding sometimes. No matter the hurdle, we always complete what we started to provide water for the community.
Step 5 - Celebrate with the community
This is ALWAYS the best part. We try to make this a big event. Often, we have food prepared for the community. We also usually bring along or invite a local pastor to proclaim the Word of God, while giving thanks to Him for His provision of safe accessible water. And lastly, we always provide water hygiene training for safe collection, transport, and use of water within the home to prevent contamination.