Uganda: water

Im sure you have seen all sorts of stats about the number of people wo do not have access to clean water, the number of people who die from water born illnesses each year, and how preventable these illnesses are. But there are two stats that i found on that I thought were really interesting:

  • 50% of all water projects fail in the first few year
  • Women spend thousands of hours a year collecting clean water.

I think that this second stat is one of the most interesting things about clean water. Not only does having clean water solve problems like illness, it actually builds capacity. Think about your day. What would you not be able to do if you had to spend 3 or 4 hours a day collecting water. How much less could you learn at school? How much less time could you devote to making interesting ideas happen, how much less money could you earn by working? Clean water in developing countries gives people the opportunity to go to school, start businesses, take care of kids, whatever it is, clean water is a cornerstone of healthy people and economies.

But then we come to that first statistic. Half of all water projects fail in a few years. Now, the stat does not give much explanation of what failure is and why they fail, but a 50% failure rate is clearly not a good thing. One of the big problems that cause water projects to fail is the cost and complexity of big drilling rigs and pumps.

During the last couple years we have gotten to know an organization called Water4 is working to develop simple open source ways to drill, pump and maintain wells. There is a lot of cool stuff about the system they are developing, it is less expensive then a drilling rig, it is reusable, it requires a lot buy in from a community, it can be built and repaired in country, and it has the potential to be used as a platform for forming small business.

We are not going to dig a well on this trip. But, our church has already sent one well kit to Uganda and is hopting to send another. We hope to do some work scouting the next place for a kit, as well as doing some follow up on the well that Greg helped dig last year. Hopefully we will be able to play a small part it bringing clean water to people who need it.

Our trip is getting closer everyday. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot of many to raise for us to be able to go. If you want to help this all be possible through your finances just go to for info, if you do give just put our names in the memo line or purpose line. We continue to covet your prayers and support.

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