Clean drinking water
Access to clean drinking water – a basic human right
In the West, we tend to take drinking water for granted. But many people across the world do not have that luxury.
Shelter Now is digging new wells both in Afghanistan and Togo, West Africa.
Togo, West Africa
Many places in Togo, West Africa, lack a supply of clean water. This often means that village ladies have to walk a few times a day to the nearest river which may be a 3 kilometers journey. On each trip they carry 25 liters of water weighing 25 kgs on their heads. Imagine spending six hours a day carrying water for drinking, cooking and washing.
Last year Shelter Now Inc. was able to sink five wells in the driest areas. This year we have received a gift of $40 500 AUD to sink more wells. This will enable us to provide 9 new wells each 14 metres deep. The work started but then the rainy season arrived necessitating suspension of the work which became too dangerous. Much of the digging is carried out by hand except where rock is encountered. Then local officials assist by providing dynamite to blast through the rock.
Each well provides water for about 200 people. The ladies especially are delighted not to have to spend six hours a day just carrying water on their heads from the nearest rivers. The well water also proves to be much cleaner choice compared to the river water.
Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right. In the West we tend to take this for granted, but for the people of Afghanistan it's by no means automatic. It's a very arid country, and wells often have to be extremely deep to reach ground water - 40 to 60 meters is not uncommon. Working with local village elders, Shelter Now digs wells in various locations, secures them and installs hand pumps. We do not use diesel pumps as these would place too much demand on the water supply, lowering the water table significantly and ultimately causing all the wells to dry up.
Digging and securing a well and installing a hand pump costs nearly US $3,000. One well provides drinking water for up to 40 families.
There is enough water in the high mountains of the province Badakhshan, but as it flows unprotected through the villages it becomes polluted and can cause sicknesses. Together with the local villagers Shelter Now installs water pipes from the wellspring to the village, making it possible for the village to enjoy fresh, clean drinking water throughout the whole year. The schools are also connected to this water system and the teachers and students receive training in hygienics.