Because we want to create new opportunities rather than new dependency it is vital that our work is sustainable. By establishing local ownership and economic viability the water system that is installed is also maintained locally and stays operable long after we’re gone. In short if the water makes money for the community or school, the water stays flowing.
The developing world is littered with broken pumps and contaminated wells installed by well meaning organizations and individuals. In the traditional but flawed system, pumps and wells were usually given freely to communities. With no sense of ownership if a pump breaks, no one fixes it. In our model ownership and economic viability is established so maintenance and access to clean water is continuous.
CREATING NEW BUSINESS
Generating new income is the key to providing sustainability and eliminating poverty. When pumps and wells are privately owned, and a new business is established, owners can charge a small monthly fee per user. The small fee creates new wealth in the community which bolsters the local economy and creates new jobs. The additional resources are used to support local schools, clinics, churches and community groups.
With our innovative approach we have seen incredible progress in the areas where our model is in use. A rural primary school in Kenya used to spend their entire government budget purchasing water for their students and teachers. This budget was supposed to pay the teacher’s salaries, buy books and supplies. After receiving a well two (2) miracles happened. The first miracle was the school had a 30% increase in attendance. Why? Because the girls who were normally fetching the daily water were now able to go to school. The well was in the school and the girls would bring home the daly water bucket after school was finished for the day. The second miracle was the school no longer needed to purchase their water. By charging a modest fee to the community, the school earned $12 a day in water fees. This amounted to over $4,300 in annual revenue, a positive net gain or discretionary income to the school of over $10,000 USD.