Empowering the People to Maintain Water Wells in Uganda

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Prior to our purchase of the Village Drill, IFA used our funds to help other non-profit organizations drill shallow wells, which could be gifted to villages for approximately $2,000 per well. While this system helped many villages access clean water temporarily, it also left the people with an inadequate understanding of the value of a well. There was also a lack of ownership; without the work and effort that goes into fundraising for and building their own wells, the villages were unable to recognize their role as the caretakers and stewards of the wells they were receiving. Additionally, many of these villages had inadequate training on the required maintenance for water wells; as a result, whenever the well began to have issues--including minor maintenance like a worn gasket or pump--some villages resorted to burying their wells and applying to a different non-profit for a new well. As we observed this phenomenon occurring, IFA recognized that setting certain criteria for villages to receive assistance for any kind of well would prepare the people to better understand and care for the valuable asset a well can be and thus set them up for success. 
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Shallow Well criteria include: 
  • Each family building and maintaining  a simple Tippy Tap  washing station (with soap).
  • Tribal leaders setting up a fund contributed to by each village family for well maintenance with its designated leaders overseeing the funds;

These criteria were specifically selected as a means to help each village prepare for and understand the valuable addition of a deep water well. While setting qualifications for a well was previously unheard of, IFA has recognized that in asking villages to meet these criteria, the contributions we receive can be used to build long-lasting, well-maintained wells that will bless villages for a lifetime. In addition to grants that are given based on the community’s needs, IFA also offers a payment plan option, which allows villages to make payments for up to one year after the well is drilled, thus allowing communities to access clean water earlier.

This approach allows the people to gain a sense of ownership and pride in their contributions to the community. By helping the intelligent, hardworking people of Uganda see these wells as their own, they begin to recognize that they are part of the solution. Additionally, by having the villagers contribute to its cost, it opens doors for more wells in more communities.  Moreover, the people see how they are saving untold costs from having better health, less disease and a lower mortality rate.  
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Working Together

Now for deep water wells, once these criteria are met, and their grant has been approved, IFA covers the remainder of the cost of drilling a water well in Uganda, and volunteers and villagers alike work together. The men help with the manual labor, and women provide and prepare food for the laborers. Members of the community are trained on the maintenance and upkeep of the wells, thus ensuring that the deep water well will bless the community as a long-term solution to clean water.

IFA partners with the people of Africa to provide resources and help the people maintain their independence by being good stewards of the help they have received. By instilling principles of self-reliance in these villages, IFA ensures that these people are well on their way to crafting a safer, healthier community. 
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Please Donate Today

Every donation, whether great or small, helps cover the cost of digging a well in Uganda and makes a significant contribution to providing clean water for African villages. 
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