What sets Hope2Others International apart from a lot of other water programs is our dedication to a simple, inexpensive, and lasting well design and family ownership of that well to promote sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Some questions we often receive about our work include:
Why do you drill wells this way?
At any given time, approximately half of the community handpumps in Africa are broken. They have been installed or repaired by governments, churches, non-profits etc. to help solve the water crisis. However, when they break, the tools, parts, and/or knowledge are unavailable to repair them. Even if they are, there is usually no money available to make the repair. Having a community-owned well makes individual responsibility difficult. When everybody owns it…nobody owns it!
By manually drilling the well we avoid the high costs of purchasing and operating a large well drilling rig. This allows us to create an extremely inexpensive well. It also allows us to travel to the remotest areas. By having a family involved, they take responsibility for maintaining the well because they own it. By keeping the hand pump simple and made with locally available parts, they are able to repair it themselves or hire us to fix it for just a few dollars.
How do you decide who gets a well?
H2O International serves all in need regardless of race, religion, sex, tribe, etc. Our areas of operation are in The Gambia and the Southern part of Senegal which is called The Casamance. These areas have clean water available at depths of less than 130’ and soil conditions which allow for manual drilling. Since machine drilled community wells usually cost around 8-10,000 US dollars, the cost is too great for small villages in rural areas. Therefore, our priority is to make these small villages our main focus; our desire is to help provide a way when there is no way.
How much does a well cost?
There are two costs to the well–the parts and the drilling. To build sustainability, our local workers must earn a living wage. Therefore, the family receiving a well pays a sliding scale fee (no more than $250) depending on their ability to pay. This fee goes directly to the local drillers. This can be a sacrifice for many, but it also provides a sense of ownership, investment and responsibility. For those who are unable to pay, many of them widows, we drill about 15% of our wells for free.
On the parts side, Hope2Others donates 100% of the materials to complete the well–which currently costs around $150 each. There is no other organization we know of that can offer a well at this cost.
How can we be part of supporting bringing clean water to the world through H2O?
You can help us purchase the materials we need for these wells! In 2018, we helped nearly 300 families, as well as several women’s gardening clubs. This equaled $60,000 in materials. We expect to accomplish even more in 2019. Whether you donate for one well ($200), a part of a well, or for multiple wells, your support will help us reach as many families as we possibly can.
Since our goal is empowering locals, we do not bring mission or work teams to do the drilling. Instead we focus on providing the training, logistical support, materials and encouragement to allow locals to create change themselves. However, we do need help here! Any help in operating the non-profit (fundraising, raising awareness, website or marketing expertise or anything else you think would be beneficial) is always appreciated and we would love to hear how you would like to be a part.