November 5, 2013
AUSTIN—Well Aware, the Austin-based nonprofit that builds water systems for impoverished communities in Africa, has announced a new initiative to rehabilitate existing, non-operational wells. Dubbed R3: Recycle, Restore, and Revitalize, R3 will launch in 2014.
With cost-saving methods including recycling what is already there, the average cost of one of these systems will be reduced by 30 percent or more.
“Approximately 60 percent of the existing wells in Africa don't work because of poor project planning, shortage of technical attention, environmental mistakes, and lack of community involvement,” says Sarah Evans, founder and executive director of Well Aware.
“When funds don’t end up helping a community, it’s not just a well that’s broken. The community becomes devastated by the loss, and the millions of dollars in wasted resources. A broken water well introduces an economic and health disaster for a previously flourishing people, and tears communities apart,” Evans says.
The R3 initiative will identify and prepare 10 broken water systems that are ideal candidates for rehabilitation, applying Well Aware’s sustainability model to see the community where the well is located through to prosperity.
“We will recycle abandoned equipment and parts, restore otherwise functional water wells and community infrastructure, and revitalize communities devastated from loss of water,” Evans says. “And, we will create accountability in our industry by calling attention to the prevalence of broken water wells in Africa.”
Unlike many other hydro-philanthropies, Well Aware both funds and implements its water system solutions. Well Aware is known for its sustainable model in building and maintaining water systems, so that its donors are guaranteed that their money will be used as intended for decades. Well Aware can provide water to one individual for more than 20 years for only $20.
In the last four years, Well Aware has delivered clean water to more than 35,000 people. They combine community involvement, strategic non-governmental organization partnerships, technical expertise, and impact measurement to create sustainable solutions that drive economic development and nurture self-sufficient communities.
About Well Aware
Since its founding in 2006, Well Aware has completed 15 successful water projects in Kenya, providing reliable sources of clean water to people who previously had none available in their communities. www.wellawareworld.org