January 31, 2014
Well Aware visits prospective well rehab projects in Kenya to launch new R3 Initiative
R3: Recycle, Restore, Revitalize
AUSTIN—A volunteer team and the organization’s executive director just returned from a trip to Kenya to evaluate prospective projects as part of Well Aware’s new R3 Initiative. R3 stands for Recycle, Restore, Revitalize and is a major new focus for the Austin-based organization that builds water systems for impoverished communities in Africa.
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.
With cost-saving methods including recycling what is already there, the average cost of one of these systems will be reduced by 40 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.
“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, which we find unacceptable.”
In addition to evaluating prospective projects for the R3 Initiative, Well Aware’s volunteer team and executive director visited several of the nonprofit’s current and past thriving water projects while in Kenya.
Last week, the Well Aware team supervised the drilling of a water well in Ndabibi, Kenya that will impact more than 20,000 people. The new water project completed in Ndabibi will yield approximately 200,000 liters of water per day, allowing the community and Well Aware’s nonprofit partners to come in and further develop the area into a prosperous and self-sustaining community.
The Well Aware team also visited two thriving villages in Kenya where they previously implemented water projects to assess the progress made by the community.
In Mithini, what started as a small shack on the dirt with nine sick orphans surrounded by a community devastated by lack of clean drinking water two years ago is now a lively, flourishing community of 4,000 people with an orphanage that houses more than 90 healthy children and crops as far as the eye can see.
In Ndatani, the primary and secondary school children are healthy and able to attend school instead of spending their time collecting clean drinking water. Because Well Aware’s water project, attendance has dramatically approved and the village is robust with crops and laughter.
Unlike many other hydro-philanthropies, Well Aware both funds and implements its water system solutions. Well Aware is known for its sustainability model in building water systems and preparing communities for ownership, 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 $15.
By the end of 2014, Well Aware will have delivered clean water to more than 75,000 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
Founded in 2006, Well Aware is an Austin-based nonprofit that funds and implements clean water systems for impoverished communities in Africa. Well Aware is known for its sustainability model in building lasting water systems with high impact, which combines 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. In 2014, Well Aware launched its R3 Initiative to rehabilitate existing, non-operational wells. By the end of the year, Well Aware will have delivered life-saving clean water to more than 75,000 people. For more information about Well Aware, visit www.wellawareworld.org.