New Water Wells
We drill boreholes, usually to at least 100 feet down, and install casing to stop contaminated ground water from leaking in. We also install hand-powered pumps to prevent the contamination that occurs from using a rope-and-bucket method. The new well is disinfected immediately after drilling, then disinfected again after the pump has been installed to ensure no contamination from the drilling process remains in the well. Each well has an official Caretaker who the community has selected and we have trained and equipped. The pumps sometimes have a security jacket around them that protects them against parts being stolen. We also encourage communities to establish regular water-drawing times so the pump can be locked and protected during down times. This means the Caretaker must supervise the pump at each of those designated times, which helps promote a system of regularity.
Pump Replacements/Well Rehabilitations
We rehabilitate broken-down wells that are no longer providing water. This usually involves replacing the existing hand pump and the concrete pad surrounding it, plus disinfection. The well and pad are restored to a safe working condition. Lifewater replaces and rehabilitates wells that we originally drilled, plus those drilled by many other organizations no longer available to provide support.
A hand-powered pump is comprised of several mechanical parts, and depending on the frequency of use, repairs will inevitably be necessary. Lifewater repairs pumps that we have installed, plus pumps installed by many other organizations no longer available to provide support.
One of the most important ways a community or household can become more sanitary and therefore safer is by having toilets and proper disposal of their sewage. We build community washrooms or toilets and hand-washing stations at schools, orphanages, medical clinics, and community centres. They feature a pour-flush system, with a water tank to use as a reservoir.
Health & Hygiene Training
People drawing safe water from a new well will quickly contaminate it if they aren't washing their hands or engaging in other standard sanitation practices. So each Lifewater Canada project includes a half-day workshop to help community members learn about the sources of dysentery, cholera, and other diarrheal diseases, disease transmission and how to reduce it, and how to care for their water and environment. We also explain how to produce a clean oral rehydration solution that can be used to help diarrhea victims, especially young children. Since early 2020, our workshops have also included a COVID-19 prevention component.
Rainwater Catchment and Storage
Before water makes its way underground, it comes down from the sky. Gathering and storing rainwater is an important way in which communities in the developing world can meet their water needs. It's especially valuable in areas such as mountainous parts of Kenya, where drilling wells is difficult. The water stored is vital during seasonal dry spells. Lifewater is providing hard-plastic 10,000-litre tanks for schools, churches, orphanages, medical clinics, and community centres. Local people are responsible for ongoing maintenance and treating the water with chlorine to ensure it remains safe to drink.