The mission of Water Charity is to implement immediate, efficient, and practical projects around the world to provide safe water and effective sanitation to those in need.
Eva is a passionate environmentalist who constantly takes action to bring about positive changes on issues that affect us all. Each of us should follow her lead and do our part.
Please take a moment to read this, and I would really appreciate if you could send it to all your friends. We have to save the world’s Sharks for many reasons.
There are almost 100 million Sharks killed each year. Most of these are killed for their fins in order to make a tasteless soup. This soup is consumed in Asia and where Asians live, as a gruesome status symbol. (This soup is extremely expensive.)
This cruel and unecological practice has led to a 90° decline in the shark population over the last 50 years. Some large species like Hammerheads, Blue Mackerel and Tresher Shark have declined by 99.99%.
Shark finning is a very cruel and inhuman practice. The Shark is caught, lifted up in the boat, all the fins are cut off, and the live body is thrown back into the sea to sink to the bottom and slowly die.
Putting the cruel treatment of the Shark aside, we badly need the Shark for our eco system, to keep the ocean’s species balanced. The Shark is the top predator, and bringing its population to the brink of extinction will allow for another species to take over. This could be a disaster, as we cannot control which one will, and there seems to be an invasion now of stinging Jellyfish.
Because the Shark is the top predator and the ocean’s “vacuum cleaners” they are full of mercury. Therefore anyone eating Shark fin soup will also get a huge dose of mercury on their plate. As we know, mercury is one of the most toxic and dangerous substances around.
Unfortunately restaurants serving Shark fin soup have also popped up in the western world, and many people ordering it are oblivious to what a huge damage they are doing to their, and their children’s world.
We have worked for a long time in the Maldives to put a stop to shark fishing, as I wanted at least Maldives to be a safe haven for the Shark, and where people could come and see these majestic animals while diving. The Government has now finally put a ban on catching Sharks, so the Maldives might become the only Shark sanctuary in the world.
I have heard that some other places in the world have also banned Shark finning, which is wonderful news.
Please ban all restaurants serving Shark fin soup, raise your voice and tell them why. Please make sure the only sharks your grandchildren will see will not be in an aquarium, and that they can bathe in a sea without masses of stinging jelly fish.
If no one speaks up, nothing will happen, and when the demand stops there will be no more need to kill these beautiful creatures. They have lived on this earth for millions of years. In the short time we humans have been here we have managed to almost make them extinct, and all this for a soup!
This project was to do 35 top-well repairs in the central village and surrounding hamlets.
We have completed 35 top-well repairs throughout 4 villages in the commune of Dombila. Two trained masons teamed with local volunteers to reinforce well structure and equip wells with metal covers. In addition, each beneficiary site received training in essential behaviors around the well areas and water treatment.
The project went smoothly, and our project objectives held throughout. We assessed the project with an evaluation event where PCVs teamed with Water and Sanitation Committee Members to assess well structure and sanitation.
The goals of construction and training were reached, and all but 4 of the sites reached the behavioral standards for well treatment and cleanliness spelled out by the committee. The committee then returned to these sites for additional training with beneficiaries.
The project resulted in the committee improving in its management techniques and decision-making capabilities. In addition, we strengthened relationship with groups within and outside of the community working on similar goals.
The participants reported a noticed improvement in water quality and a decrease in water-borne diseases among beneficiaries.
In addition, the project greatly built the capacity of the masons. Last year, these two masons were but apprentices, but the quality of the top-well repairs only improved during the project. Now, these two men demonstrate high ability in technique of top well repaired and are groomed for similar work should it arise in the future.
To provide for sustainability into the future, each well site now has a packet of information on how to maintain their well, and many have established savings for upkeep costs. Sites are also required to pay a membership fee to the committee every year as reparation insurance. Each committee member is in charge of 3 to 5 wells and will report any problems, behaviorally or structurally, at monthly committee meetings. Members will also remind well owners to treat the water with chlorine at the start of every month.
We are grateful to Emily for completing the project and to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
After a long break I was excited to get back to installing pumps. This was my 6th install, and going in I finally felt like I had worked out all the kinks, and that I knew the system and things would just go smoothly as well. They did!
This was by far the easiest and most successful install yet for the Kaolack side of this project. We started out at the beginning of the week with the well cap as usual and quickly discovered that beyond just being motivated in terms of work, this village is quite creative.
We finished pouring the cement and mentioned that it might be nice to decorate the cap with some of the extra red and white stones. The men helping us took this idea and ran with it. They made a pattern around the outside alternating the colors and then wrote out Alhamdoulilahi (grace be to god) and made two crescent and star Islamic symbols on either side. They were quite proud of their work.
Unfortunately we finished a little late in the day and it looked like a pretty big storm was on the way. Not wanting their beautiful craftsmanship to be washed away, the men quickly ran out into the fields to cut tall grass which they arranged over the cap to protect it from the rain. This ingenious solution worked like a charm. Apart from a few minor raindrop indentations the cap cured nicely.
At the end of the week we came back to do the install and unfortunately it was not raining. In Senegal when humidity reaches 100% and the sun beats down at close to 100 degrees, people don’t work. We were on a schedule however so we got to it.
We installed the cap, fed the rope through the pipe and then lowered everything down. This well turned out to have several lips where it got narrower below the water line, but since we couldn’t see this we were having trouble knowing if we were really on the bottom. Never fear though, on a hot day such as this there was no shortage of volunteers ready and willing to go down into the well to check.
Once assured we were on the bottom we finished the install and started cranking. The kids ran up to play in the water, while the adults who had previously been somewhat skeptical looked in wide-eyed amazement and immediately started praising our work. One man walked up to me shook my hand and said “May god give you the strength to install these pumps all over Senegal.”
Satisfied but very tired we went back to C.J.’s compound (The PCV in Thiawando) for lunch and a nap. Not more than two hours later a man from the next village came by because he had seen the pump and wanted to know how he could get one for his own village. He was just about ready to schedule the date right then, but I told him to wait and see how people like this pump before we make a decision. Looks like I might be back in this region very soon.
This large community with only two wells has never had easy access to fresh water. With this new source they are already discussing possibilities for starting a community garden and fruit tree nursery. Based on what I’ve seen here they certainly have the motivation and dedication to get the job done. This is just the start of many good things to come in Thiawando.
Pump Output: 26 Liters/ Min
Total Number of People Benefiting: 800
Funder: Susan Smith
This project was to assist community leaders in remediation of the causes of deforestation, erosion, soil infertility, and desertification, all of which directly impact on the availability of safe water.
The project was designed to support the local economy by providing financial compensation to local tree nurseries for the trees planted.
The project was implemented by six local tree nurseries, which produced 1,620 trees for 24 community groups. Upon receipt of the trees, these groups out-planted and commenced care for them.
The project combined the leadership and organizational skills of community leaders from groups such as schools, churches, and mosques, with technical knowledge of local tree nurseries.
The goal of the project was to improve environmental conditions and community practices in the area. Additional objectives were to support local tree nurseries (directly through financial compensation for the trees planted an extension of additional technical expertise, and indirectly by developing a local marketplace for trees), to improve the community development skills of local leaders, and to educate local communities about the environment and the importance of trees.
The project successfully achieved two objectives. First, local tree nurseries benefited: they received technical support and consequently strengthened the technical expertise. They produced 1,620 trees and were financially compensated at the market rate. The local marketplace for trees became more developed as leadership skills of community leaders were enhanced through project planning, meetings, and community organization for project implementation.
Tree nursery managers have acquired knowledge and skills in tree production, marketing, and income generating activities. Their capacity to independently produce and sell trees has been increased.
Secondly, community leaders received some education on the environment and the importance of trees. However, the extension of this information to the respective communities has been only minimally effective thus far.
Community leaders have acquired knowledge and skills in project planning and implementation as well as leadership and organizational skills. Their capacity to design and manage projects effectively has been increased. They have also acquired extended skills in tree transplanting and care. Their capacity to manage trees and pursue further reforestation efforts has been increased.
It is estimated that 1,000 people directly benefited from this project.
We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for the Water Charity participation in this project.
This project was to develop a set of ecological community latrines (sometimes called eco-san latrines) to serve the population and visitors in a location where no public latrines existed.
PCV Landis reports:
The community feels that they have reached the goals and objectives as the latrines were completed roughly on schedule. They have already begun operating the latrines for public use and all the responsibilities in regards maintaining the latrines have been assigned to designated persons.
This goes to demonstrate that they have the will and the capacity not only to change their lives but the lives of their children as well since latrines could last generations if preserved in good working order.
With the project's completion, the 150 villagers now have an adequate place to defecate and urinate. They have also been trained by the local PCV and health workers on how to maintain this specific type of latrine.
The community members have been shown how the human waste can be stored and applied safely in a garden, to act as fertilizer without illness befalling those who eat the garden's produce.
The quarter development council has gained experience on how to manage a development project, and what obstacles tend to appear when such an activity begins, and how to avoid them.
Trust has been increased among the members of the community. The project has given community members the motivation to embark on other project ideas to develop the quarter. With one success it is possible they can defeat many decades of the cynicism that hangs around development work like a cloud.
The quarter community members have taken on the responsibility for the maintenance of the latrines and all the costs associated with them. These costs will come out of revenue gained from non-community members who use the latrines and pay a user fee. If these funds are insufficient, the community itself will provide the funds.
They will maintain the latrines by emptying the fecal matter every 6 months and the containers of urine as they fill up.
They will use the human waste for fertilizer in a nearby garden so that other villagers can see that such a fertilizer is safe and effective to use.
The development council now has both the experience in project management and design to use this project as a springboard for other project ideas.
We wish to thank Peace Corps Volunteer A. Landis for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
The completion of Saare Gouna happened almost a month ago and was the first pump to be successfully installed solely by my Senegalese counterparts. It is a bit late in the follow up because I came down with Malaria and have been recovering the last few weeks.
Barry, Lugman, and myself made a plan to head out to Saare Gouna, when I started to get feverish. I called to break our plans, but Barry said, “Let us go and if we have questions we’ll call.” They seemed so excited at the prospects of doing an installation on their own, so who was I to turn them down? They came by my house, picked up all the necessary supplies, and rode off, Lugman holding the bag on the back of Barry’s scooter.
“The affair started slow. It was a hot day so not many people wanted to work. We found two of the women’s husbands to come and help. We carried the piping from its storage place in Samba Thika to the garden and started fitting them together.
We threaded the rope through the pipe and tried to lower the pipe. We then realized we did not wait long enough for the glue to dry and the pipe started breaking. We pulled it out, re-glued and waited. While we were waiting some women came with ataya so we took a break. After the break, we put the pipe back down in the well and tied off the rope. We gave the pump a test, but the rope was too loose so we tightened it and tried again. This time water came out and everyone was happy.”
In two weeks we will go back and check out their work. I am so proud that they’ve learned the system and can go out to do the work on their own. Our team is truly starting to hit its stride!
Pump Output: Unknown Liters/ Min
Total Number of People Benefiting: 29 garden members directly and all of their families indirectly.
Funder: Cynthia Sperry
This project was to construct 475 soak pits, to be used for removing ground water by draining it down into the earth.
The goals and objectives of the project were to build soak pits for every negen. The members of the community dug the well and gathered rocks for each negen and my work partners and I came in with plastic covering, cement, and piping to complete each soak pit and to disseminate information regarding water and sanitation.
Although the original plan was to create 475 soak pits, many of the negens required more material than was originally estimated, and so only 350 soak pits were completed.
I worked with 2 incredibly motivated masons in my village in building the soak pits. The arrangement was that each individual family who wanted a soak pit built dug the hole for the soak pit (roughly a meter wide and a meter deep) and then gathered enough rocks from the fields to fill that soak pit.
Once soak pit construction in the community began, villagers realized that soak pits are easy to construct and affordable as all of the materials required add up to less than 1,000 CFA. When families are building negens they can budget the cost of a soak pit into construction to account for those materials.
During project implementation we realized that negen water runoff varied depending on the number of people using a negen. This sometimes required a bigger soak pit and thus more materials in its construction. In addition some of the runoff holes that were originally built in the negens were crumbling and so made it difficult to cement the plastic piping into place. To solve this dilemma we purchased two brick molds to construct bricks and reform the base of the negen making it more stable and easier to cement the piping in place.
The community did reach the goals of the project in that as many soak pits as possible were constructed with the funds available and the community is motivated to continue moving forward with soak pit construction on their own.
The project built capacity by demonstrating to villagers how to best construct a structurally sound and sustainable soak pit. They gained knowledge in clean water practices, how to properly build a soak pit, how to maintain a soak pit once it is built, and the importance of soak pits in regards to water sanitation.
They have improved the capacity to define and meet goals and objectives by participating in the project from beginning to end and understanding how they can plan and complete projects on their own. They will have improved decision-making by putting the information they learned about clean water practices into use.
I want to thank you so much for your help with my project and in general for the work you do. In terms of being an effective volunteer, it makes all the difference to have contacts with organizations like yours and the people who run them.
We wish to thank Jennifer for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.
The project was to construct concrete floors in up to 64 homes.
Lauren reports on the project, which was concluded earlier this year:
The first family in El Jícaro constructed their floor on March 18, 2011 and the final floor was finished on April 30, 2011. There are now 53 nice, smooth cement floors where before there was dirt, dust, and mud (52 floors in homes plus one floor in the community church kitchen).
Each family was responsible for carrying their materials from the main road to their homes, often in feed sacks on their backs, supported with a head strap. Additionally the families hired their own masons (often neighbors and project beneficiaries themselves) to build the floors.
Project funds were used exclusively to purchase cement, gravel, sand, and paint for the floors. The project was inaugurated May 24, 2011 with a thanksgiving mass in the community church where the community expressed their gratitude for the project.
In the workshops the health promoters stressed to project beneficiaries that a floor alone will not do much to improve family health if the families do not eat well, bathe regularly, drink safe water, or wash their hands often. The floors are built, and that is definitely a change. But I also hope that the participants, by putting everything they have learned in practice, will have healthier, more productive lives that enable them to leave the cycle of poverty.
I hope the health promoters will continue to promote health. But at the very least, the living conditions have improved for 52 families who will live with a little more dignity than before.
At this time, I would like to extend my thanks to Water Charity for supporting the El Jícaro Floors Project.
As a part of the week’s activities, a video was made by our hosts, Six Senses Resorts and Spas, to highlight the work that Water Charity is doing.
We came out of the week of conferences and activities with a plan to publicize the need to provide clean water for the world, and attack the problem by continuing to do projects as fast as we can using our demonstrated successful model.
Six Senses has been our reliable and generous partner for several years. To step up the game, Water Charity is seeking the assistance of other environmentally- and socially- conscious companies to expand our efforts.
Enjoy the video, and let us know what you think.
Thiawando, Kaolack, Senegal
Thiawando is a far cry from the remoteness of Keur Andallah, as it is located just 10 k outside of the regional capital, but amazingly it still has many of the same issues. It is a fairly large community of over 800 people, mostly peanut and millet farmers, but has only two wells with potable water. Of these two almost everyone in the village uses just one, because it is closer and the water slightly cleaner.
Here we have one of the classic problems that the Senegalese face: just 10k away in Kaolack there is electricity and running water but as soon as you leave the city center there just isn¹t the infrastructure or money to continue these amenities to surrounding villages.
Far from a sob story though, this village is thriving. It is a multicultural hub, as many villages in this region are, where almost everyone speaks three languages if not more. Also many people have jobs in the capital since it is so close, and as a result the village is obviously somewhat more prosperous than most.
The Mosque is beautiful and there is a large storage building for saving the community’s yearly harvest. Really the only thing holding them back is a lack of access to water.
We will be installing a rope pump on the main community well from which most of the 800 residents drink. This should ease congestion around the well as it speeds up the process of pulling water.
In addition to this the village has expressed interest in starting a community garden next to the well. With the market being so close this will be a great small business opportunity and will help to increase overall nutrition in the village.
All 800 residents will benefit from the project through either increased speed pulling water, or increased financial security and nutrition from the garden.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Garrison Harward and C.J. Pedersen
This is a high-impact project that will extend great benefit to the community at minimal cost.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of Susan Smith of Rockville, MD, USA.
If you now contribute $100, your name will be placed on the waiting list to adopt the next project in order.
If you wish to contribute less than $100, the money will be applied toward the overall program.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.