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.

Parina Community Spring Project – Peru

Parina Community Spring Project – PeruThis project is for the covering of the community spring and the construction of a small catchment box to provide clean water to the people of Parina, Peru.

The project is being implemented under the direction of Kristen Gunther, graduate student at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health and Suma Marka, a Peruvian NGO operating out of Puno. To read the full details about the project, CLICK HERE.

The community of Parina, located in the rural southeast region of the Andes Mountains, adjacent to Lake Titicaca, currently struggles to access clean water sources. Parina is a small rural community situated approximately 12,500 feet above sea level and located outside the regional capital of Puno. Due to the rural location of Parina, community members lack access to clean water sources and struggle to obtain health-related services.

Parina primarily obtains its drinking water from unprotected springs contaminated by human and animal waste, and unmaintained wells built by the government. The primary spring is a location in which the community obtains drinking and cooking water and takes their animals to drink. While water from this spring is initially pure and potable, environmental contamination and lack of maintenance leads to unclean drinking water in the spring.

The structure of this spring is not ideal for preventing contamination of ground water and perpetuates water-related diseases. Elevated levels of E. coli and fecal coliforms have been consistently found in water from the spring. These indicator microbes show bacterial contamination likely to lead to gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea in Parina, especially among vulnerable children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

The project will start with the purchase of construction materials and equipment in the nearby city of Puno, and their transport by truck to Parina. Community members will provide certain materials that they currently have within the community, such as wood for the spring box frame and construction tools.

A local professional who has experience in constructing improved springs and wells will be hired to oversee the construction process of the catchment box. Community members in Parina will provide the labor.

To initiate construction the current spring will be excavated until an impermeable soil layer is reached. Gravel and stones will be placed above the soil layer to prevent erosion and further ensure a clean water source. A cement wall with an overflow tube at the top will be placed on the open wall of the spring to close the spring off. A second tube will be placed towards the bottom of the wall, approximately 50 centimeters from the ground, providing a connection to the catchment box. The water will flow from the protected spring into the catchment box where it will then be accessible to the community through a tap.

In addition, a cover will be constructed from local materials to ensure no contamination enters the spring from above, and to allow entry into the spring for cleaning and maintenance.

After the initial protection of the spring is completed, the catchment box will be constructed. It will contain an outlet tube approximately 50 centimeters from the ground with a tap to allow for water collection. An overflow tube will be placed 50 centimeters from the top of the catchment box to ensure that the catchment box does not overflow.

All tubes will have a screen on the end to ensure no debris will enter the spring or catchment box and all water leaving the catchment box will be free of particles.

A cover for the catchment box will also be constructed with a top allowing for easy access to clean and maintain it.

Finally, the spring and catchment box will be disinfected with a chlorine solution before use. Community members will be trained on maintenance to ensure a clean water source in the future and sustainability of all structures. Monthly water quality monitoring will continue in order to maintain water quality.

During the wet season, this project will benefit 49 people in 7 households, plus students at a small elementary school with 30 students. In the dry season, other water sources dry up and an additional 35 people in 7 households will use spring.

This project uses simple proven methods that can be replicated using locally available materials. Residents will be trained in construction and maintenance, thus ensuring sustainability.

In summary, this is a necessary project to prevent further contamination of the spring and provide clean drinking water to the Parina community. Its benefits will be seen in the measurable reduction of illness.

This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Kristen of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund other projects in Peru.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of Solar Pump System Repair Project - Mali

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Zac Mason. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to rebuild the broken solar pump-to-tap system by replacing the damaged broken pipes and repairing the livestock-watering trough.

Zac reports:

I, along with the Diaramana Water Committee, have left the solar pump system in a functioning and more sustainable state. Now the broken parts on the livestock-watering trough and the broken transmission pipe have been replaced so that less water is being wasted through leakage.

All of the broken tap heads have been replaced with new tap heads with keys, and each key has been assigned to a certain respected member of the community within the vicinity of that tap head.

The Diaramana Water Committee and the traditional gerontocracy have agreed upon a new system for cost recovery and user payments, and according to my knowledge that new system will be implemented with the next year's taxes.

The Diaramana Water Committee has now developed the capacity for conducting repairs and maintenance of the solar pump system. This might seem too obvious a thing to bother writing about, but never before has the Water Committee been involved in any such repair project before - they have only sat back and watched as an NGO came in and built this water system with minimal involvement.

The community paid for all of the new tap heads, and for all of the welding, plumbing and transportation costs.

We wish to thank Zac for carrying out this great project, and again thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.

Conclusion of Solar Pump System Repair Project - MaliConclusion of Solar Pump System Repair Project - Mali

Conclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – Peru

Conclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – PeruThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Matt Inbush. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

This project, as part of a larger Healthy Homes and Dry Bathrooms project, was to construct 60 “dry bathrooms”, one for each family in the community.

Matt reports:

The project's goals were to teach new skills (family hygiene, household water treatment, and illness prevention; vegetable gardening and general nutrition; waste management, composting, and recycling; and dry bathroom construction, use, and maintenance), develop management skills within the community, and reduce the village's rate of intestinal infections over time through the construction and correct use of sixty dry bathrooms.

The first goal was met; there was high community participation in meetings and trainings from start to finish, and the population showed significant knowledge retention through group "quizzes" given at each meeting.

The second goal also was met, in that the community (and particularly the five members of the Project Committee) demonstrated substantial organizational and project-planning skills, soliciting the local municipality's support when needed and resolving disputes between families, workers, and institutions at different stages throughout the project.

By the end of the project, they showed increased confidence and management capability both in working with the local municipality and with outside institutions like Peace Corps.

In regards to the final goal, the rate of reported intestinal infections must be monitored over several months (and ideally, several years) in order to make any conclusions. This will be carried out by both the Volunteer responsible for the project as well as his two replacement Volunteers in the district capital which the village belongs to.

In the end, fifty-two of the proposed sixty dry bathrooms were built, in addition to two "ventilated improved pit" latrines. Six families dropped out of the project along the way, for lack of interest or inability to provide the required materials and active participation.

The community as a whole, however, was extremely pleased with the results and many had begun using their units with 100% satisfaction. The remaining families were only missing final touches, such as the door, and planned to begin using their bathrooms as soon as possible.

Matt is continuing on as a 3rd-year volunteer at a new site in Pisco, about 4 hours south of Lima. We thank him for completing this great project, and wish him the best.

We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for our participation in this project.

Conclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – PeruConclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – Peru
Conclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – PeruConclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – Peru

Wat Potaram Pre-School Cafeteria Project – Thailand

Wat Potaram Pre-School Cafeteria Project – ThailandFollowing on her successful Wat Potaram Pre-School Bathroom Renovation Project – Thailand, Peace Corps Volunteer Heather Chadwick is implementing a larger project at the same school.

Baan Nong Hai Village is a small, agricultural community located in Maha Sarakham Province in the Northeastern region of Thailand.

Wat Potaram Pre-School is one of two pre-school centers in the local district. Located on the grounds of a temple, the school serves 75 students, ages 3-5, with 5 teachers and one cook. Since Buddhist traditions play a very important role in the lives of the villagers, the temple and pre-school area are frequently used for community events as well.

Wat Potaram Pre-School Cafeteria Project – ThailandCurrently, there are no appropriate facilities in the school for the students to use at meal times. Instead, the students eat on the classroom floor, which is very crowded, not conducive to food distribution, and, most importantly, unsanitary.

The cafeteria will be attached to the pre-school, and will contain a food preparation and serving area, as well as tables and chairs. The Water Charity participation in the project will pay for the water-related aspects of the project. These include the fixtures as well as piping for supply, distribution, and wastewater removal in the new cafeteria.

The project is structured so that community families and workers will provide the labor. The many community stakeholders active in this project include local government staff, teachers, parents and students.

Wat Potaram Pre-School Cafeteria Project – ThailandThe teachers plan to use this opportunity to increase awareness about overall sanitation through hand washing lessons before and after meals and other health tutorials.

This project will directly benefit 81 people, and indirectly benefit several hundred more community members who use the facility for various community events.

This is a high-impact, immediately-effective project that will serve large numbers of villagers and students. It will reduce disease by creating hygienic conditions for years to come.

To indicate your desire for your contribution to be allocated toward this project, please click the Donate button below.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Huabalito and La Botella Bathroom Project - Peru

Water Charity Project Huabalito and La Botella Bathroom Project - PeruHuabalito and La Botella are small farming annexes of Sausal, the village where Peace Corps Volunteer Matthew Fuller lives and works, and where 22 and 25 families live respectively. Each community is entirely dependent on export and subsistent farming as an economic activity, including production of grapes and sugar for export.

Both communities are highly impoverished and lack basic resources, such as electrical connections, a secure source of water, and adequate sanitation facilities. While extremely poor, the families in the community are humble and warm, often inviting the health post staff and Matthew to whatever food is available.

Water Charity is participating in a larger project to construct dry ecological bathrooms at households in the villages. This technology does not contaminate ground water as no pit is dug. Instead, solid waste (feces) falls into one of two sealed chambers, and liquid waste (urine) is separated through the specially- designed toilet and is transferred outside the unit.

Huabalito and La Botella Bathroom Project - PeruThe urine can then be stored and diluted for use as fertilizer, or can pass through a basic gravel filter. The feces is stored in a sealed chamber with a cement floor and a sealed brick wall, and is mixed with ash or organic material.

After six months, the chamber is sealed and the user uses the other chamber for the next six months. During this time, the organic matter decomposes, while bad bacteria and virus die. After six month, the material is ready to be safely removed from the chamber to be used as organic fertilizer and the process repeats again.

These bathrooms have an estimated useful life of 20 years, largely depending on the building materials.

The construction follows a program of education and training which commenced in October, 2010. 15 families in each community were invited to participate in a Healthy Homes program, based on family demographics and advice from local health promoters. The program involved a series of health and hygiene related talks, with topics chosen by Matthew and local health promoters.

Huabalito and La Botella Bathroom Project - PeruTwice a month families were required to attend these health talks on themes such as hand washing, water treatment, family violence, and trash management. In addition, families were responsible to install Tippy Taps (simple and economical hand-washing stations), initiate water treatment practices, and dig a mini-landfill. After each session, follow-up visits were paid to families to check for learning and practices in home and to resolve any questions or clarify information from the session.

By the end of the program, 25 families (including 6 volunteer community health promoters) completed the educational session of the program, with the vast majority showing improved hand washing and health practices in the house (according to the baseline analysis at the beginning of the program).

The community will contribute labor and local resources, including adobe blocks.

The local government will provide a large portion of the project cost, with other funding to provide the remainder.

After construction, bi-monthly visits will be paid to families by health promoters to ensure the continuation of healthy practices and habits, as well as use and maintenance of the dry bathrooms.

In total, 134 people in two rural Peruvian farming communities (43 male, 48 female, 17 boys and 26 girls) will benefit from the project.

This type of bathroom is important in these communities for a variety of reasons. First, it provides sorely needed sanitation services in the community. The incidence of diarrheal diseases and typhoid can be expected to be reduced 50%.

Secondly, the construction of the chambers eliminates the need to dig a pit and risk contaminated groundwater. Especially in the community of Huabalito, the ground water is too high in many parts to safely construct pit latrines.

Thirdly, the matter is converted from a contaminant to an asset in the community. Organic material is transformed into fertilizer, which will benefit the agrarian families.

The Water Charity participation in this project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Matthew Fuller of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Matthew and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2

Conclusion of Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2This project has been completed under the direction Liz Love, Adult Literacy Director of Safe Passage. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to provide 35 additional Ecofiltro ceramic water filters to serve 280 persons, comprised of families enrolled in the Adult Literacy Program.

The background of the project is as follows:

In May 2009, 42 filters were provided by Water Charity and given out to women who attended Adult Literacy classes as well as 4 placed in Safe Passage public areas.

In June 2010, 32 of these women requested and bought a clay basin replacement with a 50% discount of Q100.00 provided by the company Ecofiltro.

Conclusion of Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2This project resulted in an additional 35 new filters provided to women and men in 2010, all of whom participated in training regarding use and maintenance of the filters as well as general public health education.

The success of this effort can be seen from a PowerPoint presentation prepared by a Safe Passage Volunteer, entitled Ecofiltros for Safe Passage Families.

There are a number of factors to be noted in this project. The selected technology is easy to install, use, and maintain. It is in great demand by the participants in the Safe Passage Program.

The large majority of those who received the filters in the first project liked them so well that they proceeded to buy clay filter replacements for the units and continue to use them.

Most importantly Safe Passage has continued to work with the beneficiaries and to document the health benefits that have accrued from the consistent use of the filters.

The PowerPoint shows universal compliance with proper water filtration practices among those receiving the filters. It also shows a dramatic reduction of diarrheal disease reported by users.

We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this project.

Conclusion of Go Cong Dong Water Project – Vietnam

This project has been completed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to implement a rainwater collection project to serve about 150 people who lacked an effective way to obtain water for their needs.

The partnership was successful in designing and implementing a rainwater collection project, which resulted in service to 23 homeowners and their families in the district.

The families are involved in a microfinance project and had the option either to build large, concrete rainwater catchment containers or to buy large rainwater jars, depending on the location of each household.

Habitat’s Dana McNairn reports on the project by presenting two typical case studies from among those who have been served by this project:

Conclusion of Go Cong Dong Water Project – Vietnam Chuyen’s Family
For the last five years living in Rach Bun hamlet in Go Cong Dong district, Nguyen Thi Thanh Chuyen and her two children suffered from a severe lack of water, as did the majority of their neighborhood. Due to the low elevation of the area, the soil is becoming saltier every year. Chuyen’s family collected water from a river nearby and stored it in three jars, containing about 100 liters in total. However, as the season changes, ocean water surges into the river, the resulting water is undrinkable. Throughout this season, the price of fresh water shoots up to around VND 100,000 (US $5) per liter, a price few can afford.

Within three days of implementing the project, Chuyen hired a team to complete the construction of a concrete rainwater container, measuring approximately 2m X 3m. She can store about 25 times more water than before and ensure that her family’s basic needs for safe water are met. “We used to drink from the river,” she said, “but now, we’ve got a more healthy drinking water supply. Our lives are much more improved.”

Conclusion of Go Cong Dong Water Project – Vietnam Linh’s Family
On average, each person needs at least 2.5-3 liters of water a day for basic survival needs. This means the four large water jars that Phan Ngoc Linh’s family were using would only provide enough drinking water for two months, leaving her family with a dramatic shortage of water during the annual dry season.

Living in a coastal area of Tien Giang province, the family has limited access to safe clean water. Due to the area’s low elevation, the rise and fall of the tides infiltrate the soil, making it too salty for ground water wells. On the other hand, it is far too expensive to drill deep wells. Piped water is also not an option due to the remoteness of the area.

While the five members of Linh’s family used to rely on four jars of river water, they knew drinking river water was not healthy and the jars not sufficient. When the project was begun, Linh signed up immediately and waited for her turn to build a concrete rainwater catchment container.

Habitat provided technical expertise on construction, as well as safe water and sanitation practice. Households like Linh’s also received assistance for locating sources of affordable materials, as well as supports on simple methods of water purification. Financially, each family also received a microfinance loan with very low interest to be paid in three years into a revolving fund so that other households can access money in the future.

Unsafe water causes approximately 1.8 million diarrheal deaths every year. The project has delivered to homeowners like Chuyen and Linh a way to avoid serious diarrheal diseases while making everyday life easier and less costly.

The project is important in two aspects. First, it was designed to assist the families with whatever services and materials they needed for their individual needs. Second, the impact of the funds spent on the project was multiplied by an innovative microfinance program, which will result in more families receiving benefits far into the future.

Well Improvement Project – Mali

Well Improvement Project – MaliThis project is to line, cover, and reinforce five wells in a rural village in Mali. In addition to preventing further erosion and cave-ins at the mouths of the well, this will prevent contaminated surface water (and chickens!) from falling in the wells. Pulley systems will be added to make drawing water easier.

This level of infrastructure will be a new step for the poor farmers who live in the village. Some of the villagers currently take their drinking water from wide-mouthed uncovered wells without any treatment.

The project is being carried out under the direction of Pilar Lyons, a civil engineer serving as a Water Sanitation Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Mali. The village in which she lives has no running water, electricity, or roads (access is via a rutted dirt track, mostly traveled by foot, bike, and donkey cart).

Well Improvement Project – MaliHer job is to find out what sanitation improvements her community feels they need the most and help them make whatever practical changes they see as necessary. In addition to physical projects like improving wells, this includes behavior change work on things like using soap for hand-washing.

The five wells selected for this initial project belong to respected community leaders. Improving the wells of prestigious people converts a household utility item into a status symbol and increases general interest in sanitation.

Four of the wells are topped by a slab of timbers and packed earth, with an old donkey cart tire forming the mouth. Only two are lidded even occasionally. The fifth well has suffered extensive erosion at the mouth, and gapes to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) in diameter at the surface.

Well Improvement Project – MaliLarge puddles of churned muck are a feature of several of the wells, because clothes washing and dishwashing take place next to the wells so that women don’t need to carry water a long distance before doing their work. Animals are watered at the well for the same reason. The addition of a concrete wash-area with associated infiltration pit will greatly ameliorate this problem.

The community will provide all of the labor for the project and a percentage of the materials. Project funds will go toward purchasing cement and tools to complete the work.

Once the project is complete, the standing Water and Sanitation Committee will continue to utilize the skills and knowledge of sanitary water supply gained during the project to improve other wells in the village.

$0.00 - The Water Charity participation in this project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Pilar of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or other projects in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Antsikory Well Project - Madagascar

Antsikory Well Project - MadagascarThe rural village of Antsikory is located in the commune of Antsirabe Nord, about a two hours walk from town, or an hour walk from the main road. The village is comprised of roughly 2,200 people, about 600 of them children under 5. There is a local primary public school and a local Antsikory Women's Group.

Villagers do not have access to public taps or other sources of clean water. There is only one well in the village, which is not adequate to serve the needs of the community members who live there. Most community members use the local stream to wash clothes and dishes, to bathe and to collect water. As the stream is often stagnant and is used for many purposes, it has become polluted with trash and other human waste. As a result, many of the children in village of Antsikory suffer from diarrheal diseases and schistosomiasis.

This project is to build two wells for public use by the community, and to carry out health education targeted at mothers and children concerning proper hygiene, sanitation and other prevention measures for diarrhea and schistosomiasis.

Antsikory Well Project - MadagascarThe project is being carried out by Peace Corps Volunteer Maya Rao, in cooperation with the Antsirabe Nord Women's Group, with involvement from the local Antsikory Women's Group, local leaders and village members.

The Antsirabe Nord Women's Group will provide transport of materials from Sambava to Antsikory. The Antsirabe Nord Women's Group along with the Antsikory Women's Group and village members will also gather gravel, sand, and rocks locally.

Community members will then help dig the first well along, with supervision and direction from a well construction expert. The well builder will proceed to complete construction of the well, and another worker will construct the fence.

Once the first well is complete, construction of the second well will commence and move to completion following the same plan.

Training will be provided to primary school students and their parents, and also the community at large, on prevention measures for diarrheal disease and schistosomiasis.

The Antsikory Women’s Group will maintain the wells, ensuring the sustainability of the project.

Through the construction of two wells, water is being brought to people who currently have limited access to safe water. The training sessions will ensure compliance with safe practices. The elimination of the use of contaminated river water will have a tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of the community.

$0.00 - The Water Charity participation in this project has been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Maya Rao of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Maya and/or those of other PCVs in the country.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Hack & Slash Support Water Charity

Hack & Slash Cristmas ShowWe are excited to announce our partnership with Hack & Slash, who have stepped forward to raise funds for Water Charity at the Hack and Slash Christmas Special in Color.

The product of John Davis (Hack) and Spencer Humm (Slash), this all-new show features an original score and a slew of top-notch entertainers providing holiday entertainment for the entire family.

Four performances are set for December 17-19, 2010 at the Chesapeake Arts Center, Baltimore, MD.

Hack & Slash, in the generosity of the season, have committed to sponsoring five Water Charity Projects:

We are grateful for their support, and for their acknowledgement of the Water Charity mission to provide water and sanitation to all those in need in every corner of the world.

We are a 501(c)(3) public charity. If you like the work we are doing, we invite you to make a tax-exempt general donation of any amount.

Please consider making a recurring monthly donation.

Check to see if your employer will match your donation!

If you want to make a donation for a specific project, please use the Donate button at the bottom of the designated project page.

If you prefer, you can send a check to:

Water Charity
P.O. Box 368
Crestline, CA 92325

Water Charity

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Water is the only drink for a wise man.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)