Since 1997, Bread and Water for Africa® has been working to provide people living in remote rural villages throughout sub-Saharan Africa with ready access to clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing, and saving them (especially young girls) with the backbreaking drudgery of hauling heavy containers of water for miles from unsafe, unprotected sites and the risk of severe illness or even death.
Over the past 26 years, we have dug new wells and refurbished existing ones which have not functioned for years, protected springs, constructed stream water diversion projects, and created reservoirs for large-scale agricultural projects.
Among our very first projects was constructing a pipeline system delivering fresh spring water from high in the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda to rural villages below serving more than 10,000 individuals.
While the exact number of people who have benefited due to our clean water projects is unknowable, a fair approximation based on the number of projects per year conservatively puts the number at more than four million, with tens of thousands more added each year.
In the decades since we have completed (or will have completed within the next few months) a total of 394 clean water projects in 12 countries.
Among the projects completed in 2022 include drilling seven boreholes in Malawi benefiting a total of 1,500 villagers, digging a well at a primary school in Ethiopia which serves not only its 1,300 students but an addition 1,000 individuals in the surrounding community, and refurbishing eight nonfunctioning wells in rural Tanzanian villages benefiting a combined 11,000 people. (You can read about these projects and more by visiting https://africanrelief.org/project/clean-water/)
This year, we have expanded out clean water development projects to include two additional countries, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where as you read this we are working with a new, first-time partner on a water sanitation and hygiene project at a school serving 1,500 students which has no easily accessible drinking water that is on schedule to be completed in April.
In the United States and the throughout developed world, access to safe, clean water is as simple as turning on a tap – something that is taken for granted until it’s unavailable.
For millions living in sub-Saharan Africa, it can take hours walking back and forth to fetch water, and even then they are taking their health – their very lives – each time they take a drink from an unsafe, likely contaminated water source.
It’s a risk that no one should have to take, and thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® we are able to not only reduce, but completely eliminate, that risk for tens of thousands year after year.