When a borehole well is drilled into the earth in a village, and clean water is finally available to the community, the sense of joy is profound. We have drilled thirty one (31) borehole wells in five Zambian chiefdoms, at an average cost of less than $7,000 each. These boreholes serve a total of 37,200 people. For a capital cost of $217,000 or $5.83 per person, we have saved an estimated 4,070 lives and reduced the incidence of waterborne illness in the villages by 80%.
VILLAGE AND SCHOOL FARMS
We provide resources so people can develop educational farms in schools and villages. Our school farms show children where their food comes from and helps them make the connection between clean water and healthy soil, healthy food and healthy bodies. We are demonstrating organic farming practices and introducing environmental curricula into schools.
The little farms become hands-on learning laboratories for teachers (who do not have access to science books). These farming practices also give local farmers insights into food production practices that sustain soil productivity and create income opportunities without adversely affecting community and environmental health.
IMPORTING DRILL RIGS
We recently imported our own drill rig from California to Tanzania to Zambia.
The rig was donated by a manufacturer in Chico, CA. It is durable, light-weight and designed for use in the bush country of Africa. Owning our own rig will reduce our drilling costs per well. As funding is available, we will import more drill rigs, enabling Zambian entrepreneurs to learn drilling operations and business management so that they may establish their own well drilling businesses; thereby expanding clean water access to people across the land.
In Nicaragua, w3e have painted 13 clean water education murals at public schools, health clinics and public buildings. These murals all tell an epic story of the natural world and clean water - how it is compromised by tree harvesting, destruction of riparian habitat, chemical use, litter and agricultural practices. They show the dangers of surface water to health. Viewed by over 120,000 people each year, these murals are the catalyst for social change and social action around clean water.
FINCA VIVE VERDE
We acquired a 14 acre “teaching farm” on beautiful Mombaccho Volcano, near Granada, Nicaragua, where we grow organic avocados, mango, plantains, bananas, cashews and a range of annual vegetables. There, we experiment with traditional, no-plow, organic, inter-planted raised beds and other indigenous planting methods. These plots demonstrate for neighboring farmers, school children and educators, how food production can be organic and how organic practices benefit water quality and the environment. Organically grown food has the potential to generate income that exceeds conventionally grown crops.
We have distributed 60 clean water filter systems to health clinics and schools in cities and rural villages. These simple ceramic filters - made of local clay and straw, fired in wood burning kilns and hand finished, were invented by Ron Rivera of Potters for Peace. These simple ceramic water filter systems avert illness from bacteria that cause cholera, diarrhea, typhoid and hepatitis. They are also an education tool in the classroom and clinic; demonstrating impacts of water pollution on human health and the environment.
We rehabilitated two streams where a combination of deforestation of the riparian habitat, garbage dumping and chemical disposal had rendered the channel toxic, hazardous and visually blighted. Today, these same stream corridors are lush with food producing fruit trees that are enjoyed by a community organization that maintains a vigilant oversight. These projects are demonstration sites that have raised awareness about trash dumping. Though water pollution is still a critical problem, government agencies have stepped forward and made commitments to track the sources of chemical disposal into waterways and make it stop.
WATER QUALITY TESTING
We test water collected in lakes, streams, springs, wells and school water fountains. These tests are part of a growing data base. We also teach water testing to our partner agencies in both Zambia and Nicaragua and distribute water test kits to them. We use water test kits developed by International Water and Health Alliance. These are simple, inexpensive, scientifically vetted and effective tools to detect fecal matter contamination in water. We instruct teachers how to use the water test kits as part of their science curriculum and to demonstrate water testing in classrooms. In schools, in the field and at our work sites, people are fascinated to see bacteria and to learn about how bacterial contamination in water affects their health and well being.
Summer 2016, in collaboration with Alcaldia de Granada, we will install 80 stainless steel, 5" diameter Spanish language storm drain markers at storm drains to build awareness that everything we dump into storm drains is carried by our arroyos, into the lake and beyond. Proper disposal of paint, chemical and oil wastes protects our water quality, wildlife and public health.
Our stainless steel plaques say: "No Waste - Protect Your Water". They are made of stainless steel and have a thirty year life expectancy.
Many Projects / Big Impact
With a total investment of just $312,100 over a period of ten years, we have accomplished all this good work. That is only $31,200.00 per year! Wow! Think of the lives saved and environmental impact we have had for a very small investment! The first borehole well we drilled in 2008 is STILL delivering clean water today! Our public clean water murals continue to educate every day. Our projects endure.Best of all citizens are taking action to protect their own environment - positively impacting the quality of water in their communities. Our partner organizations and individuals in Zambia and Nicaragua monitor and maintain all our projects so that they will produce benefits in perpetuity. Join us in making a difference for our global family.
We are Proud of Our Projects and Accomplishments!