A Call for Water
Organized by: Leah Fenimore
(Last Update) Pure.Water.Joy: A bigger, better, farther-reaching water fundraiser!
July 05, 2017
***Just about 90% there!! $3000 will give us 30 meters of solid drill depth. Lets hope water is reached before that depth!***
Company be used is: Water is Life
Throughout this interesting journey that will become a a one-year experience taking myself out of the animal realm (but soon to return!) and working to help people in a developing East African country, I have met many types of people, seen many different areas (both privileged and under-privileged) and ultimately have seen and experienced a completely different Tanzania than what I had previously experienced during my first two trips out here. There is so much need for basic necessities in the majority of rural areas in Tanzania and this overwhelming need is what has led me here to CrowdRise to ask for donations to help at least just one of these communities that I met during my exploration of this country.
I had the opportunity during the school Christmas break in December to visit a fellow colleague’s small home village located near a larger transport hub village of Tunduma in the Mbeya region in the southwestern part of Tanzania. If you look at a map, you will discover that this village is nestled within short driving distance of lovely foothills that mark the borders of Zambia and Malawi. This trip was originally taken in order to help my colleague plant around 500 new trees on his land, in an effort to start reforesting the area and educate his fellow residents about the importance of trees and reforestation, and how to use firewood more sustainably. Reforestation is a subject I am passionate about and feel it is highly needed in many parts of Africa. What it evolved into though was an exercise in desperation; nearly the whole village resorted to begging this foreigner (whom they saw as their only hope) to help them, in any way possible to get something they desperately needed…clean water to their village. Who was I to say no?
During my brief 3-day stay there, I experienced what it was like to live in a place that did not have direct access to clean water (via a deep water well), or access to water that was close by, nor did they have a river source to harvest water from. I had never experienced a village like that before in all of my trips here combined until this trip. I was given a bowl of dirty water when I asked to brush my teeth on my first night there. I wasn’t close to a place that sold bottled drinking water, and thus the villagers had to continuously boil and filter water for me to drink and use, and even that water tasted strange and frankly not safe. I witnessed residents foraging for water in many short holes scattered through out the village that were dug in the soil to collect rain water during the rainy season. But what about when it is not rainy season? What about when the land is parched and dry and is baking in the hot equatorial sun? Where do they get water then? I was told they have to walk just over 3 miles to collect the water. And they are the lucky ones! As I was lamenting about this experience later to a friend, he said he knew people from villages that had to travel for 3 days to the closest water source.
My initial plan was to stay in this village for just shy of a week, but regrettably I I had to cut it short after 3 days, as the stress of living without clean water was my physical limit. I simply can’t imagine how difficult it must be for the residents of that village. But the lack of money makes moving to a better area impossible. Even though it was a difficult and sad, it inspired me to try to make a difference for these people. No person in this world should ever have to live without access to clean water; a basic necessity to life. I realize that many of you back home will likely never experience something like this, but I see this as an opportunity to be the eyes and ears for you so that I can respectfully educate you on the seriousness of this situation. Back ‘home’, wherever home is to you, you have access to plentiful, safe water. Every human being should have the right to access clean water.
I spent the next 3 months on and off researching different companies and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s) that drill deep-water wells in rural areas. I hit dead ends with all of the clean water NGO’s I contacted for help, citing that they were at their resource limit and could not help me (I understand, its tough being an NGO here). I have found some companies that were very expensive and some that were not. Luckily, recently I have honed in on two companies that have given me reasonable quotes for a deep-water well in this village. While it is still far too expensive for an expat volunteer on a very low stipend, I believe it is an amount that is attainable via crowd funding fundraising. And thus I am here asking those back home and in other various places to help me in my goal of getting at least one well to this village. Imagine the smiles on their faces!
To explain the amount that I am asking for, I set the goal to be $4000. A deep water well from the companies I am interested in hovers around $3000 depending on how deep they have to drill (water is usually attained between 30-50 meters) and what type of pump to install. I ask for the extra thousand due to foreign exchange rates, Crowdrise fees, and having extra money for situations like “oops! We need to charge you more than we quoted” situations (common in any ‘construction’ project and maintenance money in case some component of the well needs repaired later.
Any extra money that is donated will go towards the following projects that I have in mind:
• Hiring a friend of mine from Moshi who is one of the two WOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) hosts in Tanzania to travel to the site to educate the residents about organic farming, in an attempt to introduce the concept to the area to avoid the poisoning of their NEW water source with harmful chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. I want to cover all of his expenses if he comes.
• The installation of multiple wells in this village. (not just one) This village is a rather large-ish and wide village, and the residents would benefit from having multiple wells scattered in different areas (but I understand this can be very pricey).
• The construction of a “security wall” around the well to prevent theft of the pump (sadly, a common occurrence). We have one for the village I reside in and it works well.
• TREES! I love planting trees and reforestation execution and education is one career path that I am honing in on. While we have planted 500 trees already, a lot more needs to be planted for the following reasons.
o The area needs reforested
o Provide food in the form of fruit to the villagers
o Provide habitat for birds and other animals
o Provide firewood (provided it is used sustainably, and multiple trees are replanted when one is cut down)
o And most importantly, to raise the water table in the area which will prevent the well from ever running dry!
• In addition to the projects in this village, if I raise a HECK of a lot of money, I want to use it for some basic needs and small projects for my secondary school campus (both science related and environment related) and I want to help a local friend of mine with start up money for a new NGO he has started. His NGO aims to help and empower at-risk populations such as street children, HIV/AIDS victims, women’s groups etc. His NGO is called RUCE, short for Rural and Urban Community Empowerment. (Look out for a crowd fund site for him too which I hope to help him develop) He has great project ideas, just needs the funds for it and has hit dead ends with his grant requests so far ☹) There are some really good people out here, and they need to be supported!
Anyway, that is the history of why I am doing this. Please enjoy the pictures and the video and please share this with everyone you know! Thank you so very much in advance for any donations you may provide. Your generosity will improve the livelihoods of thousands of people! Asante sana!