Change That Lasts
A common criticism of water infrastructure undertakings in the developing world is the lack of commitment to borehole maintenance by non-government organizations involved in borehole development. According to a report by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), this criticism is not without merit. The report noted that tens of thousands of water supply points have effectively died due to a failure to systematically plan for borehole maintenance (International Institute for Environment and Development ).
We have been mindful of this phenomenon since we began facilitating water projects in Nigeria.
As we complete our 25th and 26th projects, we are even more conscious of the need to ensure the projects we undertake are effectively managed and supervised after commissioning. Because of this, we have assigned community water supervisors to partner with community leaders to ensure the boreholes we drill and install are adequately maintained. These supervisors provide oversight, training, and maintenance consultation. PFW Borehole Supervisors
We endeavor to be the exception to the perception that western water non-governmental organizations are not in Africa for the long haul; through ongoing community support by our Nigerian partners (Chuga and Friends Foundation), we are committed to making lasting change.
With diseases like Typhoid, Dysentery, Cholera, Malaria, and a host of other waterborne diseases being endemic in the communities we work in, curbing their effects is a primary mission of ours. These diseases have become endemic because of the run-off ponds where communities commonly get water. These ponds are not only open to the elements; they are often shared with pigs, cows, goats, and other animals who compete with the community members in search of water.
The water projects our teams have facilitated have allowed for a clean, safe, and accessible water source in the communities we serve. A clean and accessible water source not only improves public health; it improves safety as vulnerabilities of physical attacks, which include: rape, killing, and kidnapping of those who venture far from home in search of to get water, are mitigated.
Providing access to clean water is just the beginning of creating lasting change to public health. To ensure ongoing health improvements, we have facilitated health and hygiene workshops for various communities where we work; and our supervisors visit each community monthly to look in on the community and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) conditions.
2022 and Beyond
As mentioned in the December update, 2021 was a record year for PFW. We completed 11 water projects in 2021 and have continued the momentum in 2022. In January, we completed two water projects (see the details below), and our partners recently completed the survey work on four more projects; we anticipate these projects will be complete by April.
As we grow, we must keep first things first. We began with a mission to "raise capital and facilitate water development projects through partnerships." We remain committed to our mission but realize that to ensure change that lasts, we must begin to think about impacting community hygiene further. More significant impact will likely include facilitating hygiene and sanitation innovations and partnerships.
Whatever the future holds, we are excited to enter it!