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  • Writer's pictureJason Townsell

From Scarcity to Abundance



Globally, 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water (UNESCO, 2023), and significantly more face water-stressed conditions. In Nigeria, it is estimated that 60 million people live without access to essential drinking water services (The World Bank, 2021). Lack of access to critical services such as clean and safe drinking water starves consumers of rudimentary physiological needs, prohibiting them from accessing higher-level needs. American psychologist Abraham Maslow (1943) asserted that lower-level basic needs like food, water, and safety must be met before higher needs such as love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization can be pursued and fulfilled. 



Since beginning the clean water borehole intervention program seven years ago, we have observed positive health changes in clean water consumers and positive social and behavioral changes due to improved health in all the communities where clean water infrastructure has been installed and have now confirmed this through quantitative and qualitative research in 18 of the 42 communities where our team has installed clean water infrastructure. The research study undertaken utilized a semi-structured survey with open-ended and closed-ended questions to establish an understanding of consumer perceptions related to the relationship between the installation of clean water infrastructure and its perceived wellness effects in six areas: health and hygiene, community/social, education and/or vocation, psychological well-being, safety and security, and religious/spiritual life. 


Respondents not only reported improvement in each of the areas surveyed but also in areas such as self-esteem and self-actualization. With respondents respondents asserting that they now “feel strong and confident” and “ready to do anything at any time,” and their “fear and anxiety are no more because of clean water.” We have learned from this research that providing water to these communities is just the beginning of the journey; because of clean water, many are now moving toward self-actualization and are no longer simply surviving but thriving.


42 and Counting 

In June, we completed our 42nd water project, bringing the total number of people served daily by our water projects to 31,772; this is no small feat. Such a feat would have been impossible without our team of committed partners who financially support the intervention program and skilled laborers who install and manage the boreholes. As we reach the halfway mark of 2024, we are ecstatic with all that is happening and eagerly anticipate crossing the “35,000 people served with clean water every day” threshold.

JT



Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50 (4), 370-396.

The World Bank. (2021, May 26). Nigeria: Ensuring Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All. Retrieved from The World Bank: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2021/05/26/nigeria-ensuring-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-for-all

UNESCO. (2023, May 3). Imminent risk of a global water crisis, warns the UN World Water Development Report 2023. Retrieved from UNESCO.org: https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/imminent-risk-global-water-crisis-warns-un-world-water-development-report-2023


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