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  • Writer's pictureJason Townsell

The Effect of Clean Water

In June, we completed our 37th water project (36 of these projects actively produce water), bringing the number of people being provided with clean water daily to over 27,000. When we began in 2017, our goal was to bring clean water infrastructure to those who did not have it. While that remains our primary goal, I have realized the importance of understanding our work's impact.

To begin to understand this, this fall, I will begin my doctoral research to assess the perceived impact of clean water infrastructure on consumer community/social, vocational/educational, psychological, safety/security, and religious/spiritual wellness. While the health benefits of clean water infrastructure in Nigeria are well-researched and documented, these collateral effects are not. This research will yield meaningful results that will allow interested parties and stakeholders to begin to understand the impacts, beyond physical health, of clean water infrastructure in Nasarawa, Nigeria. Since beginning our work in 2018, we have anecdotally observed that these impacts were all positive; this will now be verified or disproven through quantitative and qualitative research.

Building for the Long Haul

When we began Partners for Water, we desired to help our friends access clean water; since then, our mission has grown to bring water to the communities we work in and impact as many communities as possible. Understanding the collateral effects of infrastructure development will likely stimulate community development activity beyond the water-related services we provide, which will further impact the communities we work in. To build an environment conducive to all sorts of development, developers must understand the tangible (e.g., economic and health) and the intangible (e.g., social and educational) impacts of infrastructure development. I hope that this research accomplishes this.

Regarding growth, the chart below details the number of water projects we have completed since our first projects in 2018 through YTD 2023. While the quantity of projects we complete per year is something we value, the quality of those projects (e.g., the need of the community and the number of people impacted) is of greater importance. For example, the last projects we completed served a community of over 3,000 people who had never previously had access to water. Though there are less expensive project options we could have endeavored, the desire to impact as many people as possible was more important to our mission.

Since our first project in 2018, we have been 100% partner funded, receiving zero government funding. Being fully partner funded allows us to choose the communities we work in and the projects we develop. This freedom of choice is imperative as it provides us the agility and adaptability necessary to remain on the cutting edge of social, political, and environmental fluctuations. As we progress into the future, we will continue to be fully partner-envisioned and partner-led.

Until next time.


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