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  • Writer's pictureJason Townsell

The “Why” is as Important as The “What”

This summer, we completed our 18th, 19th, and 20th water projects in Nasarawa state Nigeria. As I ponder how much progress we have made in the three shorts years since Partners For Water began, I am reminded of the importance of keeping why we do what we do at the forefront of my mind and heart.

The Why

The overarching “why” is because 1.42 billion people - including 450 million children – live in high or extremely high water vulnerability areas. In Nigeria, 26.5 million children are experiencing high or extremely high water vulnerability (UNICEF, 2021).

For me, there is also a personal “why.” That “why” came after witnessing people I deeply cared about navigating a world absent of safe and sustainable water. Observing this and feeling the pain of helplessness as those I cared about struggled with accessing the most basic human need left me indelibly impacted and resolute in my conviction to do something to fix the problem.

As with any emotion, when I don’t consistently revisit the feeling I felt when I initially observed the effect of water instability in Nigeria, my thoughts drift from why we do what we do to concentrating on what we are doing. Focusing on the “why” is critical to making the challenges of the “what” worth enduring.

The What

Though keeping “why” at the forefront of my thoughts is essential. The importance of the “what” cannot be underestimated. It is as important as the “why.” The “what” began as facilitating water infrastructure projects. To complete a water borehole project, our teams engage in ongoing fundraising and extensive project planning, including comprehensive location and community assessments and water and geological surveying. After securing project funds and meticulously planning, our team executes the project.

As we look to the future, we are not only committed to enabling water development projects in Nigeria; we are dedicated to community development undertakings related to health, education, and commerce. As we go forward the “what” of what we do will undoubtedly grow, but for myself, the team, and our partners keeping “why” at the forefront in essential.



UNICEF. (2021, March 22). Nearly one-third of Nigerian children do not have enough water to meet their daily needs - UNICEF. Retrieved from

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