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The key to drilling wells with staying power in the developing world
Date:9/1/2014

What happens after a well is drilled, fitted with a hand pump, and a community celebrates having access to clean water for the first time? Half of them break down in a year.

When a community lacks sufficient resources and training, these wells would be rendered unusable; however, a new study by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's (UNC) Water Institute and Water and Sanitation for Africa, a Pan-African humanitarian agency, found that if local water communities collect fees for repairs and train community members to fix the wells, they can remain in use for decades.

The study found that nearly 80 percent of wells drilled by the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision which integrates local water committees, usage fees and repair teams into its model of delivering clean water were still operational after more than two decades. The research, funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, will be presented at the World Water Week meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. The foundation has provided $80 million over more than two decades to enable water access to an estimated 2 million people.

"The results of this study are very encouraging," said Steven M. Hilton, Chairman, President and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. "Strategic investments targeted at developing the capacity of local communities ensure that water systems remain reliable and long-lasting."

"The good systems are the ones that are maintained and repaired when they fail," said Jamie Bartram, Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health and lead researcher on the study. "And they can fail and be repaired time and time again for decades."

Bartram and his colleagues studied 1,470 wells in the Greater Afram Plains region of Ghana. A total of 898 of those wells were drilled by World Vision. The study found that wells were significantly more likely to be func
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Contact: Johnny Cruz
jcruz@worldvision.org
253-815-2072
World Vision
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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The key to drilling wells with staying power in the developing world
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