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Well Repair in a Drought Delivers Clean Water

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WRITTEN BY Shannon Deppi

What do you do if you need an emergency plumbing or well repair? You quickly call your local plumber or well service provider. Help is on the way.

It didn’t work that way for Tune, a mother living in rural Kenya. A deep water well – or borehole – broke in her community. There was no quick or easy solution. And, because the well repair was needed during a severe drought, it was catastrophic.

The well was located less than 50 meters from Tune’s home. It was a daily blessing to Tune’s community and local livestock. It meant clean water was close and readily accessible. And that’s a luxury many people around the world have never experienced.

Heavy Use Leads to Breakdown

But the shared pump was used very heavily day and night. Eventually, the borehole broke down. This left Tune and all her neighbors in a desperate situation.

The only option was to walk more than 20 km each way to the nearest working well.

Walking for clean water: An exhausting, dangerous chore for Tune and women like her.

Families in the community were now forced to spend more than 10 hours each day fetching water. And this difficult task is nearly always the responsibility of women and girls.

The exhausting chore impacted every aspect of Tune’s life.

A Consuming Task

“Our borehole had been serving us so well,” Tune explains. “But it broke down in the middle of the dry season. I used my donkey, which can carry only two 20-liter jerry cans. I traveled to the Marime borehole three times a week.

“It is risky for women walking at night,” Tune explained. “I also left me little time to take care of my two children.”

Time for family chores was cut short. Even the family’s diet was affected. Local livestock left to search for water, too, so milk and meat were in short supply.

“I felt I was not providing my children with motherly love as I should. Sometimes I came back late just to find them asleep and hungry. I prayed that we could find a source for well repair.”

Long lines are a common sight when clean water wells are few and far between.

Answered Prayer and Well Repair

Tune’s prayers were answered through Food for the Hungry (FH). FH and its partners are dedicated to restoring and establishing clean water access in communities like hers.

When FH received news of the need for well repair, they sprang into action. The well repair began immediately. The malfunctioning pumping control unit was replaced.

Tune again has time for her children. She also now serves as a member of the community hygiene committee, begun by FH. She and her neighbors learn about personal and environmental hygiene, minimizing water waste, and household water treatment and storage.

A functioning well is providing clean water once again. As a result, livestock have migrated back to in Tune’s village. Their presence ensures continued nutrition for growing families. This helps children stay healthy and do better in school. Now that the animals are back, they also provide income for the families.

Livestock also need water. If a community well breaks, animals search elsewhere for the water they need.

Water Repair = Life

Because local plumbers aren’t an option for water emergencies in villages like Tune’s, vulnerable communities rely on the response and mobility of nearby FH teams and partners.

Clean water is a necessity, foundational to life itself. However, one in 10 people on the planet do not have access to clean water. But when it’s available quickly, safely, and conveniently, it transforms the lives of every member of society.

Continue Reading

Safe Water and Much More Arrives with a Well

Celebrating the Gift of Clean Water: World Water Day 2022

The Struggle for Clean Water: A Story of Blessings (video)


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