Clean water is the number one priority for villages when VIP first approaches a village to explore partnership. Villagers, generally women and girls, often have to walk several miles to the nearest source of clean water. Time spent doing simple chores like this can prevent young girls from going to school. Some villages are even forced to rely on rivers for drinking water; rivers that have been used for washing and even waste disposal further upstream.
Working with villagers to provide a safe and accessible source of clean water can be transformative. But to dig or drill a well demands a great deal of commitment and work from the people of a village. They must donate land for the well, collect river sand, crack quarry rock, burn bricks… It is not an easy task. Not all villages are up for the work. Sometimes they tell us they cannot do all that. With that response, we tell them to contact us when they are ready.
But the villages who do want to contribute and build a partnership with VIP experience life changing gifts through clean water. Before the work of the well, the village elects a “water” committee. The water committee mobilizes the community to complete the sweat equity as well as collect monthly fees from each family to maintain the well. They are then trained in care and maintenance of the well.
To date, VIP, in partnership with the villages of Sakata, has drilled 23 boreholes, dug 15 shallow wells and repaired many, many preexisting dysfunctional wells.