The Water Crisis in Angola
In Angola, almost three decades of civil war devastated water systems across the country, leaving millions of people without clean, reliable municipal water supplies or basic sanitation. Presently, the quality of water is still very poor, and in fact is considered harmful to public health.
Two thirds of the rural population is concentrated in the central highlands of Angola. Only 38% of the rural population have access to improved drinking water source, and only 19% use improved sanitation facilities (UNICEF 2010). The under-5 mortality rate is 158 per thousand live births (UNICEF 2011). A total of 88% of diarrheal deaths are attributed to lack of water for hygiene, unsafe water supplies and poor access to sanitary means. Improving Angola's water supply is particularly urgent when the second largest cause of death of children is due to diarrheal diseases.
The Water4 Solution in Angola
In 2009, Water4 drilled one well while training World Vision Angola (WVA) personnel on how to use our hand tools and install our hand pump. Shortly thereafter, WVA drilled another successful well with the equipment Water4 left in Angola. As result of those two wells, WVA designed and wrote a $2.8 million (USD) grant proposal for a 1,000-well project that was accepted by the European Commission, 10th European Development Fund ACP - EU Water Facility.
We are currently more than 700 wells into the three-year, 1,000-well project with World Vision in Angola. With this initiative, there are ten teams of five men each, who are drilling an average of one well per week. In the first quarter of 2014, these teams drilled 98 wells, providing clean water to 17,640 people.
The unique drilling method employed by Water4 and WVA enables communities to contribute significantly both to the cost and labor required, reducing the need for external subsidy and increasing the potential for replication over a wide geographic area.