This project will provide two safe water wells and sanitation to five villages in Niger, West Africa, the poorest country in the world. Access to clean water frees women and girls as young as seven from the burden of walking 4-6 miles a day to find water that is often contaminated. When girls no longer have to do this, they go to school and delay marriage and child bearing. We also provide microfinance training to women in every village where we drill, enabling them to start small businesses.
In Niger, 58% of the rural population lacks access to safe water, and more than 90% of the lack access to even a basic latrine. One out of seven children in Niger don't reach their fifth birthday, often dying from preventable, water-borne diseases. Women and girls are responsible for retrieving water each day and may walk 4-6 miles each day to collect water that is often contaminated. As a result, girls don't go to school, and 85% of women in Niger are illiterate.
Niger has an endless supply of clean water 250-300 feet underground. By drilling a deep-water well and teaching the villagers how to maintain and repair it, we are able to eliminate water-borne disease. Child mortality drops by upwards of 70%, and women and girls are freed from the burden of walking for water. We train the women in each village to establish savings groups that enable them to start small businesses and become role mode
When a girls are able to remain in school, they delay marriage and child-bearing, which reduces their risk of dying in childbirth or developing obstetric fistula. Women have their time freed to pursue income-generating work. We train the women in each village to establish savings groups that enable them to start small businesses and become role models for their daughters and their sons. When women are empowered, the whole family dynamic shifts; husbands and wives become partners in family life.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).