To put it into a sentence, we train and work with farmers in Ethiopia to make family-owned, easily-maintainable household water wells by hand with simple appropriate technology, using only locally available and affordable materials.  

 

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In Ethiopia, our WFA work is carried out under the umbrella of a local partner non-profit organization called Ethiopia Addis Kidan Baptist Church Welfare and Development Association (Addis Kidan for short).  Addis Kidan legally registers the project and handles the bureaucratic load.  They are an invaluable part of our mission.  Water for All funds the project and I— a Water for All International missionary—design and drive it.

   

Projects with Addis Kidan

  1. We started with a one-year pilot project:  an intensive practical training program for nine Ethiopians in doing metal work, making drilling tools, drilling boreholes, making pumps, installing pumps, and maintaining pumps.  During the training we made 27 wells in a nearby community.  Our wish was to empower Ethiopian men to do the field work and increase their responsibilities over time.  
  2. We were then licensed a three-year extension project for employing our trained men to lead well clubs and make wells under my leadership (for an explanation of well clubs please visit our method page).  We recently completed this project with a total of 189 new wells. To ensure sustainability, our field workers visited the homes of each well owner and gave them one-one-one training in the maintenance of their own water wells, using each owner’s personal well for demonstration and practice.  During this training, our field workers showed the well owners how to pull out the pump to see if anything needs replacing, and trained them how to replace those parts.  The design of the pump is such that everyone learns easily.  The field workers guided the well owners in the making of three replacement piston seals for them to keep for their own pump—enough for many years.  In addition, each well club was given a “pump maintenance kit”: a set of materials—all attached together by a rope so that they will not be lost—which is given to a leader of each well club for the benefit of any member of that well club.  The kit includes sample piston replacement materials and simple hand tools which can be used by any member of the club to make replacement piston seals.  The kit also includes laminated written instructions in both the Amharic and Oromo languages.  Since this kit has been provided to every well club of the project, every well-owning family will have easy access to the information and tools necessary to keep their well flowing for generations, even if the trained person forgets or passes away.  This puts some much-needed independence and water security into the hands of individual families, we are glad to report.
  3. We are now partnering with Addis Kidan to do trial well clubs in other needy regions of the country, with the intention of selecting some regions to which we will expand with new projects in the next year.
  4. In our original project area, we are beginning a new phase:  helping people more easily water gardens during the dry season with their own wells.  This is a great need for improving income security.   We have been designing and testing WFA motorized pump jacks which attach to our wells and can efficiently pump water for gardens in the dry season.  The intention for this next step is to train local workshops to make these motorized pump jacks for sale to local well-owning farmers (we have made hundreds of wells in this part of the country).  We also have recently developed, tested, and and made 40 extra-wide boreholes (4.33″) with wider pumps, which produce 54 liters (17 gallons) per minute when pumping by hand – a capable irrigation pump.  The plan of the upcoming project is to continue making these wider wells and to help the local well-owners to work in cooperative groups to purchase from trained local sellers and use the motorized pump jacks on their wells for irrigation in the dry season.  This would be a game-changer for them.

 

Here, our field workers are making pump pistons at our house

 

Upon need, our trained workers:

  • Help me make or fix drilling tools
  • Help me make pump parts for use in the finished wells
  • Lead water club well drilling work
  • Condition the water wells
  • Install pumps
  • Assist well owners in maintaining pumps when necessary

 

In the most recent project, I was, officially, the “trainer and facilitator” of our workers.  This means that I:

  • Provided continual instruction to improve the skills of our workers
  • Facilitated the workers and the carrying out of the project in general
  • Regularly improved upon our technologies, with particular focus on local affordability, local maintainability, local accessibility of materials, simplicity (for local reproduction), durability, and effectiveness
  • Checked and documented work for quality control, technological improvement, and reporting

Our original project is located in Becho Woreda and Dawo Woreda, which are two large, adjacent rural counties in the South West Showa zone of the Oromia region in Ethiopia.  We are now expanding to new parts of the country.

For detailed updates on our work, please contact me through the contact page of this site to request being added to our prayer letter email list.