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Water Wells in Africa - Can You Dig It?

Updated on March 31, 2013

Fresh Well Water for Africans

There is one special charity that I can always get behind and that is digging water wells in Africa. I first heard about it in the 90's while watching James Robison's Life Today television program. James has been digging deep fresh water wells in Africa for many years now. At one point I was able to sponsor 1/3 of a well, and have sent smaller contributions over the years in order to make a difference. Fact: 80% of the 3rd world's diseases come directly from drinking available water.

Fact: If we could give everyone fresh, clean water to drink we would eliminate most of the sicknesses, parasites, and give them a choice of life, not death. This lens tells something about the problem and proposes solutions to it.

The Problem

"One out of every five people on earth does not have access to safe drinking water. Thirty thousand people die every day from drinking contaminated water," says Ryan Hreljac, founder of the Ryan's Well Foundation and co-chair of Mining for Water. "UNICEF says that 80 percent of sickness and death among children is caused by water-related diseases – that's almost 4 million deaths every year.

Explaining The Need

Water is as important as food for the life of the individual. In fact, a person

can go many days without eating, but can go dramatically fewer without

water. Our bodies are made up mostly of water, and the loss of it can kill

us very quickly. There is no one in the world that lives without water, but

there are many who live without GOOD water. One of the purposes we

have in drilling a water well is to offer the village or individual a source of

good, clean, contaminant-free drinking and cooking water. The World

Health Organization estimates that 80% of the 3rd world's diseases come

directly from their drinking water. If we could give everyone clean water to

drink we would eliminate most of the sicknesses, and almost all of the

parasites they encounter, which would dramatically improve their health.

Improved health gives them the opportunity to be more productive, thus

better able to care for their families. Statistics demonstrate that good

water is a life-sustaining thing. In the villages of Northern Ghana, where

people drink from contaminated ponds and other water sources, the infant

mortality rate is three out of every ten children dying before their fifth

birthday. Where we have drilled a well, and the people are drinking

exclusively from the well water, the infant mortality rate has dropped to

less than one out of ten! This is significant.

God's Gift

God has been gracious to mankind and

has offered him all that he needs to

sustain his physical life. Perhaps,

apart from the air we breathe, there is

nothing we need more than water. We can live

many days without food, but we cannot live long

without water. We have to rehydrate ourselves


Water falls to the earth through rain or snow. It

travels to streams, rivers and lakes. There it evaporates, forming more clouds for more

rain, or it seeps into the earth to form an underground aquifer. Scientists estimate that

there is thirty times more water underground than on top.

That is an interesting statistic. In addition, although 70% of

the earth is covered by water, only about 3% of the water

supply is fresh water. A good portion of that is frozen at the

north and south poles. In addition, the Great Lakes contain

95% of the fresh surface water in the U.S., and about

20% of the fresh surface water on the planet. That leaves

precious little for the world to find and consume.

Harvesting Available Water.......

Thousand Year Old Methods......

How Water Behaves (1)

As the water travels underground it is filtered by the sand and gravel that it flows

through. This cleans the water and makes it potable. There are, of course, certain

cases where water has flowed through rocks that contain minerals that are leeched

from the rocks. This taints the water and gives it a bad taste, odor, or both. Most of

the time, however, the water is excellent quality and better than any city water, which is

treated with chemicals to cleanse or for some other use.

As a general rule, most of the good, clean, pleasant tasting water comes from layers of

sand and/or gravel, and can be found at many different depths throughout the world.

The following comes from the U.S. Geological Survey site:

One of our most valuable resources is the water beneath our feet - something you can't

see and may not even know is there! As you may have read, most of the void spaces in

the rocks below the water table are filled with water. But rocks have different porosity

and permeability characteristics, which means that water does not move around the

same way in all rocks.

When a water-bearing rock readily transmits water to wells and springs, they are called

aquifers. Wells can be drilled into the aquifers and water can be pumped out.

Precipitation eventually adds water (recharge) into the porous rock of the aquifer. The

rate of recharge is not the same for all aquifers, though, and that must be considered

when pumping water from a well. Pumping too much water too fast draws down the

water in the aquifer and eventually causes a well to yield less and less water and even

run dry. In fact, pumping your well too fast can even cause your neighbor's well to run

dry if you both are pumping from the same aquifer.

Water Charities Poll Module

What Do You Think of This Worldwide Need?

See results

A Misconception Perhaps......

Got the Pump in......! AHHHHH Good, Clean WATER!

Wait a minute.... the water is NOT clean! When you first begin to pump water from

the well it will, most likely, not be clean, but will appear muddy. After several hours,

perhaps days, of use, the water will begin to clear and the well will be clean. Prior to

that time, the water is still good to drink; it will just taste a little muddy. Compare it to

the pond where the people have been fetching their water and see if it is not much

cleaner than what they got from there. Do not worry about the muddy water. The

villagers will not be worried about it at all. They will be happy to have the well, and it

won't be long before the mud will go away......

Hey - Where's Ours....................

Water Wells Guestbook

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    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @jayavi: It is. Thanks for coming by the lens. :)

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @anonymous: Sure thing, happy to do it... :)

    • jayavi profile image


      5 years ago

      Water is more important to our lives. Thanks for the information

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice lens. I believe that water should be available to everyone and thing. Thank you for sharing.

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      6 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @agent009: I agree with you 100%.....thanks for visiting the lens. :) John

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent lens! Fresh water should be a human right and accessible to everyone. Are there any organizations to volunteer in or donate to?

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      7 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @Gayle Dowell: Hi KitandCaboodle: Sounds like you have a wonderful ministry. Thanks for commenting and liking the lens.....:)

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      7 years ago from Kansas

      My husband and I have a ministry, Tractors for Our Daily Bread. We've been looking for sources for well digging in some communities we have been helping in Tanzania. Thanks for the list. We'll check them out.

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      7 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @jseven lm: Hi Jseven: Thanks for your liking the lens and the nice comments. They are an amazing couple: James and Betty, filling a great need.

    • profile image

      jseven lm 

      7 years ago

      What a great topic and pics! I support James and Betty Robinson's missions totally. How precious those people are who give a cup of water to the thirsty in the name of the Lord.

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      7 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @howtocurecancer: Thanks for being the first comment on this lens. I really appreciate it....:) John

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh, my God! Thank you for creating awareness.


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