What’s a tube well? We had to look it up, too. It’s a means of implementing a water well in regions where layers of rock stand between underground aquifers and those on the surface looking to access them as sources of clean water. After drilling into the rock, a strainer is fitted over the end of a pipe and fitted into the hole. Add an electric or mechanical pump to draw the water into the pipe, and build a basin at the other end to contain water for community members to collect and use for their own purposes, and presto: Enjoy your new tube well, Empowered Human!
It’s in these experiences where Outreach’s impact truly resonates– one life, permanently improved thanks to the belief and hope shared by everyone in the Outreach family.
Recently, Outreach’s partners in India collaborated on the construction of a new tube well in their community, using their own ingenuity and labor, in combination with funding provided through a successful partnership between Dial and Outreach for Global Handwashing Day 2016. The story of how wells are drilled and the benefits provided by reliable access to clean sources of water are elsewhere on this blog. Instead of our words, we’d like to share the words of some of our community partners who previously were responsible for collecting water for their families using old, inconvenient, or unsafe sources. Their names have not been included to preserve their privacy.
“I am a 65-year-old woman, living with my husband. Before this project, I faced difficulties when trying to access water for drinking and cooking each day. Since I’m an older woman, I do not have the strength to stand in long lines all day, and the distance and effort involved in gathering water from our stream was too much for me to try. I had to ask my daughter for help, which made her life more difficult, since her family also needed clean water every day. With the new wells, I’m able to get clean water for all my needs, and I no longer need to depend on others for help.”
Another community member shared her thoughts:
“I am a widow with two children, and I am the sole provider for my family, traveling to work as a laborer every day. Before, we had only two tube wells in our community. The two [preexisting] tube wells in our community did not provide sufficient water for drinking and bathing to all the people who live here. Gathering a day’s supply of water meant waiting in line for a long time, with people’s needs and frustrations resulting in fights, some days.
Other times, when I had to go to a nearby stream to get water, the longer journey there and back meant I was unable to go to my job as a laborer on time, which reduced how much money I could earn. And the water I gathered there put my family at risk for skin diseases, coughs, colds, fevers and other afflictions.
“Once the new tube wells were constructed with help from [Outreach and Dial], I can now easily access clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing clothes. There’s no need to travel and wait a long time in lines; I get water right near my house within 10 minutes, and am able to finish my other household duties and get to work sooner. This project has made me very happy, because it saves me time and stress, and keeps my family from getting sick from dirty water.”
Stories of committed groups sharing a problem and working together to solve it are certainly inspirational, but every big issue is comprised of numerous personal accounts of hardship and triumph. It’s in these experiences where Outreach’s impact truly resonates one life, permanently improved thanks to the belief and hope shared by everyone in the Outreach family. It adds up.