Water—it’s a commodity we don’t think about often. We simply turn on the tap, fill up our glass and begin enjoying the liquid goodness. We seldom contemplate the well drilling that took place for that clean, fresh water to magically flow out of that faucet.
For many around the world, that magic faucet does not exist. In fact, clean water isn’t accessible for miles. Especially during seasons of drought, many water wells and other sources of water run dry. This is especially true in areas of Africa and Asia.
The World Health Organization estimates that 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service.1 That means they do not have a clean drinking water source within a round trip walk of 30 minutes. They often resort to drinking water that has been contaminated with feces or other pollutants, which gives them a high chance of contracting water-borne illnesses. The World Health Organization forecasts that by 2025 half of the world’s people will be living in water-stressed areas. As population and industry increase, water stress in communities will continue to grow.2
That is why water well drilling is so important in the developing world. GFA World is committed to providing clean water wells to the poorest in Asia, where we have been serving since 1979. In over two decades of installing clean water wells, the results have been phenomenal.
GFA has drilled a cumulative total of more than 30,000 wells and aims to install around 4,000 wells each year.
GFA hopes to begin drilling water wells in Africa, in the near future.
Wells have brought hope to the least and the last across Asia. Many of these precious people are often thought of as “lower” and are denied access to water sources because others of a higher social class think that if those of a lower social class use the water source, they will contaminate it. This was found to be true in a rural area of Asia. Water to the community was scarce so the government sent a tanker of water to help the situation. When the tanker arrived, the people of the lower social class were told that other families must use the water first and then they could use whatever was left. When the people in the lower social class opposed the situation, they were beaten with large sticks.
GFA’s wells are called Jesus Wells. They are accessible to all people, not just certain social classes or religions.
These wells are drilled as deep as necessary to provide access to clean water to villages even during the driest seasons. Each well also receives a heavy-duty handpump, oftentimes the India Mark II model. This handpump was the result of a joint effort of several world organizations who saw the need to design a water pump that would be easy to construct and easy to maintain. It is very durable and long-lasting. Most last around 20 years, some longer.
The well drilling occurs by local drilling companies rather than bringing in our own equipment. This results in the work being done less expensively and also supports the local economy. The well is maintained by a local church and the pastor. They are responsible for keeping the well working and the area surrounding it a welcoming environment.
Learn how much to drill a well.
Water well drilling is crucial to the fight against poverty. How does it help?
When clean water is easily accessible, women and children no longer have to walk miles to collect water.
The women can use their time in better ways—working, caring for their children, or learning a new skill. Instead of collecting water, children can go to school. Education is the most effective solution to poverty. When children receive an education, they have the skills necessary to learn, grow, and thrive. The cycle of poverty becomes breakable.
When clean water is easily accessible, families can stay healthy and strong.
Oftentimes, waterborne illness keeps adults from working and children from educational opportunities. With clean water, people receive nourishment without the fear of sickness. Children miss less school and adults miss less work.
Well drilling is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty that impacts so many people around the world. Water may be a commodity we take for granted, but it is vital to the health and wellbeing of those in poverty.
1 “Drinking Water Fact Sheet.” World Health Organization. 2019. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water
2 “Drinking Water Fact Sheet.” World Health Organization. 2019. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water