Innovation for Clean Water in Africa

We just saw it out of the corner of our eye as we were bombing down a dusty road in the district of Kamwenge. Out here in Western Uganda, it's so normal, that you'd just pass by without thinking anything of it. It was merely a pipe sticking up out of the ground overgrown by weeds. Unremarkable in its ubiquity. We slammed on the breaks and threw it in reverse, then jumped out of the van to see yet another broken well.

In this district, 43% of wells are broken.

We take clean water for granted. We turn a faucet and clean water magically appears. That's not the case for over a billion people around the globe. Their daily routine includes filling up five jerry cans - 20 liters each - of water everyday and hauling them back to their homes to drink, cook, wash and bath with. If a well breaks, they have to use the next best option, which is a "scoop hole" - an open water source, like a stream or unimproved spring, of contaminated water. At such a scoop hole, I witnessed a group of women dipping their jerry cans into water that had a layer of diesel fuel sitting on the surface. This is the water that they will be drink and give to the very infants strapped to their backs.

Why are so many wells broken?

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