On World Water Day we introduce WellFound, a water charity changing the lives of rural communities
In Guinea Bissau, west Africa, is a remote village called Bumal. It is 40km from a main road, and has a population of 600 people.
2 years ago, the head of the village, Paulo Coda, approached water organisation, WellFound for help, after seeing them at work on another project in the area.
“When we first visited the village, the community had never had access to clean drinking water, or a working latrine", explained Dr Antony Kingsley, WellFound’s CEO.
"Life is difficult without access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. Each drink poses a health risk and latrines help improve sanitation, and health risks decrease once they are installed. Having to defecate in the open is dangerous, and humiliating, especially for women.”
WellFound funded the project with support from UK Aid Direct through a grant of £212,000 over 3 years. They then encouraged the local community to take the lead in deciding what was best for them regarding their water and sanitation needs.
A pump was installed and the water organisation showed the villagers how it worked and provided training to maintain the facility.
The community determined the location of the well and WellFound built it. The same approach was taken with the siting of the latrines - they had to be accessible to everyone within the 600-strong village.
In addition, WellFound helped to create a market garden for the Bumal community. Over 50 women now have a sustainable source of food to further improve their own livelihoods (and that of their families). Excess produce is sold providing a source of income.
Theresa Cima, the women’s leader of Bumal now describes her life as fulfilling, satisfying and empowering:
As fresh drinking water is available for the first time, and with access to clean sanitation facilities and a sustainable food source, the impact has been really positive. The new well has completely transformed the community.
Dr Antony Kingsley, WellFound’s CEO:
"Water makes a clear and distinct difference in people’s lives. Having the support of UK Aid Direct helps the people of Bumal to live a healthy, equal and prosperous life."
Thank you to WellFound for sharing this story with us. To find out more about the organisation, visit their website