If you had told us a year ago that putting a water pump in was just as important as an actual well, we would have wanted to know more.
Wells are the glorified water systems. People love putting them in and helping people gain access to water. Its an important and amazing thing- to be able to drill or dig a well. The problem is that more often than not, the well is not covered.
A cover on a well serves many purposes. First, if a water source is uncovered, it can not be clean. After only forty-eight hours of being in total darkness, 99% of bacteria hiding in water is killed. A dirty bucket can also bring more bacteria into the mix, by dropping that into the water every time water is needed. This is incredibly important for communities…the extra step after drilling a well is often neglected.
An uncovered well can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. As most of you know, malaria and dhunge fever are huge killers in the third world, and this is often because of uncovered water sources like wells. The extra step can really save lives.
Lastly, (or the last and most obvious reason) children are able to use a pump attached to a well far more easily than they are able to use a bucket, drop it down 50 feet and pull the 30 pound bucket back. At the New Heart Orphanage, this was the biggest concern. Children, as young as four, were going to get water from their hand-dug well with a bucket weighing more than themselves. It was an accident waiting to happen.
Our water team was headed up by Ryan. He was so thorough in assessing the best way to cover the well. He invented a new and more durable pump made of PVC-pipe. All of the boys and some of the girls put their instruction to use and were able to cover the well in a three-week project. It truly transformed the orphanage.
In just three days after the cap, the water came out clear, though still not drinkable (its salt water). It is way safer for the children both in the safety of the water and the safety in receiving it. What our team made is called a rouss pump, and it was taught to us in Kona by Jeff Wydell, from Water for Life.
Feel free to watch the video for more information on capping wells and making a rouss-pump!