We do small but critical water and sanitation projects worldwide using appropriate technology. We invite your participation.


Introduction 2014 sticky icon

We are water.WHAT WE DO

As an initiative of Water Charity, we do small but critical water and sanitation projects. Each one is a solution to a problem, costs no more than $600, and uses appropriate technology. We start them at once and complete them very quickly.

We work with Peace Corps Volunteers serving throughout the world, who assist people and organizations in or near the communities where they live or work to identify, implement, manage, and evaluate the projects.

Each project has a high impact, resulting in clean water and effective sanitation for individuals, families, and communities. We are flexible, and can react to emergencies.

We offer you, individuals and organizations alike, the opportunity to participate in our work, and fund these projects, in whole or in part.

At this time, we are not accepting unsolicited proposals. However, if you are a Peace Corps Volunteer or a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and have a project in mind, give us a brief description and we'll get back to you promptly.

Conclusion of Weinde Latrine Project – Senegal

Conclusion of Weinde Latrine Project – SenegalThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Rachel Folkerts. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build 50 latrines in the village and to implement a comprehensive hygiene campaign.

Rachel reports:

In total, 48 cement-lined flushing latrines were built in Weinde and three nearby communities. In addition, every one of the 81 households in Weinde was reached with handwashing and hygiene sensitization, as well as the participating 25 households and one institution in nearby communities.

Latrine construction in the community was begun by the first volunteer in Weinde, Eric Noel (RPCV 2010-2012). Through that project every household in Weinde was provided access to a latrine; before the project many households had no latrine access. Simple pit latrines were constructed and shared by three households.

Although that project was completed only two years ago, many of those latrines since became full due to heavy usage. In addition, several new houses were built without latrines. The community determined that a new latrine project was needed, and implemented the current project.

Conclusion of Weinde Latrine Project – SenegalThe latrine construction was very straightforward. 47 households and one institution were able to earn the right to participate by providing a required community contribution of 10,000 cfa. I provided an additional 5,000 cfa and worked with PEPAM to bring two-pit, cement-lined, flushing latrines to Weinde and three nearby communities.

Once PEPAM received the request for the latrines, they handled all of the materials and labor for the project, and saw it through to completion.

In addition to the construction of the latrines, there was a concentrated effort to improve hygiene in the community through teaching and demonstration. Washing with soap and water after using the facilities was not widely practiced at the outset. However, the construction of new latrines gave the individual households a feeling of investment in the project, assisting us to move toward full handwashing compliance.

We also placed a simple 3-step illustrated how-to hand wash card in each constructed latrine. After using the latrine, individuals will be reminded to wash their hands. Participants have reported that the visual reminder is useful.

Participants are extremely pleased with the latrines. They praise them for being well made, affordable, durable, and more esthetically pleasing than a pit latrine. The community response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive. They are eager to partner with PEPAM again in 2015 to increase the latrines in the community.

Thank you again for your support of this project! It truly has made many people in my community happy and provided them with a much needed piece of basic household infrastructure. Thank you!

We are grateful to Rachel for completing this project.

Conclusion of Weinde Latrine Project – SenegalConclusion of Weinde Latrine Project – Senegal

Conclusion of Bormase Basic School Water Catchment Project – Ghana

Conclusion of Bormase Basic School Water Catchment Project – GhanaThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Joseph Stein. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to install a rainwater catchment system and 3 handwashing stations at the school.

Joseph reports:

The project was a success. We were able to provide the local primary school with a rainwater catchment system consisting of a 400-gallon (1,500 liter) storage tank and a gutter system.

The tank with faucet was purchased locally and transported by community members to the site. They then constructed a platform of bricks and cement and installed the tank.

Gutters were installed on the edge of the roof. PVC piping was used to connect the gutters to the tank.

Conclusion of Bormase Basic School Water Catchment Project – GhanaIn the past, the school had attempted to grow tomatoes, ginger, ground nuts, and okra, and began a small mushroom cropping house. The produce was utilized by the school, with some crops used to supplement the children's daily meal while some others, namely the sweet potato, were sold. Success was limited by a lack of a reliable water supply.

Currently we have moringa, sweet potato, and oil palm planted on the school’s land. The system now provides the necessary water to ensure the success of the community farm.

In addition to supporting the school farm, the polytank has provided a convenient source of clean water for students, staff, and visitors.

We had the local water and sanitation officer come and advise us on how best to clean the roof and gutters which will catch the rain water, and how to cover the mouth of the polytank with mosquito netting to prevent any debris from falling in or mosquitos from breeding inside.

An effective system of handwashing stations remains to be implemented. After their installation, they were not well maintained. We determined that this was due to inadequate training of the children and teachers.

I will continue the training in the coming semester, and the volunteer replacing me in December will also hopefully continue the work.

The project has had the benefit of motivating parents and teachers to support the school. It will hopefully provide the stimulus for future development projects.

We are grateful to Joseph for completing this important project, and again extend our thanks to the donors who have contributed to date.

Conclusion of Bormase Basic School Water Catchment Project – GhanaConclusion of Bormase Basic School Water Catchment Project – Ghana

Conclusion of Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United States

Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United States This project has been completed under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Charlotte Keniston. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to install a rainwater catchment system to provide water for the needs of the participants in the community garden.

Charlotte reports:

The rain barrels are installed and catching us lots of water!

Because our garden is located on a vacant lot, we did not have access to a spigot or downspouts from a house gutter system, so we were required to run city water through a hose from around the block. With the project funds we were able to purchase two rain barrels and taps and two rain funnels, which work together to create a free-standing water catchment system.

The system works amazingly, and we haven't had to use supplemental water at all yet this year!

The project directly benefits the 45 participants in the program by improving the yield from the garden and decreasing the time needed to tend to the crops. In addition, the entire community benefits from available produce and a place of pride to the neighborhood.

Thank you so much for supporting our community garden in this way!

We are grateful to Charlotte for completing this project and showing us a new technology. It represents the first time Water Charity has supported a project in the United States led by a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. The Third Goal of the Peace Corps is to demonstrate the impact of Peace Corps here at home. Charlotte exemplifies how this can be accomplished, by bringing her experience in Guatemala back to help the residents of Baltimore.

We also wish to thank the donors who have contributed to date.

Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United StatesPigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United States

Conclusion of Nanjota Primary School Water Project – Tanzania

Conclusion of Nanjota Primary School Water Project – TanzaniaThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Stephanie Chilcote. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build a water system to supply the bathrooms of the school.

Stephanie reports:

Using funds from Water Charity, generously donated by Bradley Schiff in honor of Jennifer Roff, the Nanjota Primary School in the Mtwara region of Tanzania was able to build a water catchment system for their bathrooms.

Before this project, the 491 students used the bathroom with no way to wash themselves, as the village of Nanjota does not have running water, and the school had no water system. Students had to carry water from a hand pump well every day, taking time out of the classroom for the chore. The water brought was only enough for drinking during the day, and no water was available for sanitation and hygiene.

Conclusion of Nanjota Primary School Water Project – TanzaniaIn preparation for the project, a meeting with the teachers determined that this was a pressing hygienic issue that could be simply remedied. The original plan called for individual tanks for each stall, but it was realized that those would require students to carry water to refill and still take time away from the classroom. Instead, the headmaster and village executive officer worked together to find a mason to design and build a single large tank to hold 3,200 liters of water. The design entailed the construction of a tank built from cement brick and lined with non-porous cement, with dimensions 4 feet x 4 feet x 8 feet.

A mason was hired and the tank was built above ground without any problems. A spigot was added to allow for the students to draw the water.

Aluminum gutters were purchased and installed on the roof of the bathroom to collect rainwater. Piping was run from the gutters to the tank to provide for storage of the captured water.

Steel sheeting was used to cover the tank to prevent contamination, and an access door was built in to facilitate cleaning and maintenance.

Conclusion of Nanjota Primary School Water Project – TanzaniaWater Charity funds were used to purchase the materials and pay for the skilled work.

As part of community contribution, the school and the village water committee helped by carrying sand and water for the mason to mix with the cement.

The system now provides water for the needs of the students throughout the dry season. It decreases the amount of time students must spend at the water pump, and now allows the students to practice proper sanitation and hygiene.

Education is the most important possession a child can have in this culture, and Nanjota is grateful for the dedication and assistance to complete this project. Elimu ni taa! (Education is light.)

We are grateful to Stephanie for completing this important project, and again extend our thanks to Bradley Schiff for providing the funds as an honorary gift.

Conclusion of Loma Atravesada Water and Sanitation Project - Dominican Republic

Conclusion of Loma Atravesada Water and Sanitation Project - Dominican RepublicThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Thomas Betts. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build and repair water catchment systems and construct latrines for the poorest members of the community.

Thomas reports:

This project has been successfully completed.

Two new latrines were constructed as planned. In addition, enough materials remained to allow for the construction of the floor for a third latrine.

Conclusion of Loma Atravesada Water and Sanitation Project - Dominican Republic Also, large cement cisterns were repaired, and gutters and piping for rainwater catchment systems were repaired when possible and installed in new locations where they previously did not exist.

The work was done by two local experienced masons, with assistance from members of the community.

The new latrines and increased capacity to collect and store water will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the specific beneficiaries and the community at large for many years into the future.

We are grateful to Thomas for completing this project, and again extend our thanks to Cristopher Lin for providing the funding.

Conclusion of Loma Atravesada Water and Sanitation Project - Dominican RepublicConclusion of Loma Atravesada Water and Sanitation Project - Dominican Republic

Conclusion of College and Ecole Elementaire Bathroom Water Project - Senegal

Conclusion of College and Ecole Elementaire Bathroom Water Project - SenegalThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Rebecca Verlaque. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to provide running water for the school bathrooms, and to construct a new faculty bathroom.

Rebecca reports:

Project Phases
The project was initiated by two school staff members, who took on the key advisory roles. We met with local masons and plumbers to develop a materials list, a budget, and a sold community contribution. Prices were checked with the nearest hardware store, and the application was written.

When the project was funded, I notified all local partners that we were ready to begin. The school staff and students organized a work day to clean the restrooms to a level sufficient for building to begin.

In early April, I accompanied a staff member to our nearest road town to purchase plumbing, construction, and cleaning materials. There was a slight delay in beginning construction due to a religious celebration in our town, but by the third week of April, the mason and plumber had dug all necessary trenches, installed piping and faucets, and were ready to connect the bathrooms to the water main.

Once this work was completed, the students scrubbed, bleached and scoured every inch of the bathrooms, and the mason installed new latching doors in the toilet entrances. At the end of the month, the school restroom was ready to use!

Conclusion of College and Ecole Elementaire Bathroom Water Project - SenegalFinal Result
Our school now has 9 bathroom stalls, each with a faucet connected to running water for flushing, hand washing and cleaning for the first time in years. There is a new staff bathroom, made by refurbishing an existing outbuilding. All stalls have been clearly marked for male and female students. The bathrooms can be locked after school hours to prevent damage or improper use.

Each classroom has a plastic toilet kettle and supply of soap to use as needed, and to be replaced by the school fund and parents association when necessary. Each class has also been assigned a week to clean the toilets on a rotating basis.

Throughout the whole process the health workers of Khogue and I have been giving hand washing education talks to foster proper use and hygiene. It's our hope that diarrhea rates in our village will drop in the second half of this year because of this new resource!

We are grateful to Rebecca for completing this excellent infrastructure project.

Conclusion of College and Ecole Elementaire Bathroom Water Project - SenegalConclusion of College and Ecole Elementaire Bathroom Water Project - Senegal

Conclusion of Dabo Lycee High School Latrine Project – Senegal

Conclusion of Dabo Lycee High School Latrine Project – SenegalThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Sophie Danner. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to construct a ventilated pit latrine for female students.

Sophie reports:

The project has been completed, and the latrines are now designated for used by girls attending Dabo High School.

The headmaster oversaw the work of a mason and carpenter in constructing two latrine stalls and entryway/handwashing area. Working with the local mason was a good experience for the school administration as they embark on future building projects as they continue to expand.

Water Charity's funds provided for the cement, aluminum, rebar, sand, wire, PVC piping, brick molds and the work of the mason.

The high school paid for the remaining materials and work, including the work of the carpenter, ceramic Turkish toilets, mosaic tile flooring and handwashing supplies, and will pay for any necessary repairs in the future.

Conclusion of Dabo Lycee High School Latrine Project – SenegalThe students are very happy to have the additional latrines and to no longer have to share toilets with the teachers and male students, nor walk to neighboring family compounds in order to use the bathroom.

The latrines are located in the southwest corner of the school property, near two classroom buildings. After the latrines were completed, members of the student government visited each classroom to inform students that the bathrooms were open for use. The completion of the latrines was also announced during weekly community announcements at the mosque, at the request of the headmaster, who took great pride in the project.

A high school student group performed skits at the elementary school on hygiene and handwashing, and at the middle school on HIV prevention for students, as their part of the school's "community contribution" towards the project, as public health education for their younger peers.

We are grateful to Sophie for completing this important project.

Conclusion of Dabo Lycee High School Latrine Project – SenegalConclusion of Dabo Lycee High School Latrine Project – Senegal

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Peace CorpsThis summer the Peace Corps community has an opportunity to be part of an extraordinary effort to improve our communities through volunteer service. President Obama’s summer service initiative, United We Serve, is a call to all Americans to join a volunteer effort this summer and be part of building a new foundation for America, one community at a time. Please visit the United We Serve website to learn about how you can be a part.