Frequently Asked Questions
- How to choose where to dig a well?
Deep Wells: Assessments are conducted using detailed water well assessment criteria to determine the location for a well. Choosing where to dig may require a professional hydrologist for consultation. The drilling process may encounter rock, ancient salt sea beds and other issues that are unknown on the surface. The water project location also involves working with the village leaders and government.
Shallow Wells: The location for a shallow well is designated by community elders and chiefs. They know where the water table exists based on the depth of other wells in the area.
- Who does the digging?
Deep Wells: Digging deep wells requires large hydraulic truck mounted equipment. A professional well drilling company in the area is chosen to do the work.
Shallow Wells: These wells are a partnership with the community. The men dig the well and line the walls with hand made, kiln dried brick. Friends in America supply funds for the concrete pad and pump.
- How deep are the wells?
Deep Wells: Drilled wells may reach a depth of many hundreds of feet. The India Mark11, Afridev, and Bluepump are utilized to reach these depths. These pumps are dependable but also require maintenance. Sustainability is the key word.
Shallow Wells: Shallow wells may be up to 30 feet deep. A hand lift pump is required. Women and children are using physical strength to lift the water. The well is a six foot diameter pit. It is dug until there is at least six feet of water in the bottom. Villagers use a treadle pump or buckets to bail water as they dig. Sometimes they encounter rocks or loose soil or there’s not enough water and the community has to change the location of their well. Once the well is dug and has adequate water 6 inches of stone are put in the bottom. This acts as a filter as the water is drawn up and helps keep dirt and sand from being pumped into the casing pipe.
- Who maintains these wells?
Deep Wells: The Africa Oasis Projects locates their wells near a church. The water is available to the entire village. A person collects a few cents from the recipients and from that fund repairs are made.
Shallow Wells: Marion Medical has a large staff in each country. There are itinerate workers who cover a geographical area and make repairs. The village may exchange fruits, vegetables or chickens for services rendered.
- How much do these wells cost?
Deep Wells: The cost of deep wells may start at $10,000 to $12,000 depending on the depth. These wells may require other equipment based on need. Holding tanks, electrical pumps and certain piping are an option. The distance and remoteness is an added expense. For that reason, the costs may range up to $20,000 or more.
Shallow Wells: A shallow well cost $450. The pumps are built in the country and the concrete is purchased locally. This is the only cost for these wells. All work is done by the community, Marion Medical staff and volunteers from America.
- How many people are served by the well?
Deep Wells: Deep wells can meet the water needs of several hundred residents.
Shallow Wells: Shallow wells will meet the water needs of the community and surrounding area. These wells serve an average of 150 residents up to a school population of 800 staff and students.
- How do you raise funds?
We believe the best way to raise funds is by raising awareness of the need and “friendraising.” It is not about what we can do but what we can encourage many others to do.
Wells of Hope International has used a variety of fundraising methods. We began by selling handmade African soap, Coca-Cola memorabilia, donated items out of a booth at a local antique mall, African jewelry and even my deer hunting pistol. Yard sales, women’s conferences, where ever we have the opportunity, we are there.
Check out the donation page on our website to see the many ways you can get involved.
- How do you pay salaries?
There are no salaries, just two aging volunteers who enjoy serving. Reward comes when we see the joy on the faces of these friends in Africa around their new well. It’s a blessing to know that water is flowing day and night, and that a child has hope for the future.