There is a lack of clean water in communities across Liberia. Diseases transmitted through unclean water are a leading cause of preventable illness and premature deaths, with children being particularly vulnerable. According to the World Health Organization, nearly a million people die each year because of unsafe drinking water, with about half of those being children. During the dry season, many hours can be spent each week in transporting unclean water, by hand, from rivers and swamps to homes.
1 in 4 Liberians has access to safe drinking water. Half of the population has no access to toilet facilities, making sanitation a serious problem that causes a proliferation of fast spreading diseases like Cholera (WHO). Approximately 200 children die yearly in Liberia from the outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera caused by unsafe water and sanitation.
Abundant in rivers, rainforests, mangroves and swamps, Liberia is one of the wettest countries in the world. Yet, a large proportion of the population does not have access to clean drinking water.
Having access to basic clean water and a decent toilet saves children’s lives, gives women a leg up in earning money, and ensures a good food supply. DKF’s work on water is not just about digging wells or building latrines. Our goal is to work with governments to ensure long-term political commitment, constructive policies and appropriate allocation of resources to support lasting improvements and increased coverage. We link with wider efforts to integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) with nutrition and education.
DKF places emphasis on orphans, disable, abandon and underprivileged children and families in all of our water work. That’s because impoverished families are disproportionately excluded from decisions regarding water allocation and management. DKF encourages equal decision-making power for impoverished families by including them in discussions on water and sanitation at all levels. When water and sanitation facilities are appropriately allocated and managed families have more time for income generating activities and children have more time for school. Better sanitation facilities in schools can positively affect students – specifically girls, once they begin menstruating.
Our approach is to collaborate and integrate efforts with other sectors whenever possible. This means that we do not stop at water, sanitation and hygiene access, but rather work with sectors of nutrition, agriculture, food security and education. We aim to work in partnership to increase financial capacity and influence water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) markets.
We believe that one of the greatest differences we can make in Liberia and across Africa is in providing sustainable access to clean water to rural communities in need. As you read the real-life stories of how children and women struggled in getting water, you will understand why we are motivated in undertaking our Water Projects, and you will also discover how you can help to save and improve lives through the gift of clean water.
Clean water will make an extraordinary difference from the very day the first bucket of water is pumped. As we work in partnership with communities it will become evident that our project isn’t just about water. It is about participatory community development, empowerment, and sustainability, all based on sharing concepts of self-reliance, economic cooperation, and proactive improvement for the common good of the community.
Clean groundwater can be obtained in communities with a hand-dug well or with a borehole well. Hand dug wells are 4-5′ wide holes in the ground that have been dug with tools to a maximum depth of 40′, then finished off by lining with concrete culverts and covering with a pad and hand pump. When the water table is too deep to reach by hand digging, a borehole is required to access clean water. Boreholes drilled deep into the ground (15 to 85+ meters) using a drilling machine, which can be hand powered or motorized with hydraulic power.
Drilling takes place in the location where the community and the drill team feels is most likely to contain underground water. After drilling the well, we equipped it with 4″ PVC pipes and lined with pea gravel for development. During the developmental stage, the borehole is cleaned of all cuttings and the water is flushed until it becomes clean. The well will then finish with a concrete pad installed over the hole, and a hand pump installed to allow clean water to be brought to the surface. We work along with professionals who have experience with boreholes and hand dug wells.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene affect women and girls differently than boys and men. Diseases transmitted through unclean water are a leading cause of deaths.
The DKF Water Team engages in water, sanitation and hygiene in a number of different ways, and in many different contexts.
Through the power of your support, you can help a child in need realize his dreams — transforming his life and the future we all share.
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The Delano King Foundation
PO Box 7041
Newark, DE 19714
The Delano King Foundation (DKF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For income tax reporting purposes, donors will receive a receipt for their gift.