The Impact of Clean Water

Nov 20, 2020 | Global Projects, Malawi, Water Wells

Zenabo Willy wakes up in Tim Tim, a remote community in Burkina Faso, every morning to collect water for herself and 34 other extended family members that live on the homestead. Fortunately, with the installation of a well from The Sonder Project in 2019, the walk became much easier. Before the well, Zenabo would walk at least an hour to collect water. Now, the new well is less than fifteen minutes away, saving her a significant amount of time and energy.

Zenabo Willy from the community of Tim Tim in front of The Sonder Project well in her community of Tim Tim.

Approximately 20 miles away in the community of Kilou, Ouriata Diallo is also responsible for collecting water for herself and 30 other people. It takes her around 20 minutes to reach the newly-built Sonder well, but she doesn’t mind the distance because the water is cleaner, and it saves her time because of its efficient manual hand pump.

Ouriata Diallo using The Sonder Project well in the community of Kilou.

Zenabo and Ouriata are not alone. Since The Sonder Project’s inception in 2014, 17 deep-well boreholes have been completed in Burkina Faso, and soon we will complete our first wells in Malawi. To help us understand the impact of our efforts, The Sonder Project interviewed 227 female villagers who use our wells. The women represent a total of 5,700 people in their households. Families in Burkina Faso tend to be large, and households are multi-generational. Through our survey, here’s what we discovered:

  • 80% of the women collecting water from our wells have never gone to school, and 95% have no more than a 5th-grade education.
  • Before the Sonder well, women spent an average of 2 hours and 40 minutes collecting water every day.
  • After the Sonder well, women spend an average of 57 minutes per day collecting water.
  • 98% of the women reported experiencing fewer illnesses since the installation of the Sonder well.

On top of the time saved from collecting water, fewer illnesses lead to increased productivity. This is more time available to earn a living, study, and care for their family. The 17 Sonder wells currently installed impact an average of 2,227 people. At the cost of $11,000 per well, that’s less than $5 per person!

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