785 million people (one in ten people worldwide) lack access to clean water, and the majority of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Access to clean water is a right that is too easily taken for granted – especially if you’re accustomed to indoor plumbing. In our partner communities, water must be collected from shared sources, an effort that takes, on average, over 2.5 hours per day. These sources are often open, which means there is no protection from bacteria and pollutants, increasing the likelihood of water-borne diseases that kill over 485,000 people every year. Water-borne illness affects economic activity and of course school attendance – all of which perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
What we do
The Sonder Project partners with rural communities to drill closed-system wells and install water pumps to access freshwater aquifers deep underground. Upon the completion of a Sonder Project well, community members report the following impact:
- A time savings of 1.5 hours per day collecting water
- 98% report less illness (2% no change)
Increased access to clean water is life-changing, especially for women and children, as they are most commonly tasked with collecting it. For the young, this translates into more time spent in the classroom. For women, now have more time to earn a living, care for family members, and tend to other responsibilities. Imagine having an additional hour and a half of time added to your day!
Deep, underground aquifers are part of a closed-water system in which bacteria and pollutants are naturally filtered out, resulting in clean water for drinking, washing, cleaning, and cooking. Access to them means less illness and greater productivity for the community at large. It means less absence from school and a healthier environment.
Join us to make an impact!
SONDER WELL NEWS
Kurt Freudenreich has already funded one well through his walks – now he is looking to sponsor 25 students! Discover his latest challenge.
Meet Matilda Mwale from the community of Mpeni and discover the impact of our well program.
March 22, 2021 is World Water Day, an annual event established by the UN in 1993 to raise awareness about the global water crisis. Perhaps for most people living in the United States, the importance of a day to celebrate water is easily overlooked.
Agness Mwale used to wake up at 2 am, gather her water containers, and walk down to the dry river bed to collect water for her 7-person household. Because it was a dry river, the process was not as simple as just putting your bucket in the water and watching it fill-up.
The 17 Sonder wells currently installed impact an average of 2,462 people. At the cost of $11,000 per well, that’s less than $5 per person!
146 days is all it took for Kurt Freudenreich to complete 3,300 miles on the Continental Divide Trail. He is walking to bring clean drinking water to communities with The Sonder Project.
Destiny reveals itself in a bar on the edge of Wyoming’s Red Desert.
Kurt Freudenreich is a Man on Mission as he prepares for his journey, Walking for Wells.
In mid-January, we completed our first well of 2020 in Kilou, a rural Burkina Faso community that’s home to 2,000 people. Prior to its completion, the community relied on an exposed well that was open to the elements. It was also dry for half the year.
In January of 2020, our CEO, Chad Zibelman, traveled to southeastern Africa to establish a Sonder Project office in Malawi. Often referred to as “The Warm Heart of Africa,” the country is known for its friendly people and Lake Malawi, its vast freshwater lake.