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 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

Conclusion of Tawa Fall Elementary School Bathroom Project – Senegal

Conclusion Tawa Fall Elementary School Bathroom Project – SenegalThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Karen Chaffraix. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build a three-stall latrine, two for students, and one for teachers, with running water for handwashing.

Karen reports:

The Tawa Fall Elementary School now has a bathroom with running water!

On a recent July morning, school parents and local farmer Ibu Diakhate unlocked the new three-stall bathroom, turned on the brass spigot, and smiled, as a steady stream of water splashed into a concrete and tile-chips sink. The construction was finished during the last week of the school year, and students and teachers showed up for a celebratory photograph holding signs saying “Thank You America!”

The bathroom was built via a substantial grant from contributors to Peace Corps Partnerships Program and Water Charity.

The month-long construction process began with a team of locals making, by hand, enough cement cinder blocks to comprise the building's outer and inner walls, and a large in-ground square, comprising the latrine. Several large boulders had to be removed from the latrine area. After the walls went up, inside walls were covered with cement, and porcelain fixtures (“Turkish toilets”) were set in the floor of three stalls, (two small and one large, for the teachers). Doors were hung, the roof was braced, and corrugated steel was attached as a cover. Broken tiles (a common feature in Senegal) were laid in cement as flooring and steps, and then the place received several layers of waterproof paint, both inside and out.

Pink was chosen as the building's color to honor the Peace Corps volunteer managing the grant for the building. They thought it was her favorite color, they explained, when she asked about the decision. When she told them she had been joking when she suggested pink, they replied, “Oh, well. That's the only color they had in the store so that's what we got.”

Just as painting was reaching conclusion, the committee realized that having underestimated the amount of cement needed, it had spent the money slated for piping that would bring water from the nearest spigot. But Water Charity stepped up and saved the day. A second appeal was made to Water Charity, and the necessary funds were on their way. The bathroom would have water after all!

We are grateful to Karen for completing this project. We were pleased to visit with Karen on our recent trip to Senegal and see firsthand the awesome work she is doing!

Conclusion Tawa Fall Elementary School Bathroom Project – SenegalConclusion Tawa Fall Elementary School Bathroom Project – Senegal
Conclusion Tawa Fall Elementary School Bathroom Project – SenegalConclusion Tawa Fall Elementary School Bathroom Project – Senegal

Conclusion of Kebare Primary School Rainwater Catchment Project – Kenya

Conclusion of Kebare Primary School Rainwater Catchment Project – KenyaThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Khalil Jarrett. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build a rainwater catchment system to provide for the water needs of the school.

Khalil reports:

The Kebare Primary School water tank project has been completed!

The 5,000 L tank, the gutters, and the concrete base were successfully installed and now the 250 students are able to have access to safe, potable drinking water.

Prior to the start of the project, we had a community meeting in which we discussed timelines and things needed to be contributed by the community.

Conclusion of Kebare Primary School Rainwater Catchment Project – KenyaWater charity funds were used to purchase the 5,000 L tank, gutters, and concrete to build the base for the tank.

There were a few challenges when installing the tank. Initially, the tank that was purchased was found to have a small crack at the top and it took time to be replaced. The school also ran out of funds to provide for the labor of installing the tank, but the tank was successfully installed at the end of March.

The students, parents, and teachers are very thankful for the funds from Water Charity! Now, the school and the surrounding community members no longer need to walk several kilometers to get water.

We are grateful to Khalil for completing this project despite the adversity and before the recent removal of Peace Corps Volunteers from Kenya for security reasons, and again extend our thanks to the donors to date.

Conclusion of Kebare Primary School Rainwater Catchment Project – KenyaConclusion of Kebare Primary School Rainwater Catchment Project – Kenya

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United We Serve

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.