Lack of access to clean water is a crisis throughout the world, but especially in developing nations. The Friese Foundation believes that all humans deserve the dignity of a life where they don’t have to worry about accessing basic necessities like food and water. The Foundation is proud to partner with charities and organizations that share this belief, such as Wells Bring Hope, founded in 2008, with the mission of saving lives with safe water.
West Africa’s Water Crisis
Niger in West Africa is the poorest country in the world, according to the 2021 UN Development Index. Their need for clean water is dire and is the greatest in the world: consumption of contaminated water is the most common cause of death in the region with one out of seven children dying before the age of five from contaminated water.
Getting water is the responsibility of women and girls who walk 4-6 miles a day to get water, without any guarantee of success at the end of their journey. This means that girls don’t have time to go to school, and women can’t work to earn money for their families. Women who are about to give birth at hospitals are responsible for sourcing and delivering the water they need for their births, as the hospitals do not have water sources of their own.
The Mission of Wells Bring Hope
Since 2008, Wells Bring Hope has funded 695 water wells in Niger, impacting the lives of over 700,000 people. In 2019, Wells Bring Hope undertook the funding of a solar-powered mechanized water system for a health clinic serving 8,000-10,000 people at a cost of $50,000 and it continued to fund one health clinic a year since that time, a total of three health clinics. The Friese Foundation is proud to have been a major funder of all three health clinics. Now, women who had to choose between giving birth at home or carrying water to the clinic no longer need to make this choice, due to the provision of clean water.
Providing this for the hospitals means that babies are born in a safer environment, and women are less at risk of dying due to a lack of medical attention during birth. Those attending the clinic for medical needs are also cared for in a safer environment, ensuring better treatment and outcomes.
Kawaye Health Center Accesses Clean Water for the First Time
With support from the Friese Foundation, Wells Bring Hope and its partner, World Vision, recently drilled a well near a health clinic that serves almost 5,000 people in the village of Kawaye, Niger. The healthcare workers and patients at Kawaye Health Center now have access to clean drinking water for the first time.
Wells Bring Hope is also supporting the community’s efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene in the village. They have organized water, sanitation, and hygiene committees of local residents who are maintaining the well, building new latrines, and promoting handwashing with soap. Wells Bring Hope looks forward to seeing how the lives of Kawaye residents improve in the coming years, and the group will continue to facilitate similar transformations throughout rural Niger.
Wells Bring Hope is in alignment with the Friese Foundation’s commitment to providing impactful and life-changing opportunities, as well as promoting healing and wellness for underserved individuals and communities. As the World Health Organization has stated: “Nothing does more to help people in the developing world than to give them safe water and sanitation.” Doing this in the poorest country in the world not only saves lives but transforms them for generations to come.