Community members line up jerry cans at a primary school with a WellBoring handpump, ensuring access to safe drinking water.


Access to Clean Water:

  • Health: Millions of people in Africa lack access to safe drinking water. A well-constructed source provides safe, potable water which drastically improves health conditions. Clean water reduces the risk of waterborne diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid, which claim countless lives annually.
  • Sustainability: Properly constructed wells, with appropriate management and maintenance, can offer a long-term water source, ensuring consistent access for communities.

Time and effort savings; safety benefits:

  • Empowerment of women and girls: Women and girls, traditionally burdened with the task of fetching water over long distances, benefit the most. Having a nearby well means they can allocate this saved time to education, self-improvement, or even economic ventures.
  • Reduced physical strain: Fetching water, especially from distant sources, is physically demanding. A nearby well reduces the physical toll on individuals, especially the elderly and children.
  • Enhancing safety: Notably, nearby water sources minimize the risks that girls and women face from potential sexual violence during long treks for water. Additionally, these wells also protect children and other community members from potential attacks by wild animals and various safety risks associated with traveling long distances.

Social cohesion:

  • Community engagement: The construction and management of communal wells can foster community involvement and cooperation, strengthening social ties.
  • Education: As more children, especially girls, find the time to attend school instead of fetching water, there is an overall increase in the educational attainment of the community, leading to broader social and economic benefits.

Environmental benefits:

  • Lowered Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Safe water does not need to be boiled, avoiding the need to burn wood fuel, and decreasing reliance on wood fuel for boiling water leads to decreased greenhouse gas carbonemissions. Moreover, handpumps require manual operation and do not rely on fossil fuels or electricity, which can also contribute to lowering emissions compared to other water supply methods.
  • Water conservation: Properly constructed wells use ground water resources efficiently, reducing wastage.
  • Also, learn about the positive climate impacts of a handpump.

Economic benefits:

  • Home gardens and agriculture: Access to safe water can enable the cultivation of home vegetable gardens and support agricultural activities, contributing to household relief and enhancing food security.

In a landscape where hope often springs from the ground, we’re driven by a vision that’s both simple and profound: to provide sustainable safe access to drinking water to the poorest. When we embark on the mission of constructing groundwater wells, durability is at the heart of our approach. But for us, the journey doesn’t end with just drilling a well.

There’s a tragic story that’s too common in many parts of the world: a well is drilled, communities rejoice, and NGOs celebrate the success. But as time fades, so does the attention. The well, once a beacon of hope, falls into disrepair and neglect. A cycle of hope, followed by crushing disappointment emerges, leaving communities once again grappling with water scarcity. This is tragically depressing. Experts claim that this happens to some 40 % of all the wells in Africa after 3 years.

It is disheartening to see that although all parties want to help, implementation often leaves much to be desired. So many people involved, plus the distance, can greatly affect the quality of implementation of the wells. The prevalence of broken wells violates human dignity.

Our pledge? We won’t just meet the benchmark; we’ll raise it. We are committed to ensuring that every well we dig or rehabilitate is not just a temporary solution, but a lasting legacy. We aim to provide safe water to one million people in this decade and then set our sights even higher. By rehabilitating abandoned wells of other NGOs to function perpetually and building new ones, we amplify our impact. In this endeavour, we promise more effective aid with optimized expenditure, so every drop counts in our quest for a better tomorrow.

Safe drinking water wells in rural primary schools in sub-Saharan Africa can offer pivotal advantages for children and adults, especially girls and women:

  • Female empowerment: Convenient access to safe water reduces the burden on girls and women fetching water, freeing their time for activities like education and work, and bolstering their dignity and autonomy.
  • Boosted performance: Sufficient hydration enhances students’ and teachers’ well-being, prevents dehydration symptoms, and enables and elevates school hygiene, ultimately benefiting academic results.
  • Disease mitigation: Clean water access is crucial to prevent prevalent waterborne diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, such as diarrhoea and cholera, thereby reducing healthcare burdens.
  • Improved attendance: Proper water and sanitation facilities boost school attendance, especially for girls, who might otherwise skip school due to menstrual hygiene challenges.
  • Nutrition, food safety (school gardens): Reliable water sources can facilitate productive school gardens, providing nutritious food and practical agricultural learning.
  • Safety concerns: Nearby water sources minimize the risks girls and women face from potential sexual violence during long treks for water. They also shield children and community members from animal attacks and other safety hazards.
  • Enhanced concentration: Regular water consumption is crucial for students’ cognitive functions, leading to improved memory and attention.
  • Better learning environment for e. g. by watering dusty school floors and cleaning classrooms helps to avoid parasitic worms getting into children’s feet, and a less dusty learning environment.
  • Environmental education: Wells serve as practical tools for learning about water conservation and environmental responsibility.
  • Community unity: Wells act as community hubs, promoting collaboration among different stakeholders in managing the water service and enhancing community pride.

And many more …

Installing wells ourselves means we stay on top of quality at all times. It means we are close to every solution. Installing groundwater wells in sub-Saharan Africa is a complex task due to hydrogeological, technical, social and even cultural challenges. The aquifers require expertise in site selection. In addition, specialised equipment and knowledge are required, which are often lacking, and the costs can be enormous. Active involvement of the local community is also critical to the success of projects, with special attention to women. This, in turn, requires skills and understanding that go far beyond mere technical fulfilment and, above all, require highly qualified local people.

WellBoring Groundwater creates all of this via on-site engagement. With local expertise, a better understanding of hydrogeological conditions and deep cultural sensitivity, the team can identify optimal locations and apply the best techniques. The goal is not only to drill, but also to sustainably maintain the wells. The team’s local presence reduces costs, and on top creates local jobs and promotes economic development.

The absence of safe water limits opportunities for girls and women, spanning across educational, economic, health, and societal dimensions. Here’s how this problem affects female populations in the region:

1. Educational Impact:
  • Water scarcity often leads to educational setbacks for girls. Sub-Saharan Girls, especially adolescents, miss 10-20 % of their annual curriculum due to issues related to menstruation exacerbated by lack of clean water and sanitation facilities. The UN reveals a startling figure: around 50% of 15 to 17-year-olds in the region remain out of school. Various health complications arise from this scarcity, causing students to miss school and when teachers fall ill, class continuity is disrupted.
  • The time-consuming task of water collection frequently falls on women and girls, diverting time that could have been spent on education. Water scarcity makes children spend substantial time walking and waiting to collect water each day, which impacts school attendance and performance.
2. Economic Impact:
3. Health Impact:
  • The absence of clean water affects women’s and girls’ health particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and while breastfeeding. Moreover, water-borne diseases due to the lack of safe water access can cause sickness, preventing girls from attending school and women from working​.
4. Societal Roles and Safety:
  • The societal expectation for women and girls to bear the burden of water collection entrenches gender inequalities. The dangerous task of fetching water from distant or unprotected sources can also expose them to risks of violence and sexual assault​​.
  • Inadequate sanitation facilities also pose dignity and safety risks. For instance, women and girls without access to toilets are exposed to humiliation and danger​. Safe water enables an improvement in sanitation.
5. Resource Access:
  • Inequitable access to basic resources like water, energy, land, and food is particularly prevalent among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of access exacerbates the economic and educational disparities faced by women and girls in the region.

These facets of the water problem reveal an interplay of gender, education, economic opportunity, and societal norms, which contribute to the disenfranchisement of women and girls in the sub-Saharan region. Addressing the water crisis, therefore, is not merely a matter of resource management, but also reduces gender inequality and improves livelihoods for women and girls.

Here’s how our initiatives are dovetailed with specific SDGs:

  1. Ensuring Water Accessibility and Sanitation (SDG 6): Providing long-term, affordable safe drinking water in water-stressed rural locales of Sub-Saharan/East West Africa, addressing the vital needs of impoverished communities and vulnerable children.
  2. Boosting Health Outcomes (SDG 3): Mitigating the prevalence of waterborne diseases like diarrhoea and cholera, thereby safeguarding especially the children and alleviating the pressure on healthcare systems.
  3. Augmenting Educational Sustainability (SDG 4): Elevating education quality and accessibility through improved enrollment, attendance, and conducive learning environments, facilitated by school-centric wells in underserved regions.
  4. Empowering Women and Differently-Abled Individuals (SDG 5): Fostering empowerment by involving women and disabled individuals in water management endeavours, thus amplifying their roles within the community.
  5. Alleviating Poverty (SDG 1): Bolstering rural schools with sustainable water supply, which in turn supports irrigation, food production, income generation, and poverty mitigation.
  6. Addressing Hunger (SDG 2): Encouraging school garden programs that battle hunger, made possible with reliable water access.
  7. Promoting Climate-Conscious Water Management (SDG 13): Adopting sustainable water management techniques and technologies that curtail greenhouse gas emissions, obviating the need for wood-burning to purify unsafe water.
  8. Fostering Global Partnerships (SDG 17): As a global charity, we value international camaraderie and engagement with diverse partners, underscored by our alliances with Kenyan NGOs and others.

At WellBoring, we deeply resonate with the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create tangible change in sub-Saharan Africa. Our mission is about providing sustainable water access to primary schools and communities through the construction and rehabilitation of groundwater water wells.

Learn more about te SDGs.

Handpumps, crucial for accessing safe water in rural Africa, can positively impact the region’s climate by:


Reduced Deforestation: In areas lacking access to safe water, people resort to boiling water to make it safe for consumption, which often requires wood fuel. By providing safe water, handpumps reduce the need for boiling water, thereby reducing deforestation.

Lowered Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Reduced reliance on wood fuel for boiling water leads to decreased greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, handpumps require manual operation and do not rely on fossil fuels or electricity, which avoid the emissions involved in other water supply methods.

Sustainable Water Management Practices: Handpumps can encourage sustainable water management practices by drawing from groundwater sources, which can be more sustainable compared to relying on surface water, especially in regions experiencing decreasing surface water availability.


Enhanced Resilience to Climate Change: Access to reliable and safe water sources is crucial for enhancing resilience to climate change, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. Handpumps can contribute to climate resilience by providing communities with a reliable source of water, even during droughts or other extreme weather events.

Reduced Time and Labor: Handpumps reduce the time and labour required to fetch water, especially for women and children. This saved time can be redirected towards activities that enhance adaptive capacity to climate change, such as education or income-generating activities.

Improved Public Health: Access to clean water significantly improves public health by reducing waterborne diseases. Healthy populations are better able to adapt to changing circumstances.

The absence of safe water curtails educational opportunities. Many children, primarily girls, forgo school to fetch water, often hauling up to 20 kilos from distant impure sources. This reduces educational time essential for combating poverty and exacerbates health concerns. This situation has amplified dropout and illiteracy rates, especially among girls and rural communities.

The shortage of suitable school toilets causes many girls to quit school during puberty. With the added responsibilities of water-fetching and caregiving, their chances of education diminish. The UN reveals a startling figure: around 50% of 15 to 17-year-olds in the region remain out of school. Overall, the water crisis has a stranglehold on the region’s educational infrastructure and quality.

A key factor in ensuring the longevity and proper functioning of a groundwater well is regular and effective maintenance. Our local teams routinely service and inspect each well to ensure they remain operational and continue to benefit the communities. We also involve local communities in the maintenance and management processes, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Additionally, our comprehensive tutorial, led by expert Stephen Omondi, provides a step-by-step guide on essential maintenance practices. This resource is particularly helpful for communities looking to sustain their wells efficiently. You can access the detailed tutorial here for practical insights on maintaining your groundwater well.

Children are particularly vulnerable to water-born diseases. Primary schools usually have nurseries attached, bringing in very young children who are especially vulnerable. But putting wells in schools provides another big advantage: there is an institution, even a Board of Management, that is responsible for the school and with whom we can have a relationship. Primary schools, even have a very small budget for water, so can pay for replacement parts over the years.

Wells are as deep as they need to be to reach water, which can usually be found in layers of aquifers, in unconsolidated like sand and gravel that contain water. 

Most of WellBoring’s Kenyan wells are 60 metres (over 180 feet), and can be operated by hand. A few are deeper. In some countries, including The Gambia and Malawi, plenty of water can be found at 20-30 metres. 

Turn on a tap in much of the world and water flows, but in poorer countries pipes and taps are largely confined to the larger towns. The infrastructure has never been developed. Even worse, rivers, which were seldom safe, have become more polluted’ leading to outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and more. Much progress has been made. More people than ever have safe water, but we still have a long way to go. 

Among other aspects our focus on co-development, well drilling and building competence, and in-depth local engagement, especially in school-centric projects, sets us apart. We’re on the ground committed not just to providing safe water through building and rehabilitating abandoned wells but also to fostering meaningful partnerships. We bring donors and schools together by directing funds to particular schools. This is not done by many charities, and it is not done by the bigger NGOs, perhaps because of the administrative difficulty, and the challenge of funding overheads.

Our mission is to co-provide sustainable access to safe drinking water in rural sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in primary schools. Our work enhances health, education, and community development, contributing significantly to solving water poverty in the region. Our next goal is to get safe Water for a Million People.

As a set of NGOs, our key number isn’t profit, income, or spending, it’s the number of people who are getting safe water. The proxy is the number of wells x 1,000. The WellBoring GroundWater partnership’s got safe water to 337 school-communities, (250 new wells and 87 rehabs, at 30/10/23), plus 8 pre-partnering, 20 in Gambia and 4 in Malawi, a current gross total of nearly 370; changing most weeks. We will reach some 380 at the end of 2023.

Over 90% of all donations go directly to our projects in Africa. We pride ourselves on low overhead costs, ensuring that your contribution has the maximum impact.

Beyond financial contributions, individuals and organizations can support us through various means. This includes hosting fundraising events, volunteering for awareness campaigns, corporate partnerships, and spreading the word about our mission in their networks. Every effort, big or small, significantly aids our cause. Learn more about help in fundraising and supporting us as a volunteer.

Yes! Fund a well and you can name it for someone. The name can be carved into the concrete plinth or appear on a sign affixed to the stand.

Yes! Choose a country: we’re currently active in Kenya, Malawi, The Gambia, and have plans for Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. And then ask what we can do and we’ll give you some options. 

Yes! We’ll connect you by phone – WhatsApp sometimes works! – and give you co-ordinates. Most years we run a WellBoring Week where a group of volunteers travel together. Life-changing for the people you support and potentially for you. 

Absolutely! You can collaborate with us to select a specific project for your fundraising campaign, such as a Rehab-Hero or Well-Hero project, or opt for an open call. The reason behind your campaign can be diverse – maybe you prefer fundraising instead of receiving gifts for your birthday, in memory of someone instead of flowers for a bereavement, for a personal or company anniversary, or for corporate fundraising and ESG activities, and much more. You will receive a unique link for your campaign, which won’t be officially listed but can be shared within your network, social media, or intranet and company website. For further details, please contact us by E-Mail:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) originated from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. They were established with the objective of addressing urgent environmental, political, and economic challenges globally.

The SDGs represent a comprehensive commitment to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges, with all 17 goals interconnected. This interconnectedness implies that success in one area can positively affect others, contributing to objectives like managing natural resources sustainably, achieving gender equality, improving health, eradicating poverty, fostering peace, and building inclusive societies. Collectively, the SDGs offer the greatest opportunity to improve life for future generations​.

The goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are:

  1. Goal 1: No poverty. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. Goal 2: Zero hunger. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Goal 3: Good health and well-being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Goal 4: Quality education. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Goal 5: Gender equality. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
  8. Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth. Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
  9. Goal 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
  10. Goal 10: Reduced inequalities. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  12. Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Goal 13: Climate action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Goal 14: Life below water. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Goal 15: Life on land. Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

Source: United Nations /

These goals are a continuation and expansion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), initiated in 2000 to address extreme poverty, hunger, disease, and lack of primary education, among other issues. These goals build on decades of work by countries and the UN.

The journey began with the adoption of Agenda 21 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, where over 178 countries committed to a comprehensive plan of action for sustainable development.

Below, you’ll find our carefully curated list of sources. We’ve endeavoured to gather key statistics and facts to illuminate the dynamics of the water problem, its impacts, and share insights from our on-the-ground experiences. While we strive for reliability in our sources, it’s important to note that, particularly regarding Africa, some data may vary or be approximate. Here are the sources for a quick fact-check and deeper understanding:

Reports indicate that in Sub-Saharan Africa, girls miss up to 5 days of school per month due to their menstrual cycle, with additional days lost to water collection. Source: GIZ (Gender and Development) / Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany)

Researches reveals a significant outage in water infrastructure, with 25-30% of water facilities in Kenya becoming dysfunctional within three years of completion, and annually 30-40% of hand pumps in Sub-Saharan Africa failing to function. Source: AQUA VOL. 71 / Hidden Crisis Project. In a recent Spiegel article discussing Mr. Beast’s last initiative, Kenyan water expert Mr. James Origa raises important concerns. While he appreciates the project’s intent, he points out a critical challenge: the longevity and maintenance of the wells. According to Mr. Origa, as many as 40 percent of these wells fail within three years, underscoring the need for ongoing professional maintenance. This highlights a significant problem associated with the ‘drill-and-walk-away’ mentality, emphasizing the importance of not just creating solutions but ensuring their sustainability over time.

The UK-funded Hidden Crisis Project highlights the enduring issue of water point failure, with an estimated 30-40% of water points being non-functional. Source: Hidden Crisis Project

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the poor often pay 10 to 20 times more for water than the wealthy, yet receive inferior quality despite the higher cost. Source: World Economic Forum

In Sub-Saharan Africa around 794 million people lack clean drinking water. Source: World Economic Forum

Contaminated water causes diarrhoeal diseases, killing 361,406 children under 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Source: Our World in Data

In 2019, Kenya saw 3,5 million diarrhoeal diseases annually, with a mortality rate of nearly 63,86 %. Source: Our World in Data

Almost half of people drinking water from unprotected sources live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Source: Unesco / UN World Water Development Report 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest coverage of both water and sanitation services in the world only 24% of its population had access to basic drinking water, and 28% have basic sanitation facilities that are not shared with other households. Source: UN (United Nations) World Water Development Report 2019

Many source from contaminated rivers and ponds, leading to diseases like cholera and typhoid, causing some one million global deaths annually. Source (cholera): Statista / Source (typhoid): WHO (World Health Organisation)

In 2020, the global under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) dropped to 37 deaths per 1000 live births, yet sub-Saharan Africa maintained the world’s highest rate at 74 deaths per 1000 live births—14 times higher than in Europe and North America. Source: WHO (World Health Organisation)

Sub-Saharan Girls, especially adolescents, miss 10-20 % of their annual curriculum due to issues related to menstruation exacerbated by lack of clean water and sanitation facilities. Source: GIZ (Gender and Development) / Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany)

The UN reveals a startling figure: around 50% of 15 to 17-year-olds in the region remain out of school. Source: UNESCO

Women and girls collectively spend over 200 million hours globally each day, equivalent to 22,800 years, collecting water for their families, which could have been invested in work or community activities. Source: UNICEF

Over 68 million people in the region are at risk of food insecurity due to the water crisis, … Source: WFP (World Food Programme)

Population growth: Anticipated 9.8 billion by 2050 increases water demand and pollution. Source: UN (United Nations)

Urbanization: Some 40% live in cities, causing water supply challenges and pollution. Source: Worldbank

Hunger: Water scarcity affects food production and prices. 70% of freshwater goes to agriculture, projected to rise. Source: Worldbank

Conflict: Around 1,051 water-related conflicts since 2000 due to water scarcity and governance issues. Source: Worldbank

Economic loss: Water challenges could cost regions 6% of GDP by 2050. Source: Worldbank

The World Bank has projected a rise in climate migrants, with figures reaching up to 216 million globally by 2050, emanating from regions like Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia with 86 million climate migrants in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050. Sources: Worldbank / Worldbank

Many children, primarily girls, forgo school to fetch water, often hauling 5-20 kilos from distant impure sources. Source: Video Interview Ndiru primary school

The UN reveals a startling figure: around 50% of 15 to 17-year-olds in the region remain out of school. Source: UNESCO

According to the WHO 2,1 billion people don’t have safe drinking water in 2019, 4,2 billion lack proper sanitation, with Sub-Saharan Africa having the world’s lowest coverage for both services. Source: WHO (World Health Organisation)

In sub-Saharan Africa only 24% of its population had access to safe drinking water according to a 2019 UN report. Source: UN (United Nations)

Diarrhoeal diseases, primarily from contaminated water, kill some 360,000 children under five annually in this region. Source: Our World in Data