Why not a Well?
Many people have asked us why we are not choosing to drill a well in Toloha to meet the villager’s need for clean water. 
So we say, “actually, boreholes have been drilled, but a well is just not possible in Toloha.”
World Bank has drilled three boreholes, but all three were unsuccessful. Two were dry and the other was unfit for human consumption. There are 5,000 people who need water in Toloha, which would mean drilling several more boreholes and still only meeting the existing need and not considering population growth. Believe it or not, Toloha IS a growing community even without clean water.
“So what are the Villagers of Toloha doing to get water?” they ask. “They have to have water to survive, right?”
One available source of water is surface water. The villagers will walk 5 km to Lake Jipe. The water in Lake Jipe is filthy –  wild animals bathe in it and drink it. It is just not safe as is. We considered piping and filtering water from Lake Jipe. However, it is at a lower elevation and would be much more difficult to pump than the source we have chosen to use. They will also travel up to 8 km to other villages to get their water, but will have to wait in line for hours until the residents fill their containers.
There is one other way the villagers get water, a gravity-fed system from a mountain stream. It was constructed in 1952 by the British and used by the people of Toloha and surrounding villages for several decades.  Currently, it is in total disrepair.  The entire underground pipe system is so corroded that it has pitted and rusted away.  Cattle will walk over the pipe puncturing it with their hooves. 
Right now, the villagers will travel to the end of the existing gravity fed system (for some it is 5 km from their homes) and gather water there. They will pull a pipe from the system out of the ground and allow it to slowly flow into their containers. There are times when the water barely drips from the pipe, and it is not even clean water by the time it reaches this point.
This is the main source of water for the village, but in its current condition, does not come close to meeting the water needs for the 5,000 villagers. We’ve chosen to repair the gravity fed piped water system because, once it has the proper new pipes, it will be the best long-term, cost-effective and sustainable option possible. The spring fed mountain stream, has proven to be extremely reliable year round – in the rainy season and the dry season. The village had been using this system for decades until it began to rust and become corroded. 

We plan to repair and upgrade the existing system to provide enough water for 12,000 people and their livestock. We want this system to sustain the village for at least two decades and possibly more.

The villagers are eager for this change. One day soon, it will become a reality. Will you join us in making it happen?

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