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When our Nigerian workers arrived in Bako, the fast-developing community in Nigeria seemed to have all the water that everyone needed. There is a river nearby, and several wells dotting the countryside.
But our team learned the river was contaminated and people drinking from it and/or bathing in it were often getting sick. As for the wells that should have been a reliable water source, most had broken down and whoever originally installed them was no longer available to do any repairs.
“As with most wells we have seen, maintenance was never factored into the drilling projects,” laments Hosea Apeh, our team’s leader in Nigeria.
Hosea remembers one well in Bako where the hand pump was covered with an old carpet – signifying its uselessness, despite lots of safe, cool water underground. His crew replaced the broken hand pump with a new and much more reliable version and replaced the shattered concrete pad with a much better one. Soon, villagers were gathering around the new pump and filling their pails and basins with water.
“Our intervention here put smiles on many faces,” Hosea recalls. “Members of the community could not hold back their joy as they freely gave sand and gravel to support the repairs.”
In a letter given to Hosea, and intended for Lifewater’s generous donors, Bako’s residents said: “We like to appreciate your love by coming to repair our borehole. We pray that God almighty will reward you. Whatever you have spent to do this for us will never run dry.”
We will continue to provide support for the wells in and around Bako, and in many other communities in Africa and Haiti where Lifewater donors enable us to operate.