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Conservation focus: Building boreholes in Zambia

Conservation focus: Building boreholes in Zambia

For 10% of the world’s population, clean water is not available at the turn of a tap. Contaminated water—and its related problems, inadequate sanitation and hygiene—contributes to 3.4 million deaths each year, virtually all of them in the developing world. In Zambia, the “Commit to Clean Water” Fund is looking to improve that situation for the 5 million people there who live without clean water. Clean water is available—but it’s locked deep underground. To access it, boreholes need to be drilled and pumps installed—an effort that costs $7,000 per borehole.

We strive to be eco-travelers who actively support the communities who host us. After being involved with other projects in the area (building a covered rec space for students at the local school; helping with a tree planting project to replenish trees that have been lost to natural destruction and firewood), it seemed like a natural extension of our interest in the community to get involved with building boreholes.

Our intimate South Luangwa Valley safaris directly impact the efforts of the Clean Water project. By the end of 2014, we donated $21,000 (!!) on behalf of our guests to support the construction of three boreholes in the Mfuwe area.

Installing boreholes creates a ripple effect throughout the community. Borehole sites are chosen in areas where at least 10 houses are situated nearby. That means for every borehole, approximately 75 people directly gain access to clean water (and more, as the boreholes draw families to move closer). With water comes life—without having to spend hours obtaining water, children are freed to attend school and the whole community has time to devote to other tasks. Farmers can produce more during the dry season, and be able to sell more at market, providing food for many more.

 

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