Many open water sources, and even the groundwater in some pockets of the country, are badly contaminated. The level of filth in the Yamuna River, for instance, is 100,000 times the safe limit for bathing. Imagine drinking this sludgy water and you can see why water-related diseases still account for 21% of all transmissible illness in India.
Officially, nine out of ten people in India have sufficient water. But some technically-covered communities are forced to share a trickle from a tube well among hundreds of people. Difficult, mountainous terrain often separates a village and its only water source. Also, as population grows, it often outpaces the available water sources.
The third problem is lack of maintenance, both in urban and rural communities. For example, New Delhi technically supplies enough water to meet the city’s demand, but 40% of it is lost as it flows through leaky, unmaintained pipes. In Rajasthan, desert areas are dotted with dusty wells that have dried up because of depleted groundwater.
For communities that simply don’t have water, we drill bore wells. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
In some areas we go through 600 feet of rock before finding any water at all. For island projects, freshwater is sometimes hidden more than 1,000 feet below ground. Some communities are so remote that our teams have to hand-carry heavy bricks and pipes because there is no available transportation. But regardless of the obstacles, we find a way to drill a well for these communities.
We provide BioSand water filters in communities where iron, arsenic, mud or bacteria contaminate the water. These filters use gravity to naturally filter water through layers of sand, gravel and a biofilm. Since they do not require electricity, BioSand filters can be used even in the most remote village.
Believers Church teams create the concrete filters in 11 different centers throughout India and transport them by truck or boat to rural and urban communities throughout the nation.
In Himalayan regions, we pipe pure water from natural springs to a community water tank. This saves hours of time for women who previously had to walk kilometers to haul water from the stream to their home.
In certain areas of Sri Lanka, constant flooding causes wells to become clogged and polluted. Here we send teams to clean wells and make sure the water is safe to drink.