Donate a Pint of Water Today – Help Us Finish the Well in Kowak, Tanzania

WaterThe Setting

The Serengeti derives its name from the Maasai term meaning “endless plains.” It is one of the places on earth longest inhabited by human beings, and is the home of the landscape and wildlife that instantly come to mind when one thinks of Africa.

Kowak, Tanzania is in East Africa, on the Indian Ocean and south of Kenya, with a population over 43 million, of whom 80% are rural. The Serengeti, Rorya and Busega Districts are in the north, near Kenya and Lake Victoria. The area lies just south of the Equator, with a tropical climate and two distinct seasons — the rainy season from around November to May and the dry season from June to October. Poverty is widespread.

Addressing the Need for Water

The scarcity of water in the region creates hardships beyond the obvious.

Clean water is paramount in improving public health; many diseases are directly related to unclean water. The problem gets worse during long dry seasons, when reservoirs and low rivers dry up. Whatever water is available is often used not only by humans but also by livestock; it becomes polluted with human and animal waste, promoting the spread of disease.

As in many poor countries, in Tanzania, women and girls are traditionally responsible for fetching water — a burdensome task, especially when water is only available from a distant source. Girls often spend essentially half the day walking to a stream or water hole and carrying back heavy containers. On the trip to get water, girls may be sexually assaulted by men or attacked by wild animals. And time spent getting water is time not spent in school; if they are fortunate enough toalso attend school, their fatigue puts them at a serious disadvantage in competition with boys. Adult women, who could otherwise be working for an income and contributing to the overall benefit of their villages, spend their time and energy instead in the continuing search for water.

In Kowak, there is a lake that is often used for water, but it is 3 miles away. The 6 mile round trip is the equivalent of walking the entire length of Market Street in Philadelphia — every day. Put another way, women and girls make a 10k walk every time they need water and they do it carrying 20-40 lb. containers on their heads.

Working with the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance, members of the Parliament of Tanzania have proposed a project to build 90 wells in Serengeti, Rorya and Busega Districts. We are working to make that proposal a reality, starting with one well and then expanding the project to its full scope. We are building a network of reliable contacts in the three districts, and working to involve village communities actively to ensure the lasting success of each well. In the United States, we have been gathering financial, technical and other support to help make it happen.

Your support of the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance can help to provide water and more. By making clean, safe water available, together we can vastly improve public health while we stand up for the rights of women and girls — and help them to succeed in school and take their place as productive members of their communities.

We invite you to contact us with questions and suggestions, and to get involved with our organization. And of course we need your financial support in any amount, large or small.

Our Goal

We are now in the process of drilling our first well, in the village of Kowak, Rorya District. This is one of three wells for which we have signed a contract with Nassa Drilling, a well-recommended company that has given us the best bid of approximately $10,000 (USD) per well. We have most of what we need for the first well: approximately $6,700. Our goal is to raise $6,000 within the next 30 days. This will provide the funds to finish the first well and to budget for maintenance as needed; and to lay a foundation to further our efforts beyond the first well. We will launch further fundraising campaigns in the future, but we are confident that we can reach this goal for now with your help. Please give what you can — and help us to spread the word by sharing this with your friends!

The Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so your support is tax deductible under US tax laws.

We invite you to join us in our work. As an expression of our thanks we would like to offer you one of our T-shirts for a gift of $50 or more; our shirts are printed on good-quality cotton and show our logo in the upper left corner on front, and “Maji” (Swahili: Water) on the back — so you will be able to visibly show your support for the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance. For major gifts, $1,000 or more, we’d like to invite both you and a guest to join us for a special dinner (if you are within easy travel distance from Philadelphia). And for gifts of $2,500 or more, you will receive both our special dinner invitation (within easy travel distance from Philadelphia) and your name on a commemorative plaque that will be placed at the well in Kowak.

Donate a Pint of Water Today – Help Us Finish the Well in Kowak, Tanzania

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