Fountains of Hope: Restoring clean water service to people in need

Embrace Relief’s approach to the clean water crisis in sub-Saharan Africa is simple, but complicated at the same time. Since 2013, we have funded the construction of hundreds of water wells, providing communities with an easy-to-operate, easy-to-maintain piece of infrastructure that will allow them to tap into the region’s vast resources of fresh water in a safe, sustainable way. Clean water access prevents disease, promotes public health and sanitation, encourages agriculture and trade, and saves time that can be spent on education or supporting one’s family. Simple enough.

It can be more complicated to figure out the best possible locations for our wells – places where there are both high levels of human need and suitable geology for building. Embrace Relief and its partners on the ground in Chad and Cameroon are always searching for the best locations for new wells. But we’ve also found many places where a well has already been built, only to fall into disrepair and be abandoned, usually due to a lack of investment or upkeep. We see this as an opportunity. Reconstructing these previously dug, previously functioning wells is less time- and cost-intensive than building a new well from scratch, while providing the same amount of clean water.

That’s the idea behind Embrace Relief’s “Fountains of Hope” project, which we launched in 2021. While Embrace Relief continues to fund the building of new wells in Cameroon and Chad, we also keep an eye out for sites in these two countries where we can restore abandoned wells. Whether new or rebuilt, Embrace Relief’s driving goal is to provide clean water to as many communities as possible. But because reconstructed wells cost less, a donation to Fountains of Hope means you’re getting a greater impact for the same amount of money.

Fountains of Hope continues to grow thanks to the support of our donors. In 2021, the first year of the project, Embrace Relief rebuilt 50 dilapidated wells in Africa, restoring well service and clean water to more than 50,000 people. Just over halfway through 2022, we’ve exceeded last year’s total, with 60 additional wells rebuilt and 60,000 people who now have a much more accessible and safe source of drinking water.

In total, donors to Fountains of Hope provided 110,000 people with a sustainable long-term solution to their clean water needs over the last year and a half – and this is in addition to the 450,000 people in Africa who have benefitted from one of Embrace Relief’s newly built water wells since 2013.

But we still have plenty of work ahead of us, and we need your help. Donate today to Fountains of Hope, or start your own Clean Water Project fundraiser, and help us improve the quality of life for thousands more people over the next five years.