Be a child again - going to school instead of walking many miles for clean drinking water

Water pumps for the rural population in Ivory Coast

Getting up before dawn to then walk for many hours across country? This sounds like a hiking or mountaineering adventure to most people. In Ivory Coast, this is actually not an adventure, but a necessity. For many children in rural areas, this is what their everyday life is like. And this hard trek takes them not to school, but to the nearest working water pump dispensing vital drinking water. And it does not matter how far they need to go, because clean water is needed for everything: for drinking, cooking, washing or for livestock – water is life.


The Ivory Coast is currently at number 172 of 188 of the Development Index (UNDP, 2014). A quarter of the population has no access to drinking water. Among the rural population it actually is more than a third. The years of civil war and political instability have left their marks on the country, important infrastructure has been destroyed and the country has not yet recovered from these structural problems. Many people are drawn to the cities. The situation in the rural areas continues to be worrisome, because the damaged or destroyed water systems, in combination with bad sanitary conditions, increase the danger of diseases. But the bad state of affairs when it comes to drinking water has even more far-reaching consequences: many children – especially girls – cannot go to school because they have to go and fetch water for their families from far off places. Many women also have to spend much of their time on this – time that they could use on doing other things.

The good deed

Habitat for Humanity repairs water pumps and drills new wells in order for people to have water supply in their own village. The pumps provide drinkable water and are checked and serviced on a regular basis to maintain water quality. This improves the health of the people by the provision of clean water, while more children can go to school because they do not have to walk for kilometres to fetch water. The small fee that everyone has to pay for access to the water goes towards funding the maintenance. And in order for the village community to be able to undertake this by themselves, committees made up of its members are organised for each pump that are responsible for the future long-term upkeep and maintenance.


For the long-term viability of the pumps, the water committees and the active involvement of the villagers is immensely important. That means that everyone has to be willing to pay the usage fee. The water committees need to carry out their function continuously and diligently so that the pumps do not break down and can be used by the people for a long time.

Countable output

After around 7 months


After around 3 years

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Clean drinking water for the rural population in Ivory Coast.
Habitat for Humanity repairs non-working water pumps for supplying clean drinking water and drills new wells.
One water pump provides clean drinking water, with 280 people each receiving 20 litres.
The pumps work reliably, the people have clean drinking water and are more healthy and productive.
Many children can go to school instead of having to walk for many kilometres to fetch water. Their health and education improve.


Habitat for Humanity Germany e.V.
Association register
VR 16982 Köln
Certified by
Committment to standards of German Charity Council e.V.
Commitment to quality standards of VENRO
Transparency International
Do you have further questions about this project? Then please get in touch with our 24GoodDeeds contact person Katharina Jazbec: or ask your question on our Facebook page:
Initiative Transparente ZivilgesellschaftSpendenrat e. V. – Der Dachverband spendensammelnder gemeinnütziger OrganisationenVENRO – Arbeitsgruppe Transparenz