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Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

Saving 2,000 Lives One Well at a Time

Water Wells for Africa's Malawi Mountain Project

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In the Western world, clean water is abundant. Most of us have never had to worry about a shortage or total lack of safe drinking water, but in Africa one third of the population does not have access to clean water. In 1996 Kurt Dahlin set out to change that by creating a non profit foundation called Water Wells for Africa.

This poignant short documentary on the Malawi Mountain Project of 2010 captures a few moments of the daily struggle African citizens go through to get water. In Malawi this requires women and girls to hike over an hour just to obtain dirty drinking water that will eventually lead to disease or death. This trip is made five times per day.

Not only is consumption of the water unsafe, but the ordeal of obtaining that water is stealing education and power from the female population. If clean water was readily available, girls could go to school and women could earn a living, provide for their families, and escape poverty.

Water Wells for Africa has built more than 130 wells for clean drinking water since their start. The cost of each well is approximately $7,000 dollars and serves around 2,000 people. WWFA states, "For every latte you order at Star Bucks, WWFA could use that money to supply a person with clean water for 20 years." To provide clean water for one person it costs $3.50. I believe that's actually less than the cost of most Lattes. This is a classic case of a little bit goes an incredible distance. One person can make a change. Maybe you'll remember Malawi next time you drink a nice glass of water or stop for your coffee break and choose to take a small step in order to make a big difference.

For more information on Water Wells for Africa visit

For a great breakdown of how WWFA builds each well visit

-- Brie Sullivan