The short story

Hello!  My goal with this fundraiser is to raise enough money by mid 2018 to assist the mission of a new Tanzanian NGO, Pure Water Joy , to buy a borehole well drilling rig (basically, a drill that can drill at least 60 meters to the subsurface groundwater) and a truck to tow it to all the villages that need it!  With this equipment, a great number of deep water wells can be drilled in villages that are in need of a safe and clean water supply. 

Pure Water Joy has attained fiscal sponsorship with New Horizons Foundation, a 501c3 organization in Colorado Springs.  This partnership allows your donation to be tax deductible!

 The following picture depicts Simbaya and I in his village of Nandanga (where we drilled our first well, details at the end of the page) in 2013.

The long story
Hello!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Leah and I spent almost 2 years of my life living in Tanzania, a country in East Africa just south of Kenya.  I was involved in many projects there, including anti-poaching work, as well as science education!  A major facet of Tanzanian life that struck a chord with me as something that I could help ameliorate was the lack of clean and healthy water in rural Tanzania.  In 2014, I was able to raise the necessary funds to get a borehole, deep water well drilled in my friend Simbaya’s (more on him later!) village.  This well is still in operation, and provides hundreds of people, most of whom used to walk 3 miles to obtain water (that wasn’t even safe to begin with) with clean, bacteria-free water!  This frees up time for children to go to school, mother’s to spend more time with their families,  less water-borne illnesses in the village and a decrease in attacks on women and children travelling to find water outside the vilage!  This project was a massive success! 

 Despite the fact that I no longer live in Tanzania, I still feel called to continue this work, and this time, we have to do it bigger and better!  In the grand scope of this project, I don’t see very much in the way of the reality of bringing water to tens of thousands of people in southwestern Tanzania.  Luckily, I am not working alone!  My enterprising friend and former coworker, Simbaya is leading the charge on the ground in Tanzania.  Simbaya is unlike any Tanzanian I have ever met.  He is a hard-working, honest family man full of gratitude and big dreams for his people.  Simbaya has an incredible work ethic, and an incredible drive to make a difference in his community, and rural Tanzania sorely needs that!  These qualities in Simbaya greatly inspire me.  His passion for clean water led him to enroll in a college program designed to train him on how to drill and install the equipment necessary for an operational borehole.  He has the knowledge, now we just need the big equipment to allow us to drill deep boreholes in EVERY village we possibly can making acess to clean water in this area of Tanzania (and beyond!) a reality!  

How big is this problem? 

Access to clean and safe water, which is something many of us don't think twice about in our daily lives, is unfortunately a larger problem than we realize for those people who live in developing countries.  As of the year 2015,  a whopping 44.5% of Tanzanians do not have access to water.  This equates to a number of 23 MILLION (most of them in rural areas, where we would be working) people drinking dirty water.  Even more unfortunate, is that this number has doubled since 1990.  Lack of clean water causes an inordinate number of preventable diseases, many of which can turn fatal. Sadly, every year, 3,000 toddlers under  five years of age die in Tanzania as a result of drinking dirty water.  On a more positive note, you can be part of the solution to this major problem!  Lack of access to water and water borne diseases are extraordinarly preventable in this area of the world.  Together, we can raise the funds needed to get a drill out there to combat this problem, and slowly decrease the number of people without access to water.  Please see the following graphs depicting the severity of this problem in Tanzania.  This information was taken from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Equipment we need
We need a borehole well drilling machine, capable of drilling deep depths and travelling to other areas.  The picture below is one rig we are looking at being sold out of India

Project area 

The area that we will start working in is in a village system in the Mbeya region.  Mbeya town is located in the southwestern part of Tanzania, and the villages in most need are situated right near the borders of Zambia and Malawi.  This area is extremely unique for us because no other organizations have done or are currently doing water aid work and relief in the area.  Also, this area is "off the beaten path" so to speak, and thus there is hardly a tourist infrastructure.  A fraction of tourism dollars (from safaris, etc) in other areas of Tanzania and Africa in general go towards funding the development of rural villages and/or schools, but sadly, this area does not get to reap the benefits of visitors. 

The maps below show the general area that we would be working in (with a goal to expand over time).  The  pins indicate where water relief and aid work is currently being actively worked on by other organizations.  The red circle is our project area. 

Let’s talk money Earlier, I mentioned that I raised money to drill a well in a village called Nandanga back in 2014 when I lived in Tanzania.  I hired a company that owned a drill, and had them drill the hole and install the necessary piping equipment and hand pump.  This process cost….THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!  Wow, getting clean water is pricy!  That’s the low end as well.  Many companies charge double this amount, and rural villages where one person earns roughly $500/year can not afford such services.
But how much does a well actually cost?  According to various technical skill colleges in Tanzania, the cost of drilling a well is roughly $450-$500.  This includes the above ground pump, and subterranean pipes to facilitate bringing water to the surface, and the gas required to operate the machinery.  Suddenly, a $3000, unaffordable well becomes affordable when a whole village contributes.  Once the equipment is obtained with this fundraiser, Simbaya’s plan is to travel to the villages that are in need of water and drill and install a borehole AT COST!  Our base goal is 15 villages serviced, which equates to over 10,000 people with clean water! Over time, we want this number to reach to the millions.  In addition, Simbaya plans to train a small group of women in each village on how to properly care for, repair and maintain the wells, so they remain in operation for decades to come.  Simbaya’s commitment to providing deep water wells at cost and education is essential to solving the problem of water scarcity, stress and pollution in Tanzania. 

Got it!  But how much does the equipment cost? 

 Trucks in Tanzania cost roughly $7000 and drills cost $10,000 and up depending on the type of machine purchased and where in the world they are purchased from.  We are currently looking at a drill that costs $125,000, and we need to raise extra money beyond that to cover import taxes and transport into the country

We also hope to undertake a large scale tree-planting project to combat the effects of deforestation in the country and provide entrepreneural training to women in the village.

Once we are established, I will undertake a long-term research study to gauge the efficacy and impact of the work of Pure Water Joy as it relates to disease rates, education rates and other metrics as well as soil and water quality data.

My commitment to donors 

This project is incredibly important to Simbaya and I, and I am confident that we can raise the funds needed to buy a drill and reach our goal of tens of thousands of people with clean water.  When this money is raised, I will personally purchase the drill myself and travel to Tanzania  to ensure the drill is transported to the correct area.  And I hope to witness the first well drilled by Simbaya! 

In addition, I hope to create a page that tracks our progress showing how many villages have new deep water wells drilled in them and how many people those wells have helped!  This website will also have an option to sponsor a village for a donation of $450, for those who want to remain connected to the project.  

In addition, we will remain in contact with the villages serviced to ensure the well remains operational.  I also hope to provide opportunities for students, conservation and relief work enthusiasts to join me out in Tanzania to witness the landscape for themselves. 

If you have read this far, I deeply appreciate your interest and consideration.  Let's provide some clean water to some thirsty people together!  Just IMAGINE the gratitude!

Further Reading

For more resources, information, pictures and videos on the past well drilling project in Nandanga, please consult the links, pictures and video below! 


The first video created, explaining the issue

The page for the first fundraiser

The result of the first fundraiser in 2014!  Clean water!

Below you will find a few pictures of the well drilling process taken in 2014

1. A Big Machine!

2.  Gotta have a lot of pipes for clean water to travel through!

3  Drilling boreholes is muddy business!

4. Finally!  We have struck clean water!
5. The hole is drilled, now we gotta install the pump!
6. The finished product!

7.  Success!  Now let's get water for tens of thousands of more people!
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Leah Fenimore 
Manitou Springs, CO