TheStar.com - Cleaning wells and renewing lives
: "Our team builds a clinic in the newly formed village of Sakkuday. It will be used by local health-care workers to care for the new village and its inhabitants. We seek the help of settlers and land-mine clearance personnel to build the structure. This helps build a greater sense of community. The men and women who build this clinic will know they have helped forge their own community. Empowerment is a strong word. When disaster strikes, people want to rebuild. It helps them to cope with their loss and look toward a new goal. Victor Menkal, our water sanitation engineer, is elbow deep in dirty wells in the village of Kallady. He literally grabs five local villagers and teaches them how to clean a well. We provide sludge pumps, generator, water pumps and water purification chemicals. They move on to another well. The curious join in and the group grows. Well after well, the team grows and eventually forms smaller teams. They clean their own wells for their families. Heads of families demand their sons work with us to clean their neighbours' wells. Soon we are operating at a five-team capacity, each team cleaning 16 wells a day. The water engineer performs quality assurance checks. More equipment and chemicals are needed. We source these locally. Within a week, 480 wells are clean. We hire a local businessman named Krishna to carry on our work and co-ordinate the cleaning. The wells are prioritized in order to get the maximum benefit. Communal village wells are the first priority, followed by temple wells, then private wells. No one is denying their neighbour access to their cleaned water."