The mission of Engarre is to provide free access to clean water to people, we engage in collecting rain water, drilling wells, purifying water, preserving natural water resources for people and animals in the country.
Drinkable water is a big challenge in Africa that deserves much attention. When we first visited African countries as tourists we were repeatedly warned not to drink tapped water but only packed water from plastic bottles. This bottled water was always available in good quantity and all tourists paid attention to drink only this water. They even wash teeth in it, to avoid health problems. But what about local residents?
People living in bigger cities or towns and those on popular touristic routes usually have access to water, at least utility water collected from rain or from public wells. Noone is really checking if this water is harmless. It looks clean and so it is consumed by majority of residents. It is true that they drink tea most of the time so the water gets boiled prior to consumption. But sometimes everyone needs to quench thirst with fresh water. And we are still talking about relatively clean water - at least this is how it looks with the naked eye. But what about the water for people living deep in the bush?
People living in the bush, in small villages in the mainland of Tanzania gain water from natural sources. This means they get water from the lake (which is originally rain water as there is no river or creek that could be dammed here) and from water holes. Water from lakes and from dug water pits is cloudy and full of bacteria. By no surprise people here suffer from different intestinal diseases and have great respect of them. After all, such a diarrheal disease in local conditions may, in many cases and especially when it comes to small children, cause death. Therefore Engarre plans to launch a project of water purification soon.
Even the accessibility of water in the bush is unimaginable for Europeans. Or can you imagine loading a donkey with containers every morning, walk to the lake for an hour, scoop up the cloudy water into them and walk back home for another hour? Those not having donkeys carry the buckets or containers on their heads, often with a baby on the back at the same time. Usually when they return from the lake, pit or irrigation channel, the sun is already burning like mad. Those happier live closer and their journey is shorter, but the water is still the same. It is also possible to order water delivery by motorbike, but that means extra money and noone can afford it here daily.
When Renata visited Africa with her friend who is a doctor for the first time, they wanted to know even what the ice in drinks is made from. She was braver on her second visit already when she visited Masai people in the bush - to experience how it is to "live Masai way". She did not have much choice about the water on this authentic trip. A shop with packed water was in the village, about 1 hour walk distant, and even when she had bottled water to drink, the morning tea and the food that was served were all cooked using water from the lake. What is the color of such tea? Well, it looks a bit like muddy water. Locals don't mind it and Renata decided she would not mind too. After all, the tea is served boiled and bacteria are killed by boiling. So let's just not concentrate on the color...
When it started to rain all people began catching rain water into buckets, basins, barrels... Renata was surprised to see these people drink rain water directly. She did not have enough courage yet to drink the water flowing down the roof into a bowl. But locals call this water "fresh" and clean.
Local lake used to be large but after the long dry seasons in the past years the amount of water inside of it dropped radically. In 2021 the drought was extreme as the preceeding rain season ended too soon and the beginning of the following one delayed. The lake shrinked to maybe half the size of previous year, alternative little lakes dried completely, water pits for cattle had to be deepened repeatedly. Seeing and experiencing this situation personally the team of Engarre decided to work on projects which could help local people get and maintain access to water.
Learn more about the drying lake that dissapeared in 2022, the one representing the only water source in the area, and support the project of Fixing dam on local lake!
There are many ways in which Engarre can help local community with water. One option is to drill a water well for public use. The cost of one water well starts at about € 35 000 including survey, drilling, all necessary basic material and technique. (This cost could already be higher now in 2022 as prices have increased also in Tanzania in the meantime.) This amount is astronomical for individual municipalities and collecting money for it from local people would take forever. Their earnings range from approx. 1 - 2 euro per day. We are sure that we, as the lucky ones, who need to just turn the faucet in the kitchen or bathroom to get safe drinking water at our homes, can help.
As we have only just launched the organisation of Engarre we did not have enough funds to finance a big project such as drilling a well. But to start with we were able to combine our target 'Water' with target 'Education'. How? The school needed to repair roof on one of the school buildings urgently. The roof construction was already rotten, roof plates damaged, rain was pouring inside the classroom and the threat of the whole contruction collapsing was real. So we decided to have this roof repaired and at the same time install gutters and buy or fix a water tank to collect rain water for the children visiting school.
Supporting accessible education, safe and healthy environment in school, building free-time center for children, library...
Planting trees and plants, preventing soil erosion, saving water, creating pleasant climate, preserving local nature...
Work and fair income for locals, value culture and traditional way of life, educating women, building family gardens...