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The Elephant Village

This month, Jessica Starkins visited GAiN’s Water for Life Initiative projects in Tanzania. She met with our field teams to conduct training sessions with them, conduct village visits and also did reporting on the Saving Lives at Birth project at three rural health centers.


Read as Jessica shares one of her experiences from this trip:

“When we reached the village, I immediately noticed three water options, all next to each other. One was a small swamp with a tiny bit of dirty water, next to it was an open well that was closed off, and then next to it, our deep-capped water well.

As I looked around, our field team was distracted by something else, something on the ground. They explained to me that these huge circle prints in the mud are in fact elephant prints!

During GAiN’s work in this village, ten elephants arrived, chasing away the drillers who were forced to hide in the truck. 


Wana, a woman who has lived in this village her whole life, recalls that this village has had two large challenges. One of those is the elephants. A herd of 500 elephants often come through this village in search of food and water. Just last week they came through, scaring families, destroying crops and eating their cashews and mangoes. The second challenge was water. Wana is so grateful that GAiN was able to solve this problem for her village. The swamps and rivers they used to collect water from didn’t have enough water, even in the rainy season. They would have to dig small holes and if there still wasn’t enough water, they would travel ten kilometres away to collect water with their children, who would get very tired. The government recognised how bad it was and dug an open well but didn’t find water so they closed it off. They said the problem of elephants destroying their farms is still there but at least the water problem is now solved. 


Communities from all around Wana’s village travel to use the well provided by GAiN, and it is elephant-proof too!”

Water for Life Initiative Tanzania Africa Building Wells Global Aid Network

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