Nearly the size of Texas, Central African Republic (CAR) is the country no one has heard of… at least until the most recent coup d’état by rebels that has lead to countless human rights abuses including the use of child soldiers, rape, torture, extrajudicial killings, and over 200,000 people displaced from their homes.
Rewind nearly 10 years to Blood:Water’s beginnings, and you would have found us in CAR with another start-up organization, Water For Good (WFG). WFG launched in 2004 with passion for empowering Central African Republic with clean water. Blood:Water funded some of their first projects and went on to help over 150 villages gain accesses to safe water. The first of these was a Fulani village called Ndanga, located in the deep jungles of CAR.
We recently went back and talked with Water For Good, to see how the conflict in CAR is affecting their work. Their main offices in Bangui were ransacked; they lost most of their drill rigs, and many of their staff had to flee the capital. But in spite of this, WFG is not only running, but is thriving, and is the only functioning water organization in the country. They’ve achieved this because of their focus on empowering Central Africans, and their local teams have been able to continue drilling and maintaining wells across the country.
They were able to show us a map of all the water points Blood:Water funded over the years, including our very first well in Ndanga. Their local maintenance teams have continued to keep these wells functioning over the years.
This is why Blood:Water believes in working with local organizations. Their knowledge, ingenuity, and commitment, even in the face of overwhelming challenges, is what will ultimately change Africa. They inspire us every day, and we are honored to be able to be able to partner with them.