How we evaluate projects

How we investigate and evaluate potential projects

Dr David Tonks knows the value of water. He leads the evaluation process when we receive a request for help.

David is a chartered civil engineer, water and environmental specialist and geologist. - and one of our Trustees.

During two years with Voluntary Service Overseas working in the Turks and Caicos Islands, he gained invaluable experience in the provision of low-cost wells for small villages and day-to-day running of a small water utility.

"It's remarkable to realise that the cost of putting a well in many African villages is less than £10 a person - a £1,500 well commonly brings fresh water to as many as 300 people. It's hard to think of another way in which so little can do so much."

“ We assess potential projects for their technical and social implications. We need to know ...

  • who will be responsible for the project locally
  • that water can be found at practical depths and in sufficient quantities
  • who will benefit
  • who will be responsible for ongoing management and maintenance.

"Some project teams, such as Christian Engineers in Development (CED) have extensive experience; they can mobilise qualified hydrogeologists to investigate underground water potential and supervisory staff to select the appropriate technologies and manage the installation.

"We always look to make the very best use of the funds we raise. It may cost twice as much to get a well into a remote area, but this may provide the only remedy to severe disease and drought."

The Trustees ask detailed questions. Only when they are satisfied that the funds will be properly used for the local people does the project get the go-ahead. Reports and photographs ensure that we follow up on progress and completion.

"One great benefit is the closeness we feel to the projects. We appreciate getting to know the people involved, by letter or increasingly by email.

"The responses are frequently very moving. A new well is a source of much celebration in a locality. It is hard for us in the UK to appreciate just what a difference a local, clean water supply makes."