Water For All

Angola, 2013-2020

Water for All introduces integrated, sustainable water supply infrastructures in rural areas, supplying drinkable water via low-energy systems, with simple operation, minimal maintenance and maximum reliability.

Project story

Water for All brings healthy water to remote villages which previously hand-drew water from various sources. Owini carried out initial surveys, design, supervision, engineering, material and equipment supply, civil works, logistics and transport, along with six years of operation and maintenance. More than 100 local suppliers were involved.

The project carries water from rivers, lakes, springs and wells to treatment plants, then stores it in tanks for distribution.
Community awareness campaigns instructed the public how to use the new system.

So far, 214 water supply systems have been implemented in 7 of Angola’s provinces, serving some 430,000 people, with thousands of taps and fountains, including laundry and shower units. Some 326 local staff were trained to assume responsibility for future system operation, ensuring long-term sustainability.

The process

Challenge

This project required Owini representatives to access remote areas of Angola, often facing difficult topographical and hydrological challenges, while also dealing with the cultural variety of the people to be served.

Approach

Owini reached out to the public in order to enlist its cooperation and support for the new approaches being introduced to deal with water challenges.

Solution

Owini designed water transport and access systems that are conveniently located and easy to use, thus bringing clean water to entire rural populations.

Some numbers

SDGs we followed

People benefitting from drinking water

430K

Fernanda Dina, 48, Sacatombe village, Angola

“Our dream has come true with Owini’s Water for All.”

In conversation
with Zafrir Vaknin

Zafrir Vaknin is Owini’s Manager in Angola.

This large project, spread over most of the country, has been challenging, interesting and very satisfying. It required considerable field and office work, coordination with government ministries as well as local authorities in cities and villages, and a genuine understanding of local cultures.

People were used to drawing water from rivers, and here we came saying we’d bring healthy, clean water right into the heart of their villages. Changing their way of thinking about water, encouraging their support and enlisting local employees to work on these projects was sometimes challenging.

In 2013, in the early days of our first project, we were in a remote village to survey water sources and collect data to determine engineering requirements.

Returning from the nearby river after a long trek on foot, I found myself standing by a very old woman. She was looking at me, wondering who and what I was. Addressing her in the local language, I explained that we were going to bring water to her village, and that in a few months there’d be faucets with drinking water right in the center of the village. Of course, she didn’t believe me, but when I promised her that this would really happen, her eyes filled with tears.

Several months later water actually reached the village. When that same, amazing woman saw me near the faucets, she came and hugged me.

I think that moment was worth more than all my work. Bringing people clean drinking and domestic water is far from trivial and, sadly, it’s all too rare in this part of the world.

“When that amazing woman saw me near the faucets, she came and hugged me.”

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