How much does a well cost?

The short answer is it depends. There are many variables that affect a project's budget, such as geography, type of water project, infrastructure, etc., so the costs can vary widely. The projects we fund are comprehensive and sustainable so include sanitation components and provisions for maintenance training. Some average costs for various water project types:

Spring catchment: $500 serving 250 people = $2/beneficiary.
Hand-dug well with hand pump: $5,000 serving 500 people = $10/beneficiary.
Borehole well with hand pump: $15,000 serving 1,000 people = $15/beneficiary.
Deep bore hole well with submersible electric pump and diesel-powered generator: $125,000 serving 6,000 people = $21/beneficiary.


Who builds the wells?

All water projects are implemented by African Well Fund partner Africare. Africare has been working in Africa for more than 30 years and has field offices throughout the continent. Africare is committed to supporting local, community-driven initiatives and to going where the need is the greatest. For more detailed information about the water projects and the process used to implement them, please visit our Projects page.  

Can I fund construction of a particular well?

The projects we fund are comprehensive ones, including both water and sanitation components. A typical project costs around $30,000 and contains a number of sites within it. When you donate to AWF, we can tell you what project we are currently seeking funding for. Your donation will be pooled with others to help to fully fund the project. If you or your group would like to fund an entire project, please contact us for further information.  

Will I be able to see photos of the well I fund?

We post project updates and photos as we receive them. However, there is usually a lag between the time of donation and when we receive the project report updates. AWF strives to achieve a balance in obtaining feedback for donors without unnecessarily burdening those working in the field. Again, making sure that donor dollars are used in the most effective way possible is a priority for both AWF and Africare.  

Can I fund a well in honor of or dedicated to a loved one?

Donations can always be in honor of or dedicated to a loved one. AWF has Well Share certificates available in electronic and hard copy formats that can be personalized for your donation. We do not have any provisions for installation of a plaque or sign on the site. Such a designation would not only involve considerable cost, it also runs counter to the philosophy that the well belongs to the community in which it resides.  

I want to go to Africa and assist in the construction of the well. Do you send teams of volunteers to Africa?

AWF does not send teams of volunteers to Africa to build wells. Our focus is on raising money for our partner Africare to implement projects under the supervision of its field staff in Africa. A key component of our approach is partnering with the local community to ensure sustainability of the project. The community members frequently provide the labor as their contribution toward the project. Please refer to our list of other organizations currently building wells in Africa. Some of these groups utilize volunteers in Africa.  

How are sites selected?

Our partner Africare is committed to working in areas where the need is the greatest. Africare regularly presents us with a variety of project proposals to fund. Many times the water and sanitation proposals are for areas where Africare is currently implementing other programs such as food security initiatives or fighting HIV/AIDS. Clean water is an essential component of all these initiatives.  

I want to fund a well in village or country X.

AWF funds projects presented by our partner Africare. Many times AWF funds a water project in an area where Africare is implementing other programs. This allows our funds to be used with maximum efficiency and also allows for a comprehensive improvement in the life of a community. AWF does not accept other project proposals at this time. Please refer to our list of other organizations currently building wells in Africa. Some of these organizations do accept partnership proposals.  

How do you know the money goes to the people in need?

Africare provides us with detailed project proposals with cost breakdowns, as well as regular project updates as they are implemented. These proposals and updates can be viewed on our Projects page. AWF board members have travelled to Africa for visits to projects in Ghana and Uganda where they met with local officials, Africare field staff and with community members, and were able witness firsthand completed and in-progress projects. Photos on our site and our documentary film document these visits.  

What percentage of my donation goes to administrative costs?

AWF is a grassroots nonprofit organization that is currently governed and staffed by a volunteer board of directors. Our agreement with Africare is such that 100 percent of the money donated from AWF goes directly to the water projects we fund. As a result, 100 percent of all donations to AWF go directly to building wells and other water and sanitation projects. Our overhead costs are kept to a minimum and are funded through merchandise sales and through grants designated specifically for administrative costs. If you would like to make a donation toward these costs to help us expand our capacity, please visit our donation page and select the Administrative Costs option.  

Where can I find your financial information?

Our 990 is available upon request. You can download our latest annual report here.  

Where is AWF headquartered?

AWF is a virtual organization with no bricks-and-mortar headquarters, which enables us to minimize administrative costs. Our website and online forum serves as our headquarters and allow volunteers from all over the world to interact and exchange ideas.  

I live outside the United States, can I still contribute?

AWF accepts donations from around the world; however, we can only issue U.S. tax receipts. Please visit our Donate page for instructions on how to make a donation.  

Can you put me in contact with Bono?

While AWF was founded by a group of U2 fans inspired by Bono's advocacy for Africa, AWF is not affiliated with or sponsored by Bono, U2 or its management company.

List of Other Organizations With Water Projects in Africa

Ghana West African Missions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that drills water wells in Ghana with the goal of providing fresh, clean, contaminant-free water for every village in the country.

Lifewater International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Christian organization that equips partner organizations and works with them to empower communities in developing countries to gain safe water, adequate sanitation and effective hygiene.

WaterAid is an international charity whose mission is to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.

WaterCan is a Canadian charity dedicated to fighting global poverty by helping the world’s poorest people gain access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene education.

WaterPartners International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that, by working through high-quality partner organizations that have proven their ability to implement sustainable water projects, has helped thousands of people achieve their dream of safe water.

Water for Sudan Inc. is a Rochester, NY-based 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to drill fresh-water wells for the people in the southern areas of Sudan, providing the foundation for stable, healthy communities.

The Water Project Inc. is a Christian 501(c)3 non-profit organization that's bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water.

Wilmslow Wells for Africa is a British-based direct-action charity whose aim is to improve life in drought-stricken areas of Africa by providing wells, pumps, dams and water collection equipment.