The Fraste FS 250 drilling rig, which is manufactured in Italy, can be used to find aquifers located hundreds of feet underground.
This month — in celebration of its fifth anniversary — charity: water will be investing in a new drilling rig that will help bring clean drinking water to 40,000 people in Ethiopia. Charity: water is a non-profit that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, and it has been capturing considerable attention for the organization’s innovative use of social media to get its message out. Every dollar that Charity: water raises in September will directly fund the new rig (all financial support for staff comes from other sources). And in case you want proof, the non-profit will be tracking the rig with GPS.
Charity: water has been testing SPOT satellite GPS devices that will enable donors to track progress in real time using Google Maps. “Our goal is to have real-time GPS information available online for donors for years after the rig is purchased so they can see their dollars at work,” said Paull Young, Director of Digital at charity: water. “We’ll be creating an interactive map that will display the GPS information, and even creating a Twitter account for the rig that will update with GPS data.” Charity: water currently requires completion photos and GPS coordinates for project reports from all of its partners.
The new rig will have the capacity to drill 80 wells annually, or one well every 4.5 days. The equipment will be mounted on a three-axle truck, which will enable it to get through the rough Ethiopian terrain. The organization’s goal is to raise $1.2 million for new drilling equipment. If charity: water reaches that fundraising goal, an additional rig will be donated by a second donor.
In addition to the $700,000 drilling rig, a compressor and truck ($200,000) will be needed, along with a support truck, transport and insurance ($100,000), pipes, tools, drilling bits and spare parts ($200,000). The equipment will be purchased directly from Fraste, an Italy-based manufacturer specializing in hydraulic drilling rigs based. The rig will be transported by sea from Italy to Africa, then overland to its final destination in Ethiopia.
The fleet will be built specifically for use by Relief Society of Tigray (REST), charity: water’s local partners in Ethiopia. The REST team includes an expert driller as well as hydrologists and currently has three drilling rigs in operation that are being worked to capacity. Charity: water wants to help them dig more wells faster, getting them closer to their goal of providing 100 percent water access to the people of Northern Ethiopia. The plan is to have the new rig in operation by early 2012.
For more information on charity: water and its September campaign, visit the organization’s site.
Disclosure: Charity: water has been a Razorfish pro bono client since 2010.
- Charity: Water
- Relief Society of Tigray (REST) photo album on Facebook
- From the field: some REST in Ethiopia; charity: water blog, 06.09.11