Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Promoting Education and Saving Lives through Hand Pump Water Wells

Project #
The College of Idaho
  • Mohammad Azhar Mudaqiq

Promoting Education and Saving Lives through Hand Pump Water Wells

Mohammad’s project was to build water wells at six different public schools in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. He sought to mitigate the Taliban’s harmful and often deadly practice of poisoning school water wells and, at the same time, to prevent the spreading of waterborne diseases. Students and community members would gain access to clean, sanitary, and disease-free water by improving water quality and removing an element of fear that often deters students from attending school.

The impact of Mohammad’s wells is impressive: he estimates that 18,000 students, and another 10,000 local people, are benefiting from access to clean and safe water. Since the wells are no longer exposed and uncovered, families can now confidently send their children to school without the fear of a poisoned water source. And each public school with a new well has committed to maintaining their well in good condition.

Mohammad’s aim was to solve water problems in several schools but to also demonstrate an approach that can be replicated throughout the country. Furthermore, he believes that such a project can provide a sense of hope to a country that has been suffering from decades of civil war.