Providing Solutions for Global Water Needs
As a world leader in designing and manufacturing pumps and motors used to access groundwater, Franklin Electric is positioned to make a substantial impact on the availability of clean water in developing regions through our Franklin Wells for the World Foundation (FWWF). Founded in 2010, the mission of FWWF is to provide reliable and efficient water pumping systems to affected communities, focusing on Africa where the need is greatest. To date, the FWWF has impacted the lives of over 180,000 people by bringing clean water to the surface.
Franklin Wells for the World is our tangible commitment to help alleviate the global water crisis, one well at a time.
A majority of the world’s fresh water is buried, contained in aquifers, hundreds of feet below the ground. For most of the developed world, a drink of fresh, clean water is only a few feet away. However, in many developing regions, the nearest source of water is miles away from villages – and often, that water is not safe to drink. These potentially contaminated water sources may cause a host of illnesses, including cholera, diarrhea, or dysentery, resulting in approximately 47,000 deaths per week, 90% of which are children under 5. The lack of access to safe drinking water directly impacts the cycle of poverty in developing regions by contributing to illness and food scarcity and limiting educational opportunities, especially for young women.
In 2019, the FWWF focused its efforts on Namibia in southern Africa. Extended droughts in Namibia have reduced access to fresh water, typically acquired from hand-dug wells. This lack of water led to an increase in deaths of both people and animals. What little water was available was contaminated with pollutants. Villagers must travel 10 to 15 kilometers to help women collect water for cooking, bathing, and more. Without access to clean water near school buildings, sanitation becomes impossible for students and faculty, leading to illness and death. Many female children are forced to leave school as they reach puberty, leaving them unable to participate in educational activities.
Using Franklin Electric’s groundwater expertise and efficient product offerings, FWWF partnered with six public schools and community organizations throughout multiple villages in Namibia to provide the equipment needed to access safe drinking water. Because Namibia is an extremely remote region, diesel, gas, and fuel-driven pumps were not a viable option. The little electricity available in Namibia is often unreliable and costly. Utilizing innovative Franklin Electric solar pumping systems, FWWF was able to provide new water wells for efficient access to fresh, potable water. These solar pumping systems were the perfect fit for the application since they eliminate the need to pay for additional electricity and require less operational maintenance.
Attie Jonker, Vice President, Commercial Group – South Africa at Franklin Electric, spoke about the impact he has seen FWWF have on entire communities.
“Throughout the many projects I have done in my life, the most outstanding thing I’ve seen by far is the ability to give dignity back to the people. We see young girls leaving school as they hit puberty because proper sanitation isn’t available. Investing in these communities through schools allows young girls a chance to pursue education. Before these projects, the number of boys in school outweighed the number of girls approximately 3 to 1. Now, young girls can attend a school where all children have clean water, toilets, and sanitary conditions. With the reduced time involved in accessing clean water, more women have been able to take classes, learn computer skills, and earn money by growing and selling vegetables. These are things many of us take for granted on a daily basis.”
Making Clean Water Sustainable
Providing the equipment necessary to access clean water increases the overall quality of life for years to come. After completing each FWWF project, we check back with community leaders and residents to assess the project’s impact. “We often see tremendous growth and increased opportunities for women and children,” notes Jonker. “With another year of FWWF projects completed, the school children, their families, and the surrounding communities have all benefited from new water well installations. Ever essential water has improved the health, daily life, and futures of another 20,000 lives.”