Water Well Drilling

There is a tremendous need for potable and irrigation water in Haiti. In December, 2002, a new water poverty index was developed by a Third World Forum through a group of researchers at Britain's Center for Ecology and Hydrology and Experts from the World Water Council. Out of a total of 147 countries, Finland ranks top followed by Canada, Iceland, Norway, etc. At the bottom of the scale, Haiti lies last at 147th.

Hands Together drills irrigation/drinking water wells and builds water storage cisterns and irrigation canals in some of the poorest areas of Haiti. In the past five years, we installed more than 150 wells and constructed 3 major water cisterns.

In 1996 HT purchased a refurbished Ingersoll Rand T4W water-well drilling rig – capable of drilling wells up to 3,000 feet deep (though most wells drilled in Haiti are approximately 150-180 feet). We created a team to operate and repair the rig and brought in experts from the United States to train these folks on water well drilling basics. In 2003 we purchased a Deep Rock Well drilling rig - designed to be very mobile and reach the remote areas of Haiti where wells are desperately needed. These two rigs allow us to drill up to 50 wells per year.

Many of Haiti’s root problems stem from contaminated water and lack of access to available water. Without proper irrigation and water, crops and livestock cannot flourish and most of Haiti depends upon both of these for survival. Each day, millions of Haitians drink contaminated water, spreading parasites and disease. Without questions, the best preventive health measure available is to provide potable water wherever possible.

Drilling water wells in Haiti is not easy. The hilly terrain, lack of decent roads and difficulty finding parts for the machine create very expensive repair and maintenance costs and make it very hard to access regions that need water the most.

How we choose where to drill

We install wells in communities based on the following criteria and priorities: (1) Need; communities lacking any other access to fresh water; (2) Probability of success; factor in terrain and basic tests on the soil; (3) School; whenever possible, drill wells that can serve both a village and a school population. (4) Agriculture; whenever possible we seek to improve the agricultural capability of the community where we drill wells.

We maintain a list of organizations and communities requesting wells and sort them in based on the criteria above. We do try to spread our drilling among groups that : a) desperately need water; b) can provide us with much needed funds to maintain, repair and fund our drilling rigs and team.

If you wish to fund a well, or to be placed on our list "wells to drill" please contact our office.

Determining Costs

There is no "set fee" for drilling a water well. The overall cost depends upon several factors:

  • Mobilization & setup– getting to the site, evaluating the terrain and choosing a location to drill;

  • Drilling the hole – this is effected by the type of terrain, soil, and the depth at which we can find good water;

  • Enlarging the hole – after the initial hole is drilled and we find water, the hole must be enlarged to accommodate the casing;

  • Installing hand pump or other pump – (we usually use and India Mark II hand pump) building a cement casing and putting in the pump.

Water Well Cost Example

  • Mobilization & Set up - travel to P-au-P from Gonaives, evaluate site - $600

  • Drilling the hole - drill 2 test holes then find water - $2,800

  • Enlarging the hole - install casing - $1,200

  • Installing Pump - construct cement foundation and install hand pump - $900

Sample Total: $5,500.00

Requesting or Funding a Water Well Through HT

We maintain a simple list of people/organizations requesting well and people/groups wishing to fund the drilling of a drinking or irrigation well. Please contact us directly via email or go to our Donations Page online and select the Water Well donation option in the "Please direct my donation to" drop-down list.

We encourage you to follow up any credit card gift with an email to us explaining your desire to fund a well.