Maintenance FAQ

How much does it cost to provide a year of service for a village pump?


If I want to sponsor a pump, do you prefer annual or monthly payments?

We accept either, but monthly payments are the most practical for us, since we have expenses for the maintenance program spread across the entire year.

What happens if a village isn’t able to make payment for the maintenance on their pump?

Due to the recent war in the Central African Republic which started in 2013, we’ve modified our program to not require payments if the village is completely unable to make payments. Some are choosing to pay anyway, but due to homes being burned, crops destroyed, and nearly 20% of the population currently living as refugees, expecting full payment during a crisis is just not possible. We’ll continue to experiment with various payment mechanisms in the future, with the goal of developing a program that’s locally sustainable.

What does my $480 cover?

$480 covers all the expenses of the maintenance team of two men, repairs to their truck, parts for the pumps, food and lodging while they’re on the road, and any other in-country expenses. A portion of your payment also covers administrative costs, such as the tablets used for reporting, internet costs to send in reports, management staff expenses.

What does the villages payment cover?

The villages payments are designed to cover ONLY the in-country maintenance expenses. This means that the expenses related to reporting and tracking the program for development purposes will not be covered once the village transitions into covering it’s own maintenance cost. This allows us to keep the final cost of maintenance low for the village, although it means we won’t have funding to continue to track and create reports on the progress of the well, once the sponsorship has ended.

How often will I get a report?

You’ll get a report every time a maintenance team visits the pump you’re sponsoring. We try to visit each pump twice times a year, but sometimes that doesn’t work out. The CAR is still an active conflict zone, and we do our best to work around the conflict, but it often causes delays. Poor road conditions (a flooded road, a bridge that’s out, or trees down across roads) can also result in delayed visits. Our teams are working in a very remote areas, so delays like this are inevitable. Truck breakdowns can also cause delays. We try our best to keep sponsors informed, but don’t hesitate to ask if you’re wondering what’s going on with your sponsored pump!

Why wasn’t my pump fixed?

Sometimes, a pump is visited but is unable to be fixed. Usually, this just means that the team didn’t have the correct part. Since they travel a route that includes hundreds of pumps, they can’t always predict which parts they’ll need). If too many pumps along the route have the same breakdown, it can mean that the pumps near the end of the route don’t get repaired. 98% of the pumps are working when our teams leave, so our success rate is pretty good, although not perfect. Sometimes, a pump is deemed unrepairable for a permanent reason (collapsed well, water table has dropped, or the pump is broken beyond repair, and need replaced entirely). In these cases, the pump will be removed from the program, and the sponsorship will be transferred to another community that’s ready to join the program.