The Sisters of St. Francis, with support from their associates, launched the Sister Water Project in 2006 to bring safe water to villages in Tanzania and Honduras.  Months were spent studying, discussing and praying about global water issues to fulfill the sisters mission statement of “living in right relationship with all of creation.”

In Tanzania, some women walk miles to find water, and waterborne malaria kills many children. In Honduras, 50,000 young children die every year from water-related illness. Most illness in the country is due to impure water.

Sister Water Project

100% Of donations to the Sister Water Project go toward materials, transport, and labor for water systems in Honduras or Tanzania

Fundraising Efforts and Results

The initial goal for the Sister Water Project was to raise $42,000 to help these people. Thanks to the support of Safe Water for Life and Dignity (SWLD), the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Holy Spirit Sisters, Salvatorian Missions, and Dubuque Rotary Club and many, many donors, the Sister Water Project has since raised more than $1,000,000. These funds allowed the Sisters Water Project to complete/restore over 140 well projects in Tanzania and 20 water systems in Honduras.

The work continues.

“We are proud of our community commitment and grateful for all those who have joined us in this effort,” said Sister Kathy Knipper, OSF.  “The continued need is immense, the challenge remains, and our commitment is unwavering.

Locations of Well Completions

Well LocationAddressDescription
#146 Jobwe -6.8013741, 37.8677761

Jobwe village has a population of about 900 people, of which a majority are farmers.  Before the SWP well the villagers used to get water from a traditional shallow well which was unsafe for human consumption.  As a result the villagers suffered from water borne diseases.  Well completed: 4/21/17.

#145 Kwa-ndaki -6.8142000, 37.8799453

The well at Kwa-ndaki village will serve 750 people.  The majority of community members here are farmers.  Before this well villagers did not have clean water source. Women and children had to walk five miles to nearby villages to fetch clean water. Well completed 4/18/17. 

#144 Mkunguni -6.879774, 37.876171

The well in Mkunguni serves 1,200 people.  Well completed: 4/7/17.

#143 Mkomanga -6.754539, 37.878693

The well in Mkomanga serves 1,800 villagers.  Well completed: 3/21/17.

#142 Nyumbu -6.781391, 37.947169

This well will serve a community 1,300 people.  Well completed: 3/15/17.

#141 Dindiri -6.747912, 37.856787

The villagers of Dindiri did not have access to safe water are now rejoicing for their new well.  It serves 1,100 villagers.  This well was funded by Humility Sisters of Mary, Davenport, Iowa.  Well completed: 3/14/17.

#140 Lubungo-Manguzo -6.736407, 37.917961
The well in Lubungo-Manguzo benefits 1,500 people.  Well completed: 2/18/17.
 
#139 Kwamamba -6.812649, 37.913064

Before the implementation of this project, the villagers did not have access to safe water because the major source of drinking water was fetched from the traditional wells.  There are 1,700 villagers who will benefit from this well.  Well completed: 2/10/17.

#138 Kwanyagawa -6.812649, 37.913064

This well will serve 1,700 villagers.  Before the implementation of this project, the villagers did not have access to safe water because the major source of drinking water was fetched from traditional wells.  Well completed: 2/10/17.

#137 Miembeni -6.821123, 37.867958

The people in Miembeni are mainly farmers. About 700 people will use this new well. In the past the villagers had no source of clean water.  This well was funded by Dubuque Franciscan Sisters, Associates, and Employees.  Well completed: 2/22/16.

#136 Kwa-kambi -6.825762, 37.868722

This well serves 1,500 villagers.  Well completed 12/13/16.

#135 Kwa-gangwe -6.788660, 37.905816

This community of Kwa-gangwe has a population of 1,700 people who will benefit from the project, the majority of who are farmers.  They used to use an unprotected shallow well as a source of water for the household uses. Over the past few years these villages have been frequently suffering from water born diseases including typhoid and malaria which affected both the quality of living and agricultural production.  Also, due to climate change most of their traditional wells have become dry.  Well completed: 12/14/16.

#134 Kijota -4.580568, 34.860878

The well at Kijota serves 2,250 villagers.  Well completed 11/10/16.

#133 Mwonangi -4.831067, 34.725767

The well at Mwonangi serves 1,500 villagers.  Well completed: 11/10/16. 

#132 Mwaja -4.823146, 34.691793

This well serves 1,850 in the village of Mwaja and has been dedicated to the late Fr. Dan Pekarske, SDS, who contributed to the founding of Safe Water for Life and Dignity, our partners in Tanzania.  Well completed: 11/10/16.

#131 Manzanita -6.657112, 37.901069

The Manzanita community has a population of 300 people.  The villagers did not have access to safe water because available sources were unprotected and contaminated.  Well completed 10/15/16.

#130 Minazini -6.45397, 37.52356

The well in Minazini serves 500 people. Before this well, villagers used to walk for a few miles to another town to get water for the household uses.  Well completed: 10/8/16.

#129 Kinonko-bondeni -6.46184, 37.01172

Kinonko-bondeni village has a population of 500 people.  The villagers had no source of water and had to walk 3-4 miles to a water source.  This new well will strengthen the economy, productivity, and the villager’s health.  Well completed 10/8/16.

#128 Dindili village -6.45445, 37.51308

There are 650 people in Dindili village.  Though the village is near the city and situated in the main highway, its people have been suffering from acute shortage of water for so many years.  There was no nearby source of clean water for both the villagers and livestock.  Well completed: 9/28/16.

#127 Bomba la Zimbia -6.45347, 37.45045

There are about 700 people who will benefit from this well.  The people in Bomba la Zimbia had no other source of clean water.  They relied on polluted water from river Ngerengere, which is unsafe for human consumption.  Well completed 9/10/17.

#126 Boma -6.851482,37.6390303
The village of Boma has a population of 980 people.  Villagers did not have a reliable source of water and the water that was available for the daily usage, was unclean and unprotected.  This well was funded by St. Thomas More Parish.  Well completed 9/25/16.
#125 Majengo -6.41094, 37.54276

This well in Majengo serves more than 800 hundred people.  There are other hundreds of people from surrounding villages who will indirectly benefit from this well.  Before this new well the villagers had no source of clean water. They used to fetch water from unprotected traditional shallow wells. They struggled many years to get a clean source of water.  Well completed: 8/9/16.

#124 Chagile -6.41353, 37.54047

The community of Chagile has a population of about 1,200 people.  The majority of people here are poor farmers, with a few livestock keepers. Before this new water project, the community didn’t not have access to clean water. They used unprotected traditional shallow wells as sources of water for the households.  Due to illiteracy, most people here did not boil their drinking water.  As a consequence, the villagers have been frequently hospitalized because of drinking unclean water.  Well completed: 8/24/16.

#123 Kwahodi -6.50345, 37.56374

Kwahodi has the population of about 2000 residents, the majority of who are farmers.  It was also evident that due to the lack of clean water, many people in the village, especially the children were suffering from water borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. These diseases increased infant mortality rate and undermine the quality of people’s health in the village.  This well was expected to reduce the rate of diseases, improve people’s health and livelihoods.  Well completed 8/18/16.

#122 Mandibwa -6.709431, 37.906756

The community of Mandibwa has population of about 600, the majority of whom are  farmers.  Well completed 7/28/16.

#121 Lubungo-kwa dwanga -6.43525, 37.55249

Lubungo-kwa dwanga is about 23 miles from Morogoro, with a population of about 520 people.  Well completed: 7/28/16.

#120 Lukole-Mpakani -6.731697, 37.908045

The Lukole-Mpakani community is about 18 miles from Morogoro, with population of about 630 people.  The majority of the population are farmers.  This well was donated in memory of Jane McAuliffe, St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Monroe, Wisconsin.  Well completed: 7/28/16.

#119 Kidago-vijiweni -6.5019, 37.5601

Kidago-vijiweni has a population of about 400 people.  The people here live in abject poverty.  They are mainly farmers producing 1 to 2 acres of either corns, bananas, rice and beans as food crops and/or cane sugar cane and sunflower as cash crops.  But with the continuing impacts of climate changes the yields have declined over the past few decades, perpetuating household poverty among farmers who live here.  Well completed: 8/20/16.

#118 Madizini -6.663434, 37.884697

Madizini has a population of 2000 people.  Through their village chairman the villagers expressed their joy and gratitude for donating this project.  The well is a perfect solution to their long time water predicaments.  Well completed: 6/16/16.

#117 Kihonda-kwa-wagogo -6.45375, 37.37481

This well was funded by the Rotary Club in Caledonia, Minnesota.  Well completed: 6/6/16.

#116 Kingolwira-Mtoni -6.763911, 37.748108

Kingolwira-Mtoni has a population of 2,000 people.  The villagers did not have access to safe water and the unprotected traditional wells were the main water sources for the residents.  This well was funded by St. Christopher School/Parish in Midlothian, Illinois.  Well completed: 5/14/16.

#115 Mavunde -6.731657, 37.852449

Mavunde has a population of 900 people.  Before the implementation of this project, the village did not have access to safe and clean water.  This well was funded by St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Monroe, Wisconsin.  Well completed: 5/14/16.

#114 Kwamkulo -6.699995, 37.870149

Kwamkulo has a population of 1,250 people.  This well was funded by St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Monroe, Wisconsin.  Well completed: 5/14/16.

#113 Mayanga village -6.4511, 37.3520

Mayanga village is at the outskirts of Morogoro town.  The people here are mainly farmers.  They relied on traditional wells, which were getting dry. As such water borne diseases are common phenomenon among the people.  This well was funded by St. Elizabeth Pastorate, Peosta, Epworth, Farley, Placid, Bankston & St. Marks/St. Pats parishes.  Well completed: 5/4/16.

#112 Kihonda madukani -6.4554, 37.3847

Kihonda-madukani has a population of about 800 people.  The villagers had no source of clean water and had to rely on water vendors.  This well was funded by the parishes of St. Marks, Edgewood, & St. Pats. Colesburg, in Iowa.  Well completed: 4/21/16.

#111 Kihonda tushikamane -6.410724, 37.363261

Kihonda-tushikamane has been in the waiting list for a well for many years.  It has population of about 2,000 people.  The majority of the people here are poor.  The community had no source of clean water and relied on water vendors who sell water by using tanks mounted on trucks.  The source of the water is unknown and the cost is high, which made it difficult for many households to afford.  This well was funded by the family and friends of Brian Gilligan.  Well completed: 5/6/16.

#110 Ugogoni -6.726388, 37.838430

Ugogoni has a population of 1,350 people. The main economic activity carried out by the villagers is cultivation. The village did not have access to safe water before building of this well.  This new completed project is a great relief to this community and their neighbors as well.  Well completed: 3/20/16.

#109 Bwawani -6.711672, 37.862680

Bwawani has a population of 1,800 people.  The main economic activities of the villagers is agriculture. The village did not have access to safe water before building of this well; the main water sources were from the traditional wells which in fact are unprotected and water drawn from these water points are not recommended for human consumption because of its contamination.  Well completed: 3/20/16.

#108 Manyasini -6.691738, 37.877320

The population of the Manyasini village is growing fast and there are about 2,000 people by the current data given by village chairman.  Agriculture is the main economic activity in this area and the major crop grown here is maize. Before the construction of this well, the community did not have access to safe and clean water. The village water sources for drinking and other usages were from the traditional wells. The water drawn from these sources was unclean and unsafe for human consumption. As a result, many cases of water borne diseases were frequently reported.  Well completed: 3/15/16.

#107 Kambini -6.5249, 37.3537

Kambini has a population of about 300 people, most of whom are farmers and fishermen.  Well completed: 3/20/16.

#106 Zahanati -6.5311, 37.3434

Zahanati has a population of 450 people, most of whom are farmers and fisherman. Well completed: 3/20/16.

#105 Mkwajuni -6.5311, 37.3433

Mkwajuni community has about 500 households, mainly consisting of farmers.  Well completed: 3/19/16.

#104 Madukani -6.825468, 37.903512

The community of Madukani has a population of 1,500 people.  The main economic activities conducted in this area are traditional farming and small business activities.
Before the new constructed well the villagers used to rely on the traditional wells to draw water for their daily usage. The water drawn from these sources was unclean and unsafe for human consumption.  Well completed: 2/14/16.

#103 Kihonda-Maduka kumi -6.4557, 37.3834

Kihonda-maduka kumi has a population of about 1000 people.  Before the Sister Water Project well, there was no source of clean water and villagers had to buy water from water vendors.  The source of that water was unknown to the villagers which therefore posed a great risk to people's health.  After examining the situations and difficulties the community faced, SWLD decide to help this community by providing a well with clean water.  Well completed: 2/10/16.

#102 Madaganya -6.5252, 37.3524

Madaganya has a population of about 500 people, mainly farmers.  Although it is near a city and a man-made dam, the villagers did not have clean water for household uses. Thus, the village chairman wrote a letter to Safe Water for Life and Dignity to ask for clean water provision.  Well completed: 2/14/16.

#101 Newland C -6.43213, 37.51119

Well completed: 12/12/15.

#100 Kijiweni -6.49402, 37.52345

Well completed: 12/9/15.

#099 Kwamagulu -6.4911, 37.5405

Well completed: 12/9/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#098 Kikoboga -6.5357, 37.5315

Well completed: 11/11/15.  Well funded by: Sacred Heart Church of Maquoketa, Iowa

#097 Ngong'olo -6.5022, 37.5311

Well completed: 11/20/15.  Well funded by: Humility Sisters of Mary, Davenport, Iowa

#096 Ngo'ngoandu -4.35049, 34.51269

Well completed: 11/20/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#095 Puma -4.59177, 34.45402

Well completed: 10/30/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#094 Mfumbu -4.58097997, 34.86057167

Well completed: 10/22/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#093 Msugua-Hanang -4.58339833, 34.87518333

Well completed: 10/14/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#092 Mbuyuni -6.5357, 37.5204

Well completed: 10/9/15.

#091 Mikese stesheni -6.4618, 37.5438

Well completed: 10/6/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#090 Isenga -4.39174, 34.49035

Well completed: 9/12/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#089 Mrama -4.40352, 34.49517

Well completed: 9/6/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#088 Kwema -4.40352, 34.49517

Well completed: 8/29/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#087 Kibaoni -4.83234, 34.7639

Well completed: 8/22/15.  Well funded by: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pasadena, California

#086 Visegese -6.5503, 37.5159

Well completed: 8/9/15.  Well funded by: Students, staff, and friends of the University of Northern Iowa

#085 Mtwara -4.79866, 34.85204

Well completed: 8/4/15.  Well funded by: Students, staff, and friends of the University of Northern Iowa

#084 Mwenge -4.80273, 34.72313

Well completed: 7/23/15.  Well funded by: Clare of Assisi Parish, Monroe, Wisconsin

#083 Torokera -6.5449, 37.5332

Well completed: 6/26/15.  Well funded by: Clare of Assisi Parish, Monroe, Wisconsin

#082 Kungwe-Shuleni -6.5406, 37.5250

Well completed: 5/7/15.

#081 Kunwe mng'ongoni -6.5406, 37.5250

Well completed: 4/21/15.

#080 Kibwengong'olo -6.5249, 37.5316

Well completed: 3/29/15.

#079 Mzumbe (Mtambani) -6.5343, 37.3336

Well completed: 3/19/15.

#078 Nzadule -6.4657, 37.5410

Well completed: 2/2/15.

#077 Vikrongani -6.4902, 37.5423

Well completed: 2/3/15.

#076 Domolamondo -6.3959, 37.4546

Well completed: 1/17/15.

#075 Lukobe Goronya -6.450, 37.3625

Well completed: 12/24/14.  Well funded by: Humility of Mary Sisters, Davenport, Iowa

Well LocationAddressDescription
San José Curunate 14.586230, -88.501123

The village of San José Curunate is in a very distant, mountainous, difficult-to-access area of the parish of San Marcos in Gracias, Lempira, Honduras.  Villagers would wake at 3 a.m. to walk the three miles to gather water by hand in order to have what they needed to prepare breakfast and be ready for the day’s activities.  Due to the high altitude of the water source and descending force of the abundant water, pipes had to be used to bring the water down from the mountain and into a holding tank to break the force of the water before continuing into the village.  Project completed: 12/1/15.

Pozitos 14.26512, -87.39014

In November of 2007, a 30 member mission team helped install a potable water system in Pozitos, a village of about 40 families with 130 people and no electricity.  Project completed: 12/01/07.

Ojaca 14.7166700, -88.5166700

Ojaca village consists of 127 houses and 406 inhabitants.  The villagers came together to help improve an outdated water system because the water source was no longer adequate and the old pipes were breaking.  They built a water tank that holds between 25,000-30,000 gallons of water, and dug the troughs for the pipes into town and to each house.  The SWP was able to help fund pipes for the project. Project completed 11/1/15.

Las Guamas 14.26562, -87.38531

A team of 29 volunteers participated in the 2008 SWP service trip and traveled to Las Guamas to dig ditches and bring pipes to family homes in the village.  Project completed: 11/26/08.

La Iguala, Guadelupe & Quioco 14.35286, -88.31123

There are 1,000 people who will benefit from this water project in the villages of Llano Largo, Guadalupe, and Quioco, all within the municipality of La Iguala, a distant part of our parish in Gracias.  Due to the high altitude of the water source in the mountains 10 miles from the villagers’ homes, locals in the area of La Iguala had been working for 23 years to plan and fund the complex water project.  Project completed: 9/30/16.

El Zuntul 14.29407, -88.30128

The village of El Zuntul is a rural community of about 750 people within the parish of San Marcos, Gracias, Lempira, Honduras. The water source for the entire area of the municipality of Belen is from the water shed of the Rio de Plata, descending from the mountain of La Puca. An initial water project was installed for the entire area more than 20 years ago when the population of the area was considerably smaller. The original pipes were very deteriorated and the water supply from that project was very inadequate for the villagers.

El Pelon 14.41667, -88.46667

Nineteen members were part of the third SWP trip to El Pelon in Honduras in 2011.  Volunteers partnered with Hondurans digging trenches as a massive water system serving seven communities.  The main line of 18 miles was dug to the village and SWP volunteers dug trenches to the households in the community.

Cataulaca-Casire 14.19151, -88.09470

Project completed: 9/22/10.

Bella Vista Prison 14.35413, -88.35007

Sisters Brenda Whetstone, OSF and Nancy Meyerhofer, OSF minister at Bella Vista prison in Gracias, Lempira, Honduras and witnessed the conditions the prisoners lived with and the desperate need for drinking water and water for showers and bathrooms.  The SWP was able to work with the Red Cross to help fund updates for larger and better pipes that help serve the population of 600 prisoners who live in a space built to hold 350.  Projects completed: 4/21/10.