Construction Stages of YOUR Water Well

It’s becoming more common for families to have water wells and hand pumps built in honor of deceased loved ones. May God have mercy on their souls. But who is building these water sources? And what exactly does that construction process entail?

Well, it starts with a location. We at Zakat Foundation of America work with our offices and partners overseas to dig deep into the earth’s plentiful soil to reach groundwater, one of the most valuable resources. We determine where to dig based on land surveys and assessments that our colleagues and partners do, and then we create a designated space to make that building easier. These spaces are made in or near villages that don’t already have access to clean, drinkable, running water, and it saves residents (usually women and children) from walking miles to bring back pots of water for cooking and cleaning.

Finishing is being done on a well in Kenya – Zakat Foundation of America photo
Finishing is being done on a well in Kenya – Zakat Foundation of America photo

Our partners dig deep to reach an aquifer, which is what’s found when a water-bearing rock transmits water to wells and springs. Wells can be drilled into the aquifer so water can be pumped out, and precipitation (usually rain in the climates we work in, and not so frequently) eventually adds water to these sources. The foundation created around the well’s pit then gets smoothed to help with sealing and to make it easier on residents as they approach the coming pumping station.

The artist does his work while the technical team fixes the pump – Zakat Foundation of America photo
The artist does his work while the technical team fixes the pump – Zakat Foundation of America photo

The pipe used needs to be able to reach deep enough to access the clean water source, and it has to be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure that comes with going that far into the ground. Stainless steel pipes are common.

A group is needed to properly install the steel pipe that connects the spout to the water source – Zakat Foundation of America photo
A group is needed to properly install the steel pipe that connects the spout to the water source – Zakat Foundation of America photo

It takes a team to push the connected pipe pieces into place. These aquifers are usually confined, meaning they’re below the surface and saturated with water, and layers of impermeable material are both above and below the aquifer. This causes pressure, allowing water to rise up when a well is dug into it.

Fixing the spout, which allows for easier fill-ups when residents bring their containers. – Zakat Foundation of America photo
Fixing the spout, which allows for easier fill-ups when residents bring their containers. – Zakat Foundation of America photo

The spout gets placed and bolted in, and a lever gets connected to facilitate the pumping action that brings the water up and out of the spout.

A crew member tastes the water, which is all the more refreshing after hard work. The water is clean. Praise be to God. – Zakat Foundation of America
A crew member tastes the water, which is all the more refreshing after hard work. The water is clean. Praise be to God. – Zakat Foundation of America

Our team tests the water to make sure it is clean and fresh, ensuring residents are receiving an effective, safe water source for their communities.

Representatives explain safe water sanitation practices to the community. – Zakat Foundation of America photo
Representatives explain safe water sanitation practices to the community. – Zakat Foundation of America photo

Our staff explains WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), a sustainable, United Nations-supported initiative that emphasizes the teaching of basic sanitation and hygiene to communities and school children with a particular focus on girls' education and gender equality, as a necessary complement to the success of water and sanitation infrastructure projects.

“While advancements were made in increasing the access to safe drinking water, less progress was made on the provision of sanitation services and in hygiene education and training,” the United Nations has written under its sustainable development goals page. “These valuable lessons are now the focus of a global effort to improve the health and productivity of the urban and rural poor in the developing world.”

Zakat Foundation of America ensures these lessons are taught, helping create one of many parts to a sustainable future.

Residents dance around the newly built well in appreciation. – Zakat Foundation of America photo

It’s typical, especially among our beneficiaries in Kenya, to celebrate joyous occasions like a well construction through dance.

Women dance around the well in celebration. – Zakat Foundation of America photo

Women dance around the well in celebration. – Zakat Foundation of America photo


Water sources like these are vital to small, rural villages. Did you know that 200 million hours are spent collecting water by children instead of going to school? They sacrifice hours that could have been spent in school, at work, or elsewhere, all to get clean water they can use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

It’s easy to say every day should be world water day. That’s why even though world water day is March 22, Zakat Foundation of America is making a month out of it. The international humanitarian organization based out of Illinois is rallying a nation to fund 100 water sources in one month.

International Water Day Learn more about our month of water.