In the eastern European country of Armenia, many village water systems were installed over 60 years ago. Since then, they have deteriorated beyond repair and are contaminating the water supply. And though many villages receive a water maintenance budget from the government, these funds aren’t sufficient to develop and construct new systems.
In order to alleviate these challenges, LDS Charities has partnered with the Armenian government to bring clean water to nearly half a million people in 234 villages since 2003.
LDS Charities works with both the government and villagers to install main lines and public water faucets. With these vital waterways in place, many villages have then taken it upon themselves to put in lateral lines, bringing the water directly into their homes and schools.
“The beauty of the water projects in Armenia is that we have provided a starting point for villages to further develop,” says LDS Charities technical specialist Thomas Blotter. “The majority of Armenians in these villages now have at least one faucet in their home.”
Beyond providing clean water, their work with local contractors has also resulted in new jobs.
Blotter remembers an experience he had one night at dinner with one of the contractors: “[The contractor] had a son who told us very humbly that as a result of his father having income they were able to afford to send him to medical school.”
In March, LDS Charities began another project to provide 30,498 additional beneficiaries with clean water in 18 Armenian villages.