FAQs

1. Why is it so important to build wells?

Over 840 million people around the world do not have access to safe, clean water – that’s one in ten. Around 4,000 children die every day because of the dirty, diseased water they have to drink.

Building a well provides reliable access to safe, clean water for years to come, and you can do this from just 82p a day. This means many lives can be saved, and many more are transformed. A local well means people do not have to spend hours walking just to collect safe water. The villagers can spend more time on farming, going to school or contributing to the local economy to help better their lives. Access to a well means the villagers can use the water for drinking, washing, watering crops, giving to animals and making Wudu (washing in preparation for prayers) - without having to worry about how safe the water is. A well has the potential to transform many, many lives and a source of clean water is vital for people, their communities and the wider economy.

2. What sort of well will you install with my donation?

We install different types of wells depending on the circumstances in each area.
In many countries, we install ‘tube wells’ with a hand pump. These tube wells are preferred by communities as the installation means a thinner hole can be drilled or dug in a small area and in a short time – providing a quicker solution for a village. Tube wells make it easier to reach water that’s deeper underground and the hand pump means it’s easier to lift the water through the tube – as opposed to a more traditional bucket well, for example. 

Wider, deeper wells require a thicker concrete lining which is installed in segments and so take much more time and labour. These wells cannot produce the required capillary effect and suction to lift water using hand pumps and thus require the traditional bucket and rope system because they have to be dug deeper to reach the water below the surface. These wells on the whole, benefit a larger amount of people than a tube well. 

3. What can I put on my plaque?

The plaque is your opportunity to personalise the well you have built for the poor and needy. Whatever you choose to put on your plaque will be there for everyone to see whenever they use the well to draw fresh, clean and potentially life-saving water. The plaque must be 50 characters or less and you could put the well in your name or the name of a loved one, or even in the memory of a loved one as part of their legacy. Some people choose to build a well in the name of The Prophet (saw) and his family or use a short Hadith. If you are building a well on behalf of your business you could put the name of your organisation on the plaque. It is your chance to make the life-changing donation your own.

4. How many people will benefit from the well?

Each well benefits a huge number of people over its lifetime. Think about how often you use water each day – to drink, to shower, to wash clothes, to cook, to clean and for other daily activities – your well will be used by several families or whole villages doing all those things and more every day for years to come. It’s a lot of benefit for something so simple! Reliable access to clean, safe water is life-changing as it means that people in the countries that need it most have less chance of developing serious diseases like diarrhoea which to us doesn’t seem life threatening, but can be catastrophic for a remote and poor village. It also reduces the risk of the spread of cholera, which is a fatal contagious disease caused by contaminated water. 

5. What feedback will I get on my well?

You’ll get a full, in-depth report about your well and how it is helping people specific to the country, region and type of well it is. Penny Appeal teams take photographs during the well build and at the end to show your well in use by the local residents with your individual plaque on show. We’ll send you these pictures as well as a written feedback report detailing the location of the well and the number of people/households it is benefiting. We will also include a description of the water situation in that specific country so you can see yourself just how vital your donation is. We will also send you a framed photograph of your well being used by the residents for you to show your friends and family so they can see your donation doing its vital work for themselves.

6. How long will it take to build my well and get feedback?

Once the full payment for your well has been made we will instruct our teams to begin the construction process. Feedback will be provided as soon as possible. It can, however, take up to 12 months in some locations. There are a lot of steps in the whole process, from location identification, procurement, installation, finishing, and feedback. Throughout the process, Penny Appeal are constantly monitoring things like the safety of water, the finishing of the well surrounds, the preparation and fixture of plaques and then getting the photographs taken, sent to us, collated and passed on to you. A lot of the countries we build wells in are often subject to natural disasters, conflicts or other complications which can delay the process. When you add to the mix the complications of working in the developing world and often in very rural locations, it can slow down the delivery of feedback. With that said, we always endeavour to get the feedback to you in a timely manner. 

7. Does the Penny Appeal team install the well?

Yes! We have local teams on the ground in each of the 12 countries where we install wells and our teams work on all aspects of the well installation, including carrying out a survey to locate the water source, liaising with locals to make sure it is a community-wide project and supporting the ongoing maintenance and proper use of this piece of life-saving equipment. 

8. How are the locations for wells chosen?

Wells are installed according to where there is the greatest need for clean, safe water. Penny Appeal’s teams on the ground carefully select the location for each well based on their knowledge of the community and the geological survey they commission to ensure there is an adequate water source below the ground. This ensures that your donation has the widest effect possible; making sure it benefits the largest number of people or in the remotest village where it is needed most. 

9. Why are African wells so expensive?

Africa is greatly affected by drought and conflict and many countries have limited local industry in metals and machinery, which means that the equipment needed, is often difficult to get hold of or has to be imported.
Furthermore, water-scarce areas tend to be larger than in other countries we build our wells in. Villages are often more rural and less developed, so the logistics of getting the equipment and raw materials to these locations also adds to the cost. In the majority of these areas, we need to dig deeper to reach the water and the pumps we use also need to be larger. All of these factors combine to make African wells more expensive than in other parts of the world

10. Why are some wells in Bangladesh £2,000 and others £300? 

Bangladesh is affected by the natural occurrence of arsenic in the water table which often rules out shallow wells. In areas where this is the case, we need to dig deeper. The pumps we use also need to be more robust given the water table level, and the installations are often more remote and difficult to access, which invariably impacts cost. These wells often require more materials and more labour, hence the larger expense. 

In other areas, where the water table is not contaminated and/or is easier to reach, we are able to build tube wells that feature a hand pump and these cost less.

11. What is the lifespan of the well?

The average lifespan of a Thirst Relief well is 10 years. Communities value their water pumps very highly and take great care to look after them. However, there are variables that cannot be predicted. For example, floods in Pakistan destroyed thousands of wells and contaminated water tables. Many locations needed wells reinstalling and many hand pumps were destroyed and had to be replaced. Before we install a well we always make sure that the community can take responsibility for maintenance and security – this is not usually a problem as they are keen to take ownership and ensure they have reliable access to clean water for many years. However, it is of course impossible for us to predict such things as natural disasters and how these well affect our wells. 

12. Can I make a regular payment?

Yes, small payments made regularly can make a big impact; this is the Penny Appeal way – small change, big difference. 
You can set up an affordable monthly Direct Debit and pay for a well over 12 months at the cost of £25 per month. Of course, you can then continue your monthly payment and build another well in the next year. Automatic, monthly payments are the most efficient way to support Penny Appeal as they reduce the cost of administration. Regular commitments allow us to plan ahead and ensure we have a reliable source of income to provide aid. However, you can also pay for your well in bigger chunks if you wish to make a single one-off donation. The choice is yours! 

13. Why should I Gift Aid my donation?

It really helps us if you can Gift Aid your sponsorship or donation – it increases the value of your donation by 25%.If you are a UK taxpayer, selecting to 'Gift Aid' your donation (either by checking the box online or ticking the box on a paper donation form) will make it worth more to us at no extra cost to you.
 
In order for Penny Appeal to reclaim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) equal to the tax that will be claimed by all the charities that you donate to (currently 25p for every £1 you give) in the same tax year. 

The tax reclaimed will be used to help fund the administration costs of the charity so more of your actual donation can go directly to those in need. 

Gift Aid can be added to your donation if you are donating your own money. We regret that Gift Aid cannot be reclaimed if you are paying donations you collected from others, even if everyone was a UK taxpayer. Neither can it be reclaimed on donations made by companies. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. Gift Aid cannot be claimed on payments for any ticketed events.

Please notify us if you are no longer eligible, wish to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or if you no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains. 

By ticking the box you agree that you are eligible to claim Gift Aid as explained above and that we can treat this donation, any donations made in the last 4 years and future donations as Gift Aid and that  you understand that if you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

14. I can no longer afford the monthly payment. What can I do?

Please get in touch with us before cancelling your monthly payment as we could reduce the amount so that you can still help us provide life-saving aid. It also helps if you tell us first so that we can update our records. If you decide to cancel a monthly payment, our team will be more than happy to reinstate it at a later date if you so wish. 

15. Is my payment secure?

Yes. We only use secure systems with banking standard safety features to make sure that your payment and financial data cannot be compromised. All online payments are securely processed via KeyIVR Ltd, PayPal or SmartDebit and no financial data is retained on our servers.

16. How does the Solar Panel Water and Power Centre Work?

Solar panels use the sun’s energy to drive a pump which can bring up water from an incredible 200 metres below the ground. In desert areas this kind of system is the only way to draw water to the surface – a hand pump or rope and bucket just wouldn’t work.

The water goes into a tank, and from here it is piped directly to homes on a proportional allocation basis – this means a household of 6 will get more water than a household of 2. Farmers can also access water direct from the tank to use for their crops and animals.

As well as powering the pump, the solar panels create electricity which is wired directly to schools and mosques for things such as air conditioning systems or projectors to aid learning. There are also plugs at the power station so people can charge the lamps and torches we provide, as well as radios. It’s a massively worthwhile development for any village and is so valuable to its residents. As you can imagine, these are a more expensive development than a well and you can read more information about that below. 
 

17. How many people benefit from a Solar Panel Water and Power Centre?

Solar panels use the sun’s energy to drive a pump which can bring up water from an incredible 200 metres below the ground. In desert areas this kind of system is the only way to draw water to the surface – a hand pump or rope and bucket just wouldn’t work.

The water goes into a tank, and from here it is piped directly to homes on a proportional allocation basis – this means a household of 6 will get more water than a household of 2. Farmers can also access water direct from the tank to use for their crops and animals.

As well as powering the pump, the solar panels create electricity which is wired directly to schools and mosques for things such as air conditioning systems or projectors to aid learning. There are also plugs at the power station so people can charge the lamps and torches we provide, as well as radios. It’s a massively worthwhile development for any village and is so valuable to its residents. As you can imagine, these are a more expensive development than a well and you can read more information about that below. 
 

18. How much does a Solar Panel Water and Power Centre cost?

The whole project costs £20,000. You could join with friends, family, colleagues and classmates to raise the money and give the chance to break out of poverty from your community to a community in need. 
You can make a contribution of any amount towards a centre so don’t feel put off by the cost. These power centres have a monumental effect on a community and will provide much needed water, power and equipment for years to come.

19. Where are Solar Panel Water and Power Centres built?

Our teams assess suitable locations where these centres will have the greatest impact. The first centres are being built in desert areas of Pakistan.

20. How does the Palestine Water Tanker operate?

The Penny Appeal tanker vehicle is a refillable vessel that delivers clean water to where it is needed. We provide storage tanks to places such as schools, orphanages, hospitals and mosques which benefit greatly from a long lasting supply of water. We then visit regularly to fill them up from the tanker. Your donation will contribute towards this ongoing project, and we will look to purchase additional vehicles and storage tanks as funds grow and grow form your generous donation(s)! We work to reach areas where water supplies are restricted or contaminated as this has the biggest impact and has the opportunity to change the most lives.