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Our field methodology.

We are an implementing organization with field operations in Central Mozambique.

Our full-time field staff are all local Mozambican. Meet our staff here.


The core portion of the project takes place over 4 months

(our Monitoring & Evaluation is a longer-term process after handing over the project).

We can conduct 4 community projects simultaneously over that 4-month period.



Pre-Project Planning

Identification of Vulnerable Regions

We work closely with the Provincial Government structures that have identified their most at-risk / neglected areas but cannot address them because of a lack of capacity.

Primary and secondary surveys are conducted not only to determine the vulnerability of the community but also gain insight into the personality of the community and what their potential emotional buy-in will be. The sustainability of projects depends equally on the dedication of the community rather than the quality of the infrastructure. We are a development organization that does everything to 

We invite the entire community over the course of 3 days to participate in a Rural Community Appraisal to identify the issues in the community. 

Communities even submit proposal requests expressing why they need the project and how they will be involved - which creates drive and reveals the character of the community. 

Learn more about our important survey process

Community Assessment Survey

We are the leading Humanitarian Organization in WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) working in Inhambane Province and actively participate in the critical Government planning meetings to coordinate with all Departments including Dept. of Rural Development, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Agriculture.

We conduct our projects with complete autonomy (with no money going through government) but recognize the importance of aligning with the Country-Wide Plans for development.

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The Entire Project
Is Centered In The School

Schools are the center of the communities in rural Mozambique, so all are projects are placed in the school. 

A group of new community leaders is formed who become the guardians of the project. They are trained over 2 months to build self-reliance, create ownership and ensure sustainability.


Learn more about the Water Oversight Committee.

Formation of the
Water Oversight Committee


The school is on neutral land, nobody owns it directly, and it also offers the best environment to provide water to the most amount of people in a day. The water well is not owned by the school, and the entire community of 1,500-2,000 people access this clean water point at any time. 

Traditional Leader leads a ceremony to bless the ground where the Water Well will be drilled. All considerations to the community customs and beliefs are of utmost importance. 


Watch a Traditional Ceremony

Traditional Ceremony

Every program component is incorporated into the school curriculum including agriculture practices, hygiene principles, and water management.

School Principal Teachers must be closely aligned with the training and impart the knowledge to the future generations. This is one of the most potent dynamics where behavioral change can happen. 

School and Teacher Involvement

The Water Issue is a Women's Issue.


Water Underground projects are rooted in women’s empowerment. 


We work heavily with the women and girls in each community, encourage the emergence of female leaders, educate in women’s health, and challenge women to take hold of that newly found precious time back.


This is their new day, and each woman deserves to be empowered and equipped to do whatever she has dreamed of. 

Learn more about how we Empower Women and integrate it into every part of our program

Women's Empowerment

Choosing the Infrastructure Location

The School Principal, Community Leader, Traditional Leader, and Water Oversight Committee are all involved in deciding where the water well, sanitation center, and garden will be placed.


Water Underground makes sure these decisions fit the community's traditional desires and necessary guidelines of the distance between water well and latrines.

The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach involves educating the entire community about the hazards of open defecation — and essentially shaming the practice. This promotes collective consciousness-raising of the severe impacts of open defecation and triggers shock and self-awareness when participants realize the implications of their actions.


The goal is for 100% of houses to have latrines and hand-washing facilities. 

We start this process 4-6 weeks before we even talk about drilling to assess their ability to organize and their level of commitment. 

Learn more about this critical process here

Community-Led Total Sanitation

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  • The types of disease in their community (such as cholera, rotavirus, and dysentery)

  • Signs and symptoms of diseases

  • Disease treatment and prevention action steps

  • Oral rehydration therapy solutions for dehydration & malnutrition

  • Communication channels for health promotion activities in their community

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Sanitation & Hygiene Division

of the Water Oversight Committee


Agriculture Division

of the Water Oversight Committee

The principles taught are not only about new agriculture techniques, which naturally influence behavior change, but also about aspects of the business of agriculture. Members are introduced to Supply & Demand, marketing principles, Pricing structures, Creating relationships with buyers, and re-investments into their gardens.

Learn more about the Agriculture part of our model.

Operations & Maintenance Divison

of the Water Oversight Committee

Members are involved in the entire drilling process and then given extensive training in all aspects of maintenance, diagnostics, and repair of the well. These members are fully trained to handle all aspects of the functioning sustainability of the well by the end of the process.

Learn more about this commission.

Community Water User Fees

Committee Members (along with the Community Leader) decide on a levy that each family pays to use the well.


This fee ensures sustainability and collective ownership. This division collects those fees and registers all users of the well.

Sustainability Division
of the Water Oversight Committee

Members organize the community water fee, officially register the Committee with the government, open a bank account, and are responsible for transparent account balance, expenses, and all official records. 

Water Oversight Committee Divisions and Leadership Assigned

Each committee consists of a 24-person group of residents & teachers from the local community. We encourage a female majority. 

( ±13 women, 11 men)

There are:

  • 2 Co-Presidents

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Sanitation & Hygiene (8 members)

  • Maintenance and Repair (4 members)

  • Sustainability (5 members)

  • Agriculture (3 members)

Learn more about the Water Oversight Committee

The rest of the committee elects Co-Presidents. The community leader is a support in making sure women are equally represented and their voice begins to be heard. These are the new leaders of an infrastructure that never existed before in this community. It is a big deal!

Leadership Roles of the Water Oversight Committee

This division is trained in the following:​

  • Bucket and Jerri-can cleanliness

  • Household water management and food safety

  • Women’s health, including menstrual hygiene

  • Importance and technique of hand-washing with soap

  • Latrine cleanliness and maintenance

New Borehole Drilled

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Machines are brought in, and the borehole is drilled - taking anywhere from 1-7 days. We can drill through sand and rock using either rotary or compression drilling strategies. This will be a clean, safe, and reliable water source for the entire community to use.


Wells are drilled reaching depths of 30-150m. 

Here is what it looks like drilling for water

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Community Mobilization, Health Training and CLTS
12 weeks
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A compressor is used to blow the borehole, and then flow tests are conducted to make sure the aquifer is healthy enough to last for more than 20 years and meet the demand. 


For boreholes up to 45 meters,  the Afridev manual hand pump is installed. For deeper holes, a Solar Powered system is required.

Water is tested, and the well is fenced off from animals.


Here is what it looks like when a community gets water for the first time.

Clean Water Flows
and the Pump is Installed


A solar powered system for wells deeper than 50m

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The Afridev hand pump for wells shallower than 50m

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10,000L tank filled by solar pump and gravity-fed distribution to faucets around community

A complete sanitation center is constructed at the school with boys, girls, and teachers latrines, feminine hygiene rooms, and a handwash station. 


Centers are at a minimum of 50 meters downslope from the water well. Latrines are pour flush toilets into twin septic tanks. 


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School Sanitation Center is Constructed

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27,000 sq/ft Garden Built

A large garden is built in the school that uses improved seeds and low-cost technologies that will enhance yields and save time. Combining the theoretical and practical practices, this garden influences food security and income generation.


The community commits to building the garden fence themselves and preparing the land. This is a working garden that generates revenue to be used for the sustainability of the projects, but it is also a reference garden where the entire community can learn new agricultural techniques and principles. 

Practical Training and Capacity Building

School Health Program &
Hand-Washing Practices

Proper hand-washing can decrease the spread of diarrheal disease by 40%.


School children are taught best hand-washing practices, and teachers and Hygiene Specialists monitor behaviors. Water Underground staff lead a training program in the school, for each grade, covering all aspects of personal and community hygiene. 

Learn more about the school health program 

After training and implementing the CLTS approach, Water Underground supports the community as they improve the sanitation facilities in their homes. We facilitate the process but don't dictate the process. 

Community-Led Total Sanitation Stage 2 

Communities construct their own latrines with their own resources with guidance from the CLTS staff who rotate living in the communities for 1 week at a time to build trust and give support. We aim to empower the households and enable them to get onto the sanitation ladder at the level that they can afford.


Female health is now taught in the schools, and teachers guide the girls to use the feminine hygiene room. 

Menstrual Health For Girls in the School


Incorporation Into School Curriculum 

A daily school sanitation center cleaning schedule is put in place and implemented by the teachers.

Students write essays on water management, sanitation & hygiene importance, and agriculture. The school runs the garden, and all practices are integrated into the curriculum. 

Operations & Maintenance of the Well

Constant training is done with the commission about diagnosis and repair. The well is pulled apart several times and put back together by the committee. By the end, they are fully trained technicians.


This division is given forms to document weekly and monthly maintenance activities and present them to Presidents and Water Underground every three months. 

We work with community members to identify the demand in the markets and grow things to meet that demand. We cover competitive pricing, quality standards, and ways to effectively and strategically enter the marketplace. 

Understanding the Marketplace / Supply & Demand

Agriculture Technologies and Practices

Drip irrigation is introduced. All stages of the agricultural process are worked through, and perceived obstacles are discussed and worked around.


For example, you can grow corn in the middle of your drip rows to provide shade for crops in the hot season. 

The school divides plots by grade, and students manage the garden as part of curriculum.

Each member of the Water Oversight Committee is assigned 5-10 families in the community and is responsible for personally delivering messages of health, sanitation, and water management.


They encourage the construction of latrines and hand-wash stations in their homes. They are the direct support link for those families in the community. 

Community Health and Outreach

100% Model

100% of public donations go directly to the field. Our internal running costs are covered by generous, private donors. Other funding comes from grants, foundations, and corporate partnerships.

We hold ourselves accountable to our donors, partner organizations, and corporate sponsors and are transparent with our work. We post our financials here, and as we grow will continue to make our work public on all charity databases. 

We pride ourselves in proving the impact made possible by our donors and partners. We earmark all donations to specific projects so that donors know exactly where their generosity has gone.


We give donors Completion Reports, including photos/videos about the community and the impact that was made, from start to finish. We want to create the most inclusive philanthropy experience possible.


See an example of a donor's "Well Story"

Proving Your Impact &

Connecting You With Your Philanthropy

Transparent with our Financials

Water Underground slowly shifts away from organizing and leading the meetings and makes way for the official Water Oversight Committee to fill that role. We remain a support system as they take ownership of the project. 

Community Leadership

The community, government officials, and Water Underground staff gather for a ceremony to officially hand over the entire project to the community. 

Official Ceremony Handing Project Over to the Community

Ownership &
Committment to Transparency

With thorough surveys and support, Water Underground monitors projects, at minimum, every three months for the first year after completion, every six months for years 2-3, and yearly after that.

We are rigorous with our evaluations of our projects for maximum impact for our beneficiaries and our operational growth. 

Monitoring & Evaluation

The Water Oversight Committee conducts its independent internal monitoring and evaluation. Water Underground provides all forms for well maintenance, balance/expense sheets for transparency, and agricultural progress. These forms are all submitted back to Water Underground.


We require these evaluation reports to be upheld by the community in order for Water Underground to continue being a support for the community. Water Underground does our step, the community must do theirs. 


Monitoring & Evaluation


As mentioned, the goal is to have every household within 3km of the project to have latrines. Each member of the Water Oversight Committee is assigned a certain number of families to monitor. If 100% coverage is not yet achieved, then each member sets goals and timetables to guide their selected families to be ODF. 

If 100% coverage is achieved, the Government is notified and officially certifies the community as 'ODF' Open Defecation Free. A major accomplishment.

CLTS Final Phase

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