U.S. Water News Online
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A group of Oklahoma businessmen whose
self-financed project helped bring water to villagers in China plan
similar efforts in Africa and the Philippines.
The nonprofit group is called Solar Streams of Water, because
solar-powered water pumps are used in areas that lack good electrical
"We've pretty much committed to doing this as long as we have
money," said Dick Greenly of Oklahoma City, owner of Pumps of
Oklahoma and one of seven members of the group.
Their efforts to get funding from the United Nations and the World
Bank bogged down in red tape, so the men decided to provide the money
for the projects themselves.
Each project costs about $8,000 (euro5,904), not including travel
expenses for those who install the systems -- a battery of solar
panels and an electric pump. Greenly said time is a bigger concern
"It's totally fun to do this. It's a blast, and we're doing
something that truly these villagers will remember all their lives,"
David Sabatini, a University of Oklahoma civil engineering
professor, said he got into the projects to save lives. He is founder
of OU's WaTER Center. The acronym stands for Water Technologies for
"The number of deaths per year due to unsafe water is on the order
of over 2 million people a year, and many of them are children," he
The two systems installed in China's Guangxi Province pump surface
water that collects in caves up to a mile from the villages. They
selected two villages -- Tanding, a village of 80 people; and Gufang,
a village that is home to a central school serving 230 students from
The group is now gearing up to install pumps at orphanages in
Zambia and the Philippines. Greenly also plans a mid-September trip
to a remote village in Sudan to check out a possible site.
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