Did you know that Navajo are 67 times more likely than other Americans to live without running water or a toilet?  The average American uses 100 gallons of fresh water per day; the average Navajo just seven.  That’s an injustice which creates a cycle of poverty that limits health, happiness, educational opportunity and economic security.   Rotary’s mission to provide service to the community, especially children and families, can help fix that.

The Gilbert Rotary Club has undertaken an international grant to raise funds with other  Rotary clubs for the Navajo Water Project.  Its cooperating partners are DigDeep and St. Bonaventure Indian Mission, two non-profits which have been heavily involved in assisting the Navajo Nation for many years to provide clean, running water to approximately 205 Navajo American families living within the Smith Lake Chapter in New Mexico.   St. Bonaventure was the original water supplier and has been delivering water by truck for the past thirty years.   DigDeep has helped provide a second delivery truck and will begin digging next spring to provide a 2000 foot deep well to assure a reliable ongoing water source.  In the meantime, Phase Four of DigDeep’s project involves  construction of individual water systems to Navajo homes, including 1200 gallon underground cisterns and the necessary equipment to make home delivery more efficient for Navajo families.

Construction of each home water system is performed by employees of St. Bonaventure Indian Mission at a cost of $4,500, including installation, materials and home training to operate.  Construction work has begun with existing customers’ homes nearest the existing water source, expanding outward to more distant customers at a rate of approximately 2½ systems completed each week.    Funding already committed to the DigDeep project will allow construction to continue for approximately six months, at which time about 75 homes will have received water systems.  Additional funding is desperately needed to continue the water system installation program beyond that point.

Consider these advantages:

  • This project is already underway and “shovel ready” for additional funds;
  • 100 per cent of the solicited funds will go toward construction of the individual home water systems and not to program administration of either DigDeep or St. Bonaventure Indian Mission;
  • Rotary is not involved in actual construction, site selection or title work, which means there is no exposure to liability sometimes involved in construction projects;
  • DigDeep and St. Bonaventure will assure the continuity of this project by continuing to work with Navajo families to provide safe, reliable water.
  • The Navajo Water Project has the blessing of the Lake Smith Chapter tribal authority;
  • A certificate of completion will be provided to Rotary within two weeks of each installation, verifying use of the Rotary funds and identifying the specific beneficiaries.  Opportunities will exist for publicity as deemed appropriate.

What We Seek:

The Gilbert Rotary Club, its international partner Club Rotario San Andres Cholula, located in Puebla City, Mexico, and other Rotary Clubs in Arizona are seeking Rotary District and International grant matching funds to provide as much of the needed funds as possible.

15 homes x $4,500 = $67,500

10% contingency = $  6,750

Total cost                                             $74,250

Local Rotary Clubs            (30,000)

District matches                (24,000)

Int’rn’l. Grant                    (30,000)

Additional materials can be found at the following websites:

http:// www.navajowaterproject.org/            http://www.stbonaventuremission.org/index.php