Tomara Brown, Author at WaterStep

Water Training

WaterStep welcomed over 15 people to our headquarters in Louisville to attend a Hand Pump Repair Training and a Water Treatment & Health/Hygiene Training  yesterday. Students from University of Indiana along with mentors, who are all planning on going out of the country this coming weekend, attended this training. They learned what to expect when they are traveling out of the country, including different kinds of cultural standings such as the differences between money, power and leadership even things as small as hand gestures and what to stay away from. People had a hands on experience later in the afternoon, when they got to help assemble hand pumps. This training also had some special guests, Tony Hamisi from the DR Congo, John Rashid also from the DR Congo, Jordan Maiden working in Malawai and Andrew Gardour from Liberia, who was mentioned previously.


Andrew has been a partner with WaterStep for a year now and has recently completed his first project in Liberia. Andrew heard about WaterStep last year he then came to his first training, and then committed to a project in Liberia. WaterStep then decided to make Andrew a partner. When asked why he feels that WaterStep is such an important organization he responded with how “they provide water for the communities, but they also provide life.” After the completion of the project and throughout this past year Andrew has truly seen that this Water project is “really helping people to live.”


Hidden Heroes

Andrew & WaterStep Liberia Team

Andrew & WaterStep Liberia Team

WaterStep proudly welcomes a hidden hero to our headquarters for Hand Pump Repair Training.  Meet Andrew Gardour.

Andrew is from the suburbs of Monrovia, Liberia and is one of WaterStep’s International Partners. Andrew and his WaterStep Liberia Team have been teaching health education to their community for over a year and have already set up a water treatment system in their community to truly save lives with safe water.  Why?  Because they witness people dying and getting sick from unsafe water. Now, Andrew is learning more about hand pump repair in order to continue his dream of bringing safe water to surrounding communities.

Did you know that WaterStep houses the only Hand Pump Repair School in the United States? During the training students learn about common types of hand pumps, how to assemble and disassemble pump parts and how to troubleshoot common problems. Hand Pump Repair Training is a 3 day course and is held at WaterStep’s headquarters in Louisville, KY.  The registration fee per person is $300.  If you would like to sponsor someone for hand pump repair training, please call Tomara Brown at 502.568.6342 x 503.

WaterStep is thankful to have hidden heroes all over the world saving lives with safe water!



WaterStep responds to Landslides in Colombia

In April of last year, thanks to you, WaterStep responded to the 7.8 earthquake that devastated the Esmeraldas Province of colombia 1
Ecuador. Thousands of people were displaced, and lacked immediate access to safe water as they sought to address and rebuild their communities.

Because of your support, WaterStep was able to meet an immediate need with a sustainable solution, focusing on empowering International Partners on the ground. WaterStep’s shift towards training, equipping, and supporting International Partners in safe water and sanitation through distance learning has allowed WaterStep to multiply their efforts. This new approach has proved significant increases in overall effectiveness and sustainability.

Now, a year later, WaterStep staff traveled to Ecuador to follow up on the 40 WaterStep safe water systems installed last year. We were pleased to discover the success of this disaster relief effort; however, in the midst of celebrating the project in Ecuador, Mark Hogg received information about the mudslide nearby in Mocoa, Columbia. “We are already this close. We have our equipment. We have to try,” says Hogg.

WaterStep responded in Colombia, mobilizing safe water treatment centers and providing training to local NGOs. WaterStep’s simple, yet effective, technology is doing more than providing safe water–it is providing hope and security for people whose lives have been shattered by disaster.

Read more about WaterStep’s recent decision to go to Colombia, in the Courier Journal.



Reaching New Heights part 2

Empowerment.  A valuable word.  Waterstep takes pride in training people how to use safe water solutions like water purification so that communities in the developing world are empowered to take care of their own water needs for years.  Waterstep believes the best solutions to water problems are rooted in simple tools and effective training.

Waterstep is thrilled to report that the village of Atiriri in Central Uganda now has safe water because the Westlake Family  was empowered and trained by Waterstep to install safe water solutions in this village.  Remember Lucy? If not, click here.  Lucy and Faith had only been pen pals but now they are kindred spirits.   Lucy’s family and Faith’s family were instant friends. Lucy’s mom, Amy, says “It was clear that God had joined our spirits a long time ago.”

Lucy’s parents shared that they believe this is a model for the world!  The whole village, the tribe, had met several times before they arrived to appoint the four leaders that would be in charge of their water.  When the Westlake family arrived, they all worked together for two days to install and educate the team on WaterStep’s M-100 – the chlorine generator.  The village came together for a spirit-filled dedication and celebration of their new, safe water. It was noted by one of their community leaders that they no longer have to walk 3-4 miles a day to fetch water and neither do they have to sleep in the well until water arrives.

Lucy and her family continue their journey to Tanzania as Rodney (dad) and Lucy (12 years old) will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro this Saturday.  Just as Rodney and Lucy will reach new heights on Saturday, the village of Atiriri reached new heights as they worked together for two days to install and educate the local community on the M-100, Waterstep’s chlorine generator. WaterStep truly believes in empowering people like the Westlake family to transfer knowledge and empowerment to nationals in the developing world.


Reaching New Heights – part 1

Rodney and Amy WestlakeJust two weeks ago Rodney and Amy Westlake arrived to  WaterStep’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky to be trained on how to install portable safe water systems using WaterStep’s M-100 which provides 10,000 gallons of safe water per day.  Why?  Because their family will be traveling to Uganda on January 1 so that their daughter, Lucy, can climb Mount Kilimanjaro Jan 7-14 with her father.  Not only will she be summiting her way into the record books, she will be a WaterStep Ambassador as she and her family will be Saving Lives with Safe Water in Uganda.  Here’s how it all came to be:

When Lucy was two years old, she received a letter back from the child that had received her Operation Child Christmas Shoebox.  The girl’s name is Faith Olupot.  She is the same age as Lucy and lives in a rural village in Uganda.  She received the shoebox through the local Christian family center in her village.  Lucy and Faith began writing letters to each other.  In 2010, Faith’s father, Emmanuel, learned how to use a computer and reached out to the Westlakes via email.  The communication between Lucy and Faith’s family became easier and more frequent with computer access.  The Westlakes knew that Faith and her family were in desperate need of safe water and after learning about WaterStep years ago, they began praying and thinking about how they could take safe water to Faith and her family.lucy-and-rodneyuganda-and-lucy

In April 2011, the Westlakes – Rodney, Amy, Lucy and Jack – travelled to eastern Kentucky to develop a plan for the Middletown Christian Family Mission Trip to Lynch, Kentucky. It was there that they learned uganda-and-lucythe highest peak in Kentucky was a short drive up Black Mountain.  They drove to the high point and it was there that Lucy told her parents that she wanted to be baptized.  Driving home from that trip, they began to wonder and research where other state high points were located.  Yes, this family loves to travel.  That summer, they decided to stop and hike as many high peaks as they could on their family trip out West.  That was the beginning of the quest.  Lucy, now 12, and her father, Rodney, decided they wanted to hike all 50 state high points.  This past summer, they became the youngest father-daughter team to ever summit the lower 48 state high points.  Lucy set a world record as the youngest female to accomplish this goal. uganda-and-lucyuganda-and-lucy

The only mountain left to climb to complete Lucy’s goal of standing on top of all 50 state high points is Alaska’s Denali.  Denali is one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb.  The trip is 21 days of hiking solely in snow, climbing to an elevation of 20,310 feet and carrying 100 pounds on your back.  After endless research, the Westlakes found a guide who would be willing to guide Rodney and Lucy on Denali.  But, there was one prerequisite.  Lucy had to first climb a mountain over 19,000 feet to see if her body could acclimate and handle the altitude.lucy

After Rodney hung up the phone with the guide company and told Amy the news, she immediately knew it was their time to go to Uganda.  Uganda is only a day drive away from Mount Kilimanjaro, an accessible 19,314 foot mountain.  The Westlake family arrives in Uganda on January 1. Rodney and Lucy will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro January 7-14. Stay tuned to hear more about this family’s mission to Save Lives with Safe Water.  WaterStep is confident that this family will save one child, one family, one community at a time just as Lucy and her father, Rodney have climbed one mountain at a time.


To Read more about Lucy’s story of determination and perseverance, click here.