Water Blog - WaterStep

WaterStep Liberia



Andrew Gardour is a partner with WaterStep in Liberia. Andrew decided to visit WaterStep in the United States and has been staying with us for 3 weeks. While Andrew was here he attended a hand pump repair training, helped create future plans for partners in Africa and met the WaterStep team. However once Andrew arrived the WaterStep team realized that there was more to this visit than we thought.


Andrew had pain in his eye for about a year before he came to America. Andrew had noticed some pain in his eye and had it checked out while he was in the United States previously. At the check up he learned that he had a hole in his retina and that was the reason he was feeling the pain. Andrew returned to Liberia having had no treatment “I didn’t know how costly it would be, I didn’t have the means.” said Andrew.


3 weeks ago, Andrew returned to WaterStep head quarters in Louisville, Kentucky. During this visit Andrew had mentioned to WaterStep in passinimage1g that his eye was still affecting him. Not knowing the severity Andrew came to USA for training and a visit. He did not know that while he was here he would receive a surgery that would change his life forever.


With Andrews well being in mind WaterStep decided to have his eye checked out again, that is when they learned that Andrew would need surgery. With his eye consistently shrinking if Andrew had gone back to Liberia without help his eye would have caused an infection and put Andrews Life in danger. With WaterStep supporting him he went into surgery on a Friday, with the hope that they could stop the shrinking of the eye and help him restore some of his sight.


On Monday June 12, Andrew went in for his final check up. He received news that he had regained some sight in his eye and the hole in the retina had been repaired. The doctors said that Andrew was healing at an extraordinarily fast rate. “when I came here I did not know that WaterStep would be helping me through this, I was very surprised.” Said Gardour. “we are a family I don’t feel like I’m in a different place WaterStep accepted me as my own brother or sister would have,” … “They [WaterStep] really are a worldwide family.”


Now that Andrew has had his surgery and is healing ahead of schedule he has returned back to Liberia to continue working on his project. “it really is a miracle, this visit has opened doors for me,” … “that is my prayer right now, WaterStep opened doors for me and I pray that they continue doing that around the world.


Andrew’s project reaches around 2,000 people in Monrovia, Liberia. Through the dedication and donations of the WaterStep community including funding for the operation, hotel stays, after care appointments etc. WaterStep and our community was able to make sure that those people in Liberia would continue to have safe water. Our community works together to restore and maintain providing Safe lives through safe water.

WaterStep welcomes students from India

On Friday, June 9, WaterStep welcomed six students from India to tour our offices in Louisville Kentucky. The students have a summer-long internship at a local engineering company.  All of the students are studying engineering in India at the same university.

At the beginning of the tour many of the students shared their interest in WaterStep and the reasoning behind them touring our offices. Many of them said it was because they think that our mission statement, Saving Lives with Safe Water, is very important. Many of the students shared their personal experiences with us about the unhealthy and dangerous drinking conditions of their water. Rajat Garg, said “my experience with water is not very good,” he shared how when he was younger he got cholera due to the heavy pollution within the water. Every student said that with the right education they think their communities would be able to improve their situation, however, right now they do not know the proper precautions to take.

After the introductions the students took a tour of the offices to see the technology that goes into the equipment that we use. WaterStep hopes to continue teaching people about our mission statement so that they can return to their communities and make a difference. Thank you to the students who came out to visit.

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.