Disrupting the System: Adeso Procures a Drilling Rig for it’s Water Enterprise in Somalia

October 2022
Badhan, Somalia

As the drought across Somalia continues to intensify, it has never been more important to address the perpetual water insecurity issues and implement sustainable water infrastructure in Somalia. Remote communities in this arid country struggle to access clean water. To address this challenge, Adeso is trying to disrupt the current system where a few powerful elite hold the key to life-changing water access by charging exorbitant prices to drill boreholes. For Adeso, this means purchasing our own drilling rig to be able to independently drill boreholes at a much-reduced rate than what is currently offered.

Over the course of the last year, with the partnership support of Conrad N. Hilton FoundationBill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Avaaz Foundation, Adeso has procured a powerful drilling rig to be able to drill very deep boreholes in Somalia.

“Water management in rural areas is unsustainable because of weak governments, it is basically left to the hands of NGOs and they are not properly privatized. This is an opportunity for Adeso to create our own social enterprise to drill boreholes and much reduced prices, where people are not being price-gauged at the time of drought. After the boreholes are drilled, the entire water system will be managed more sustainably, so that if breakdowns do happen, we have the resources to fix them. This helps communities become independent from aid actors,” says Degan Ali, Adeso’s Executive Director.

Adeso’s mission is to change the way people think about and deliver aid. By procuring our own drilling rig, we are doing just that, disrupting the current system where a few powerful elite can charge unethical prices for machinery for remote communities to access water.

Adeso's team in Somalia receiving the drill rig and trucks with components. Adeso's drill rig on a truck

Adeso’s Why for Water Social Enterprise in Somalia

Our drill rig story begins in Badhan, a city in the Sanaag Region; a place where water scarcity has become the norm after recurring droughts and poverty has left thousands of people unable to afford the high prices of the water that is available.

Badhan has no permanent water sources and during the dry period, people must pay some of the highest water prices in the country or trek very far. The water prices range between USD$2 in the rainy season to over USD$8 during the drought period (per 200L barrel of water), which many people cannot afford.

Adeso has had an unfortunate experience with a drilling contractor while trying to find water in Badhan years ago. Listen HERE to Adeso Executive Director, Degan Ali, speak honestly about this experience and the importance of the drilling rig.

Investing in our own drilling rig is a cost effective and sustainable solution to the water scarcity that we see across Somalia. With the current cost for boreholes many times costing more than $100,000 to dig just 200 meter shallow wells that oftentimes dry out extremely fast, it will allow Adeso to independently drill for water up to 750 meters deep and pipe it directly to health facilities, schools, homes and centralized points, providing the entire community access to clean water.

To financially sustain our drilling and water ventures, Adeso will establish a Water Enterprise that will have a team of dedicated staff to oversee the day-to-day operations of our activities.

Please stay tuned for our next blog post on Adeso’s Water Enterprise.