Water And Sanitation Programme


Our Water and Sanitation Programme supports governments, the private sector, international donors and other social partners to increase sustainable access to potable water and sanitation supply in rural and peri-urban areas, while promoting improved wastewater management and hygiene practices. For example, a large proportion of the areas where the South African mining industry labour comes from have a bigger and more visible water scarcity. Most areas will not receive piped water for some years due to the massive backlogs experienced by their governments. Furthermore, where water and sanitation infrastructure has been established, it is not being adequately maintained and is thus not utilised. Water from natural streams is often shared with livestock and this has a risk of waterborne diseases. Therefore because of the impact of poor water supply in communities, Thembalethu Development established a water and sanitation programme aimed at improving community health through water and sanitation in rural villages and at rural schools. Thembalethu provides safe water in remote rural areas through the repair of existing village water sources and creates new sources in selected communities and schools.


  • Thembalethu Development either approaches or is approached by governments, communities and donors with requests for new community and school water sources and sanitation infrastructure or for the rehabilitation/repair of infrastructure;
  • We conduct a needs assessment to ascertain the magnitude of the damaged water sources or the need for water sources through local community leaders;
  • We repair the existing water sources or provide new ones using local contractors;
  • At each repaired water point, a committee is established (if not in place already) to ensure its continuous maintenance
  • A local community leader “signs-off” the work confirming that the community received their water; and
  • Feedback is provided to the government and the donor.

Current and past experiences

  • From 2003 to 2011, we repaired more than 100 community boreholes per annum in mineworker-sending areas of Mozambique;
  • Since 2003, we have repaired more than 100 community boreholes per annum in the Mafeteng District of southern Lesotho. Each borehole in Lesotho serves on average 40 households.
  • We also drilled new boreholes for 10 schools in southern Lesotho which will benefit 4 000 households and 3 500 school children; and
  • With funding from the Lefa la Rona Trust, the repair of 100 community boreholes per annum is continuing in Berea District in the north of Lesotho. 

‚ÄčLesotho Water project: At Lekokoaneng, Ha Kakoatlane.