Fundamental Needs participants stand with a resident next to the residential water system they are working on.

Fundamental Needs

Staff Admin

Above Image Courtesy of Fundamental Needs
A technical diagram of the water systems that Fundamental Needs participants install.

Image courtesy of Fundamental Needs.

Fundamental Needs’ mission is to work with communities in the United States to alleviate the suffering caused by inadequate access to electricity, clean drinking water, a heat source, and a proper food source. With funding from the McCune Foundation, Fundamental Needs will provide vocational training to students attending Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington to improve their long-term economic prospects while also reducing water and food insecurity on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico.

Fundamental Needs has built relationships with Navajo community leaders and it is clear that food and water are the primary problems. According to the Navajo Census, roughly 30% of residents on the reservation do not have access to running water. In and around Shiprock, NM there are roughly 125 households who rely on the local Chapter Houses (administrative building) for fresh, clean water. Residents travel to the Chapter House, from up to two hours away, to fill up water containers that are then transported back to their houses for use as drinking water and washing.

For the last two years, we have focused our efforts on the areas of Rock Point and Red Mesa Arizona. After successfully establishing our program there, we have expanded east to the northwest section of New Mexico in order to broaden our impact on the Navajo Nation.

We serve these communities with our Oasis Project which works with households on the Navajo Reservation that lack running water and installs off-grid water systems that include water tanks, water pumps and heaters, a sink to access the water and greywater gardens to leverage every drop of liquid.

Fundamental Needs participants working on the installation of an off-the-grid water system.

Fundamental Needs works with High School students in their Oasis Project to build and install off-grid water systems. Image courtesy of Fundamental Needs.

The system is maintained with a solar panel and a utility sink to access the water is installed. Once in place, water can be trucked in and the system will provide water to the families for three to four weeks before the tanks need refilled.

To further our local impact and increase our capacity, Fundamental Needs trains and then hires local high school students in an after-school work program to help with the installations. This vocational training works with students at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington and provides training using a curriculum that introduces current technology and how it operates within our systems. Students are exposed to skills and viable career paths that motivate them to complete high school and pursue post-secondary education and training.

This work will expand our impact and instill a sustainable long-term solution in communities that are struggling. To learn more about our work, please visit our website.

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