In 2019, Maranatha Volunteers International started a water program in India, where half of the population doesn’t have access to clean water. Most of this work has been accomplished through a traditional large rig, but recently, we started drilling in the Sundarban Islands, a delta system on the Bay of Bengal, requiring a unique process.

Traditional large drilling rigs aren’t able to reach the islands, so materials are transported by boat to the nearest shore, where they are carted to the drilling site. Although a small machine is used in the drilling process, much of the work is done by hand. Each length of pipe must be inserted manually, with a worker at the top of a temporary tower guiding it into the hole.

From here, workers walk circles around the hole as the drill is slowly driven into the ground, ensuring the soft clay doesn’t cave in. This is an arduous process that can take 5-6 days! Currently, Maranatha has drilled nine wells and have two others in process in the Sundarban Islands at Seventh-day Adventist churches, bringing clean water to hundreds of Indians in need.

Maranatha Volunteers International has had a continuous presence in India since 1998, establishing an office while building places of worship and education throughout the country. In 2019, Maranatha started drilling water wells in areas in need of clean water. Maranatha has constructed more than 2,400 structures in India.