This gift in action
Flooding is a constant threat to communities on low-lying coastal areas such as Batticola in Sri Lanka. Once sea water enters a well it becomes unusable, threatening every families' water supply, and it's a problem that can take weeks to rectify.
It's a process that has to be done two or three times in badly contaminated wells like Thangamma's. The water is pumped out, walls of the well scrubbed and the surrounding area cleaned. The well is then left for seven days. The well refills itself so the process is repeated twice more. Chlorine is also used.
This hard and dirty work is undertaken by dedicated Oxfam-trained teams, and we pay their salaries and provide the ladders, pumps and transport to get them between the wells.
Ravlanithiran is an Oxfam team member: "When we finish a well and we're sure it's clean we test it and then drink from it ourselves. People have watched us work on the wells and if we drink the water they know it's safe and that we've done the job well.
"It's a difficult job but people are really happy and thankful that we're doing it, which makes it worthwhile. A clean well gives someone another reason to return to their home."