Pozhao Elementary School is located in Xinchi Town, Heyang District in Shaanxi Province, Pozhao Village; 195 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Xian. For twenty-eight years, villagers have had to purchase their daily water from sources five kilometers away in neighboring villages. The need for water is dire, as the shortage has made life excruciatingly difficult. Agricultural technology is primitive, and per capita annual income is less than 1500 RMB. Even so, the Pozhao school district serves a population 9,000, enrolling students from six neighboring villages – 37 percent of students' family have financial difficulties.
The project provides funds for drilling a well that can be easily accessed by the whole village, while villagers pay less than half of what they pay currently for water the school receives a sustainable source of income. UPM and Heyang District Waterworks have donated RMB300,000 and RMB250,000 respectively. The villagers have also contributed RMB200,000 to the project, as well as labor hours worth of RMB33,000.
- In July 22, 2009 the well drill reached more than 460 meters deep, but it was stopped by the collapse of a coal seam underground. The community council was trying everything to minimize the damage. However this seemingly unpredictable accident for the second time put the project on hold.
- In April 2009, due to power shortage the drill got stuck at more than 400 meters deep. The well team got no choice but to start working on a new site, which increased the cost and delay the project completion.
- Phelex Foundation and UPM agreed to fund the project, and drilling officially took place on December 20th, 2007. Pozhao village held a sensational opening ceremony attended by many villagers. Click for video clip.
- Cold winter weather hit the region for twenty days towards the end of January, but the determination of villagers allowed the project to continue on schedule.
- By June 2008, the well drilling has reached 550 meters deep, and water has appeared; however, according to geology expert the drilling needs to continue so that water quality can be guaranteed. Overcoming bad weather and power shortage, the drilling continues at this time aiming at 650 meters deep. The completion of this project is expected by the end of August.