Water In Africa Through Everyday Responsiveness was founded by a consultant of the Carter Center who worked with the Guinea Worm Eradication program. Jim Niquette has worked in Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana with the Carter Center since June, 2002, and continues to work in Africa in hopes of eradicating the disease. Other Africa ground based resources exist in the form of people in these countries, mostly who have been involved in the Guinea Worm eradication effort over the past 10-15 years. In August 2011, Jim Niquette closed the Carter Center offices in Ghana because there were no more cases of Guinea Worm and Trachoma had been brought below levels suggested by WHO for intervention. He remains in Ghana and now devotes full time to WATER.
Because the Guinea Worm Eradication program is a health program, and providing water is expensive, money is not always available to address the root problem of providing clean water in the villages. W.A.T.E.R. was set up to address this, so that the people working on Guinea Worm eradication had money to put in hand-pumps or repair broken systems, while at the same time doing the health related work.
The name Water in Africa Through Everyday Responsiveness came from the idea that it was to be a link between everyday people with a means or time to help and everyday people with a need. Money is collected as a result of people taking initiative on their own or proposals made frequently to private companies. Projects are implemented in Africa, sometimes through Non-governmental organizations (NGO's) and sometime through private drillers or other contractors. W.A.T.E.R. provides the link to make this happen.