A large part of what the work in Zambia has been repairing water wells. It developed quite by accident with two wells that I learned needed a couple of pipes to get them working again. I provided the funds for the pipes and got the water flowing again. At that time we were purchasing some bulk vitamins and such through Healing Hands International in Nashville. One day I was talking with the individual handling the bulk items and mentioned the wells. She said that they were starting up a program of well work and transferred me to the individual who was heading that program. We talked and in the end I was able to secure funds to repair wells.
Since that time, in large part with Healing Hands help, we have repaired 66 wells. We have also been able to drill 11 new wells. At the present time we have 3 additional wells still to be drilled sometime in the next couple of weeks. To date we have been able to provide safe drinking water to (conservatively) nearly 100,000 Zambians. One of the best things that can be done in countries like Zambia that will improve the lives of the people is to provide them with easy access to safe water.
When I say easy access you need to know what I mean. We are used to going to the tap in our house and turning it on and getting water. In the villages they go to the well and have to pump out their water into containers (about 5 gal. each). For most families there are two containers at least twice a day. The best case is to only have to travel a couple hundred yards. But when the wells fail (or are not there) then that distance can be multiplied into kilometers. That distance has to be walked with the water. If they are forced to go to surface water (Lake Kariba or a river) there are other considerations. First, only a couple of the rivers in Zambia have water in them year round. Most stop flowing when it begins to get dry. For a time they can dig in the sand and get water that way but it is dirty water. Second, surface water is much more subject to contagions and such. Third, surface water usually means crocodiles. Each year a number of people are killed or maimed by crocodiles. Getting water for the family can be dangerous or deadly. Providing wells has a significant impact on the lives of villages and, sometimes, the village itself. People have been known to relocate due to the lack of water.
As a result of the work with wells the church now has a significant reputation within the district. It has also provoked significant interest in the church by village leaders. We have a number of villages who are asking us to “bring the church” to their villages. There are 4 that we are looking at for my upcoming trip. We will not be able to do 4 but probably we will look to plant a church in 2 of them. The plans are being looked at now.
Next entry will be about our medial work in the district.
Thank you for your interest and God bless!