Many in the West consider access to clean water a basic human right. In Africa, we consider access to water a privilege!
Isn’t it heartbreaking knowing that there’s millions of people who aren’t able to access clean water due to the high costs?
I live in a shack in Stone Hill, near Cape Town, South Africa. Our ministry, based in Stone Hill, has a church, clinic, crèche, soup kitchen, etc. Clean water is essential, not only to remain safe from disease, but also to maintain our basic health.
Our kitchen, which provides two meals a day for the suffering, requires a fair amount of water daily. But our partners and volunteers struggle to secure water because we use the public supply, which is barely available.
Some of the taps don’t always have water, including the ones in our ministry kitchen and the crèche, so our volunteers walk to other taps with the hope of finding a working one. If their hopes are met, they then carry 20-liter buckets on their heads so that they can cook and clean our premises. Sickness, and the time lost collecting water, robs our entire community in different ways.
Our preschool ministry has little ones from the age of 3 months to 5 years. Water is the No. 1 source of nutrition. The human body is made of 60 percent water, and this is a clear enough indication of the importance of water.
This is an informal settlement, already faced with challenges of hygiene and malnutrition!
Our teachers are facing struggles of having to pause the classes and walk to the nearest public tap that has water and waste more time boiling it to ready it for the children to drink. Contaminated water causes illness and diseases in children like rashes, intestinal infections, diarrhea, and many other ailments.
Our soccer and netball teams suffer every time they are practicing because there won’t be any drinking water available at our premises for them. And sadly, they cannot afford to buy bottled water.
Not only is there poor access to readily accessible drinking water, but even when water is available, the quality testing is not performed as often as is necessary. An overall lack of education among the people utilizing the water source leads them to believe that if they are getting water from a tap, it is safe. Often, this is far from accurate.
In Zimbabwe, our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer from having to carry water from unclean water sources often miles from villages. Many of the able-bodied members of a community have no choice but to spend hours each day simply finding and transporting water. The typical container used for water collection in Africa (the jerry can) weighs more than 40 pounds when it’s completely full! It is heavy!
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year just in collecting water. That’s the same as a whole year’s worth of labor by France’s entire workforce! This is invaluable time, just spent on trying to survive.
Enter In Touch Mission International! And their life-saving Project Joseph!
This project is essentially about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Clean water is an essential ingredient for our Project Joseph vegetable gardens, too. If the crops and grains are given contaminated water, the bacteria and disease will spread to those who consume the “fresh” produce. Therefore, water that is used for agriculture must also come from safe and clean sources.
When a water solution is in place, sustainable agriculture is possible. Children can get back to school instead of collecting dirty water all day or being sick from waterborne illnesses. Parents find more time to care for their families, expand minimal farming to sustainable levels, and even run small businesses.
Praise the Lord for our ministry partners who made it possible for us to drill boreholes in our ministry bases. We wouldn’t have made it this far without your love and generosity.
Our water supplies are almost ready; we are now working towards getting water filtration systems in place to filter out salt, chloride, sodium, etc., and other harmful contaminants, before we can use the water.
A water filter provides clean, healthy water for cooking, as well as drinking, at the convenient water taps. Water filters reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disease by more than 80 percent!
So far, our water at our church facility, near Cape Town, for food production is unbelievably pure. Our water in Stone Hill needs major filtration; and we still need to test our Zimbabwe borehole.
We will keep you posted!
We are so thankful for your continued prayers and financial support. We are thrilled to have you walking this journey with us.
Blessings to you and yours,
PS Olga has completed her studies and is ministering full-time with us! Welcome Olga