Nang’ombe Village is an impoverished rural village with a population of approximately 9,500 people. Malawi, including Nang’ombe, has undergone significant suffering in recent years with successive disasters – drought, flood, pestilence, and recently, a cyclone.
The need for clean water here is a very desperate one. For many years, people have been using very dirty, contaminated water for drinking and household needs. They collect water from seasonal sources including streams, rivers, hand-dug wells, and seasonal swampy wetland areas called “dambos”. Every rainy season many people, especially the young and elderly, die due to water-borne disease. The people feel neglected; neither the Government of Malawi nor anyone else have ever considered providing a water pump or bore hole to this area.
It is a minimum of a two hour walk to the closest bore-hole. Some walk it to minimize their risk of illness (the water from the bore hole is cleaner than their “normal” sources of water), but many cannot manage to travel the distance.
The common water-related diseases incurred by the people of Nang’ombe Village include cholera, dysentery, bilharzia (schistosomiasis), malaria, and diarrhea. These diseases are worse during the rainy season when all the hand-dug wells that are beside the rivers or streams are buried by dirt due to floods. Water-borne illnesses also break-out out during the hot dry season as people draw waters from open hand-dug wells.
The local “on the ground” ministry partner of our partner, Heaven’s Family, Victor Masangano, is devoted to serving the community, especially the children. Many children have been orphaned due to AIDS and Victor sees to their care, shepherding them to be raised in homes, gathering them for regular meals, and teaching about Jesus. The children are placed in homes, not orphanages. Victor is also involved with a sister ministry of Heaven’s Family, Farming God’s Way, and grows food to help feed these most needy children and sells the food to help, too.
In mid-March 2019, a destructive cyclone devastated the community of Nang’ombe. A well will be a major blessing to this community to provide them with clean, safe water to drink year-round.
This project is complete. The community of Nang’ombe is now drinking clean, safe water!
The new well is located near a feeding center that is overseen by representatives of Heaven’s Family, our partner for this project. Vulnerable children and orphans from the community come to this center for supplemental meals and Christian discipleship. The people of the community are so excited to have a clean water source that is both easily and freely available. They formerly toiled for hours to retrieve muddy water from hand-dug wells and seasonal river water sources.
No more rampant sickness and death caused by waterborne diseases will affect the people of Nang’ombe and the surrounding villages. Besides the improvement in health, time is freed so children can go to school and water is available to irrigate gardens (which allows fresher, better food that also contributes to improved health).
Testimonies of some of the villagers (in their own words):
- Community representative, Mr. Simon: I came to dwell in this community in 1949, after my parents died at war in Mozambique. People here use river waters which usually dries up between August and September. The waters are very salty and colorful which cause various diseases such as cholera and bilharzia (schistosomiasis). No any organization or government have ever attempted to drill a bore hole, and this is a surprise miracle to us here that now we are going to have our own bore hole. We thank you.
- Village Head, representing other village heads and group village head of Nang’ombe: We have no words to say as regarding to the blessing of the bore hole. Since the creation of this earth, and ever since the people started living in this community, people have never seen a bore hole. We have been the victims of deaths resulted from waterborne diseases, and now for the first time, we are going to taste clean and protected water. May God bless you. We the Chiefs and the heads are very thankful for this gift. Thank you very much.
- Head teacher from Nang’ombe Primary School, Miss Matabwa: Every year at this school and from our friends at Nang’ombe Community Day Secondary School, we have loose more than 5-10 school pupils due to using unclean waters from rivers and streams. Most of them die to cholera, opening bowels, and dysentery diseases which are caused by drinking such waters. When we heard that now God is blessing us with a bore hole, we praise God and appreciate greatly. Thank you.
- Edder Lamusi (an elderly widow): I thank God for this wonderful gift of a bore hole. My husband passed away long time ago after he drank dirty water from a swampy well. He was hit by a strange opening of bowels and after only a day he died. My second daughter, and also my last son died of water born diseases. I am very much glad to hear that God has remembered us, a bore hole is now here. What a great miracle! God bless you.