There is no surface water anywhere near this community. They only have this one hand dug well.
This is a remote community of farmers. They live in a very dry area where no surface water is available so many times families attempt to hand dig their own well. Often walls caving in on them during their attempts or cannot find water. Their current water source from a hand dug well is muddy with floating debris, and contaminated with water borne illnesses such as typhoid, dysentery, skin issues, Helicobacter Pyloriad, vomiting and other diarrheal illnesses. Dehydration is an everyday problem putting the youngest in the community at risk. Death is a common occurrence for families in this community.
Farmers crops struggle to make it due to lack of water. Children miss school due to weekly illnesses. Life is a struggle for this community.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
Chiyuni Baptist Church, located about an hour and a half outside of Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka, is a safe place for 250 churchgoers. The community gathers in the simple cinder block church building for worship services at least once a week. However, residents had to bring their own water to church, as it lacks plumbing. The absence of safe water leaves many of the congregation members thirsty. Community members attempted to fix their water crisis by constructing a hand-dug well at the church. Still, the water they found barely supplied a jerrycan’s worth of water—not nearly enough to support their entire congregation. What’s more, the water they gathered from the hand-dug well was directly exposed to the elements and contained both visible and microscopic contaminants. Chiyuni Baptist Church’s congregation became increasingly sick by consuming the water from their hand-dug well. They knew they needed a protected water source, so they piled rocks, logs, and a tire over the well’s opening. Even so, the water harbored parasites and waterborne diseases.
Without a safe and reliable water source on the church’s grounds, attendees had to spend precious time gathering water before and after services. The burden of collecting water traditionally fell on the shoulders of women and girls in the community, who spent their time and energy carrying gallons of water from other water sources in their wider community.
The congregation was tired, disheartened, and knew that lacking a safe, secure well dissuaded new members from joining their church. Church leaders prayed for a solution to their water crisis and a way to ignite change in their community.
When church elders heard of Living Water International’s work in the region, they felt like a prayer had been answered. They made a request for
safe water on behalf of the community. Living Water visited the church and determined that a new well was feasible. Ingomar Living Water, your gift made it possible for the team to announce that construction would begin soon.
The Living Water staff returned to the community with a drill rig and dug 24 meters until reaching a safe water reservoir. The team flushed the borehole and treated the water to ensure it was safe for consumption. After they tested its quality and it proved safe, the staff installed a new hand pump and poured a concrete base with a drainage channel,
completing the project. Finally, Chiyuni Baptist Church had water not only for their congregation, but for the community at large!
TOTAL WATER USERS: 250
MAIN WATER COLLECTORS: women and girls
LOCATION: rural community
PUMP TYPE: hand pump
PROJECT TYPE: new simple water system
DEPTH OF WELL: 24 m
WATER QUALITY TESTS
TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS: 401 ppm
HARDNESS: 300 ppm
COLIFORM BACTERIA: absent
These Members of the Church Serve as the New Well’s Water Committee.
Evans Shares about the Community’s Struggle to Find Safe Water.
The Living Water staff helped Chiyuni Baptist Church to establish sustainability practices, to aid in ensuring a future of safe water access. As part of this goal, the staff guided the community in selecting a water committee. The committee will oversee the care and maintenance of the well. Living Water trained the committee members to maintain the well on a day-to-day basis, set an operating budget, and
follow a maintenance schedule. They will collect a small fee per household for water usage, equivalent to 5 cents a month, to be used for future repairs and
The Living Water staff will stay in contact with the water committee to support sustainability efforts and monitor the well’s functionality. To set up the residents for success, the entire community learned how to care for the hand pump, and how to transport and store the water safely. The residents are proud to be a part of creating proactive, sustainable solutions for their community, and plan to build a greenhouse for community use.
The water we used to collect from our shallow, hand-dug well was so dirty.
Glory be to God for our new well!
SANITATION AND HYGIENE
In order to help the community members understand how to use the safe water you gave them as a means of improving their health, the Living Water staff held a hygiene and sanitation promotion activity. These lessons were hands-on and interactive in order to make them memorable and relevant to the nine participants. The Living Water staff showed the participants how to properly wash their hands, which is the primary defense against the spread of diseases like COVID-19 and other germs. The team demonstrated thorough handwashing technique and then gave the participants the opportunity to practice.
IN JESUS’ NAME
At the completion of the project, the Living Water team, alongside the church leadership, held a well dedication service for the community. The residents heard the good news of God’s living water offered to everyone as explained in John 4:13-14 (NIV): “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The participants then prayed over the well, thanking the Lord for his provision through you.
Ingomar Living Waters, your generosity has empowered Chiyuni Baptist Church to share the good news of the gospel with their growing community. With safe water at their fingertips, the congregation is able to heal holistically— mind, body, and spirit.
No longer will the church’s women and girls make tiresome treks for unsafe water.
Job 11:16-18 (NIV) says, “You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” These words reflect the hope of the Chiyuni Baptist Church congregation, brought to them through your gift. Now, whenever they collect water, they will be reminded of God’s divine and faithful hand.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name!