The Wedse community has a population of 3000, living in 200 households, with an average of 15 persons per home. The entire community has only one borehole. It’s not easy to collect drinking water because of the crowds. Fights are a common occurrence due to frustration. Many people go back to surface water that causes waterborne illnesses such as typhoid, dysentery and parasites. The area is dry, and dehydration is a huge issue. Kidney failure and infections are common problems, due to lack of water.
The women and girls often walk up to 3 km, where they can find a traditional hand dug well. Frequently they spend the night there, hoping there will be enough water in the morning to collect and take home to their families. This dry land doesn’t just affect humans but the livestock also die from dehydration.
When water is located closer to home, life changes. Gardens are planted, children are better cared for and can attend school. Women take up ways to earn extra money for their families, through the making of items, selling of food, etc. Waterborne illnesses not only cause sickness but can cause long term physical disabilities. The next generation will not be at risk of these life-changing fears. Livestock will increase and produce more offspring and by-products, whereby providing nutrition to their families. The children can attend school and have a better chance of finding employment when they have an education. Villages take pride in their homes and communities begin to prosper. Poor health is no longer a common occurrence for those within the community.
A severe water crisis was crippling the Wedse community. The 300 residents relied on one hand pump, but this could not supply enough water for everyone. They had to resort to extraordinary measures to find water. The women, who were primarily responsible for water collection, walked three kilometers to collect water from an open, hand-dug well. They drew the water up from the depths of the well using a rope and bucket. It was a slow process, and the women waited in line for hours to have their turn collecting water. Sometimes, they woke up hours before the sun,
walked to the well to claim their place in line, and slept there while they waited for their turn. Then they hauled the heavy load three kilometers back home.
The scarcity of water compelled the community members to limit their usage. They often had to make decisions about whether to use it for drinking, cooking, cleaning, or hygiene. The lack of proper sanitation and hygiene caused illnesses to spread quickly. Furthermore, the water from the open well was itself full of contagions that
caused waterborne illnesses. The residents were suffering daily from the effects of scarce and unsafe water. Tragically, many died from thirst and waterborne illness.
Soon, the community’s situation became all the more dire when many people fleeing terrorist attacks came to live in Wedse. The residents knew that they did not have enough water to sustain themselves and their new neighbors. They began to earnestly seek out help.
The drilling team has set up the rig to being digging the borehole.
The well is complete!
A child drinks clean water for the first time.
Leaders from the local Assembly of God church heard about the work Living Water International was doing in their region. They were filled with
hope and reached out to Living Water Burkina Faso for help. The Living Water staff traveled to Wedse and found that the residents were in
desperate need of safe water. They also determined that the community was ready to steward a safe water source responsibly. The staff announced that they could construct a new safe water well in the community thanks to your generosity, Ingomar Living Waters!
Living Water India returned and began work drilling a borehole 60 meters deep. Once the borehole was complete, they flushed it out to remove sedimentary rock debris, installed PVC casing and a stabilizing gravel pack, and treated the water. They then installed the pump mechanism and poured a concrete well platform. The project was complete!
|TOTAL WATER USERS||300|
|MAIN WATER COLLECTORS||women|
|PUMP TYPE||hand pump|
|PROJECT TYPE||new simple water system|
|DEPTH OF WELL||60 m|
|TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS||247 ppm|
Before this water system, the whole community had only one pump, so it was not easy to get drinking water. Because of the crowds around the pump, many people preferred to walk to a hand-dug well to get water. A lot of illnesses were caused by using this non-potable water. The well was so far that many people had to spend the night next to the well to save their place in line, waiting their turn. It was really painful. The lack of drinking water has caused disease and sometimes even death in both humans and animals. With this new well, we hope to have much more drinking water for the entire population. As the well is located in the center of the community, it will be of great benefit to the entire population. There are many internally displaced people who have fled their villages because of the terrorist attacks and settled in our community. They will also benefit from this gift from God.
Living Water Burkina Faso helped the community to prepare for a future of sustained safe water access and improved health. They guided the residents in forming a water committee, who will oversee the proper use of the well. The water committee will remain in contact with Living Water about the functionality of the pump, and will collect a small monthly fee per household to cover the cost of possible repairs. Now that the community members are invited into the process of stewarding their safe water well, they will find healing and new hope of improved standards of living that they help bring about.
Living Water Burkina Faso taught the community members essential lessons at sanitation and hygiene promotional activities for the community. A total of 300 people benefited from these hands-on and
interactive lessons. First, the participants learned how to use their new pump properly and how to store water in sanitary ways. The staff also taught them how germs and illnesses are spread, and how to prevent this through handwashing. They led a handwashing demonstration and gave the participants a chance to practice.
Living Water Burkina Faso also proclaimed the gospel in the community alongside the pastor of Assembly of God Wedse. They explained how the safe water in the new well symbolizes the living water of Christ. This is based on Jesus’ words 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.” In this way, 300
people received the message of the gospel and were given the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
Ingomar Living Waters, thank you for ending the water crisis in Wedse!
The residents no longer fear water scarcity and other dangers that they once associated with water. Their time and energy have been restored, now that they have safe water just outside their homes. They will no longer be harmed by thirst, waterborne illnesses, and the mental strain of rationing. Now that they have enough water not only for drinking and cooking, but also for sanitation and personal hygiene, patterns of illness will be replaced by long-term health. Living Water Burkina Faso hopes to continue to support the community and plan for additional projects as the community welcomes internally-displaced people. Your generosity has helped the community to find healing and to extend hospitality.
Your gift of safe water not only provides physical healing but also healing for their hearts and spirits. By giving the gift of safe water, you have acted in accordance with the attitude of Jesus Christ, who said in John 10:10 (NIV), “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Thank you for blessing this community with a demonstration of the nature of Christ.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’s name!