The water situation is not good for this community. There are no clean water sources within the area, so they must walk a good distance to a near by pond to collect the water. Water snakes and wild dogs are dangerous and often bite people as they go to collect water. Children are not allowed near the pond because of this. When the water level is low, there is more danger when collecting water, from stingrays, catfish and snakes.
The water is muddy and contaminated, and digestive waterborne diseases are frequent. Many of our children have extended bellies full of parasites. Adults are thin and pale, and suffer from malnutrition. Waterborne illnesses are not limited to the children, as adults are also afflicted.
The San Judas Tadeo community in central Peru is home to 252 residents, all of whom rely on an offshoot of the Ucayali River for their water supply. For decades, the residents depended on the river to provide enough water for their daily needs, including drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Every day the community’s women and children were tasked with gathering water, carrying heavy containers to and from the riverbanks. Not only did this physically strain their muscles, but the route was dangerous — shrubs grew in thick patches on the river’s edge, creating prime spaces for venomous snakes to hide.
A handful of residents suffered from poisonous snake bites while collecting water, sowing fear within the community. Parents worried about sending their children to the river unattended. This threat prompted the community to band together to clear the brush.
However, the river continued to pose a risk to the community. The slow-moving, murky water was teeming with invisible bacteria that brought diseases like cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea to the community. Not to mention, the river’s water levels ebbed and flowed with the seasons, making water access dangerous when currents swelled.
Community leaders knew that a safe and reliable water source would change everything. They began searching for outside help, hoping that a new well would calm their community’s fears, bring about better health, and open new doors for future
The residents began to feel a glimmer of hope when they heard of Living Water International’s work in their region. They requested a new well for their community, and Living Water Peru responded by visiting San Judas Tadeo. When the Living Water team arrived, they saw that the community was in desperate need of a safe water source. They also saw the residents were ready and able to steward a new well. Thanks to your gift, Ingomar Living Waters, the team was able to announce that a well would be drilled in San Judas Tadeo.
Living Water returned with a drilling rig, drilling 75 meters to access an aquifer of safe water. They then installed a PVC pipe, gravel pack, and sanitary seal. The team treated the well with a shock chlorination and tested the water to ensure its safety. It proved to be safe for drinking. Finally, the Living Water team installed a hand pump and poured a concrete base to wick away excess water. The new well was complete!
TOTAL WATER USERS: 252
MAIN WATER COLLECTORS: women and children
PUMP TYPE: hand pump
PROJECT TYPE: new simple water system
DEPTH OF WELL: 75 m
WATER QUALITY TESTS
TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS: 194 ppm
HARDNESS: 0 ppm
COLIFORM BACTERIA: absent
These Residents Serve as the
Community’s Water Committee.
Nora Shares How the Water Crisis Has Impacted Her Personally.
The Living Water staff helped the San Judas Tadeo community establish sustainability practices to help ensure a future of safe water access. As part of this goal, the staff guided the residents in the appointment of a water committee who will oversee the care and maintenance of the well. Living Water trained the water committee to care for the well on a day-to-day basis, set an operating budget, and follow a maintenance schedule. The Living Water Peru staff will stay in contact with the committee to
support sustainability efforts and monitor the well’s functionality. The San Judas Tadeo residents are proud to be a part of creating proactive, sustainable solutions for their community.
My nephew came to live with me one summer to help with the farming
because I am a widow. One morning my nephew went to the river to collect
water for us to make breakfast. I always told him to collect water carefully,
but when he didn’t return home quickly, I was scared and ran to the pond. I
found my nephew screaming in pain—he had suffered a venomous snake bite.
I ran for help and found a neighbor willing to take him to the closest doctor,
which was three kilometers away. Thank God the doctor was able to help,
because I cannot afford medicine on my own.
Living Water facilitated sanitation and hygiene promotion activities in order to help the community members learn how to use the safe water you gave them to improve their health. This series of lessons used a variety of visual aids, demonstrations, and hands-on activities to engage the participants.
During these lessons, the Living Water staff showed the residents how to care for the hand pump and safely store the water. They also taught effective handwashing technique, giving the residents the opportunity to practice using a “tippy tap,” a rudimentary water-saving device. The participants learned that handwashing is the first defense in disease prevention.
Living Water staff held a well dedication service to celebrate the completion of the well. At the service, 32 members of the community heard the gospel in an outpouring of God’s living water. The residents
learned that Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman in John 4:13-14 (NIV) were also for them:
“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.”
Everyone prayed over the well, asking that God use it to bless the community. Twenty pieces of gospel literature were given to the residents to keep as gifts.
Ingomar Living Waters, your gift has changed the lives of the 252 members of the San Judas Tadeo community. With safe water at their fingertips, residents no longer have to fear the hazards of the river and rest assured that their water is free from disease.
Psalm 34:4-5 (NIV) says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
These words reflect the hope of San Judas Tadeo residents, brought to them through your gift. Now, whenever they collect water, they will be reminded of God’s provision for the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name!