Cool, Clear Water

Most people in developed countries live with the miracle of immediate access to cool, clear, potable water. It is available on-demand, all day every day and all night every night. It is as close as the nearest faucet. For most of us that distance is measure in a matter of a few feet. We have become so accustomed to this miracle that we have come to regard it as commonplace, even as a natural entitlement.

The FH clean water well is making an enormous difference for the Piswa community.

This FH clean water well is making an enormous difference for the Piswa community.

The truth is, however, that millions of people around the world have never experienced this miracle in either their homes or their communities. For us, a drink of cool, clear water is a matter of a twist of the wrist. Yet for those other millions, access to a drink of cool, clear water can be a matter of life or death.

A matter of life or death

We need to have water to keep our bodies hydrated. But the problem is much greater than simply having access to water. That water has to be safe to drink. In some places outside of the U.S., people may have access to water, but drinking from the available supply of water could – and does – cause serious sickness and even death.

When water is scarce, the bodily need for water is so great that the people will settle for dirty water. Depending upon the degree of scarcity, people will even fight and be willing to die for a drink of the very water that may eventually kill them anyway. It is that important.

Sarah Kokop is happy with the clean water the well provides her family.

Sarah Kokop is happy with the clean water the well provides her family.

The Piswa water project

Food for the Hungry (FH) assists communities in developing nations that do not have the luxury of immediate access to clean water. We heard from one of those communities in Uganda recently. The Piswa community wrote to thank us for our help installing a well that now serves their 400 people and 60 households.

Anio Kingo is collecting clean, cool water from the well also.

Anio Kingo is collecting clean, cool water from the well also.

Prior to FH’s intervention, the people of Piswa and the larger community of Benet (of which Piswa is a part) suffered from diseases like typhoid and chronic diarrhea. Although previously dug wells were accessible, the water was neither plentiful nor clean. Surface water infiltrated and contaminated the old wells. In the dry season, the women would wait impatiently for their opportunity to draw a cupful at a time to fill their larger household containers. Knowing their needs at home, feeling the frustrations of having to endure the tedium of waiting, and having their own family’s needs as their priority, created tensions that almost inevitably led to idle gossip and brewed conflict.

For them, getting water was not a convenience. It was a struggle.

Irene Kingo Draws Clean, Cool Water from the Well.

Irene Kingo Draws Clean, Cool Water from the Well.

Things are different now.

One of the newly constructed wells is named after the Kingo family, who live closest to that well. Irene Kingo told us that, “I no longer take a lot of time in the well fetching water and, hence, carry on more extra duties in my home. People in the community do not become sick due to water borne diseases (as often) as before.” There are also no more conflicts at the well where cool, clear water is now readily available.

Because of people like you, FH has been able to contribute to the construction of 14 new wells in the community. They may not have running water in their homes, but they are a step closer with access to clean water sources nearby. On behalf of Irene and her husband, Anio, “Thank you for making these wells possible.”

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