CLEAN WATER - DETAILS
the need for wells
The government defines many villages in the Deep Forest as "no-go" areas. They are accessible only by narrow winding roads, which are impassable during the rainy season. Their water source is usually a pond, creek or river that is often an hour or more away by foot. These bodies of water often serve for bathing, washing laundry, and are usually shared with animals.
Not only is the water contaminated, but also retrieving it has its perils. Poisonous snakes live in the brush. Evil men have been known to hide along the way, waiting to attack the innocent. When wives and daughters return from the tedious journey of carrying the water, their husbands and fathers have abused them because it took so long. Most young children do not know how to swim, yet are responsible to collect water for their families. We often hear about children drowning.
We are raising funds to drill wells at each of our Deep Forest church plants, making fresh water available to anyone, no matter their caste. The wells' presence provides a building block for future involvement in the community by our churches. The results are invaluable. Time is freed up for mothers to be at home with their families or to learn a vocation. Children can spend more time in school and focus on education rather than survival. Quality of life rises throughout the village because of better hygiene.
A new sense of dignity comes to the village and people invariably come to Christ as a result. After opening a well in a village of 700 people, an elderly widow said, "I thought I would never live to see water in my village, but your God is great for He provided us fresh water to drink...".
Criteria for well selection
- An advance team, which includes our Deep Forest pastors, identifies the need. They look at how far the villagers have to travel to fetch water, the quality of the water, the population of surrounding villages and the existence of schools and medical clinics in the area.
- Where there is no church, someone in the community must donate a plot of land for use.
- Each well must freely serve those of the lower castes, regardless of gender, religion or tribe.
- There must be wholehearted participation and ownership by the receiving community. A water usage committee is set up to ensure free access and maintenance of the pumps and casings.
It begins with a survey to establish criteria. A hydrological survey is next, followed by a test drill. If positive, the well is drilled, casings fitted, a cement platform poured and the head installed. At the opening ceremony we invite villagers, local pastors and the leaders of the community. One of our pastors gives a message about taking responsibility for the well, invites everyone to drink regardless of religion, tribe or caste, offers a prayer of blessing and then turns the well over to the village in Jesus' name.
Depending on depth, the cost to drill a well in the Deep Forest varies from $3620 to $3840. A typical breakdown looks like this:
Soil Test: $100 PVC Pipes (210 Feet): $420
Drilling and fixing charges: $1740 Hand Pump: $250
Transportation: $430 Cement: $200
Casing (280 feet): $560 Miscellaneous $50
To provide a village with free, clean water, visit our donate page.