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Eugene First

© 2020 Eugene First Church of the Nazarene. By Eugene First

Fresh Water Wells

Fresh Water Wells Fresh water wells save lives. In Malawi, there is a common saying, "clean...

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Fresh Water Wells

Fresh water wells save lives.

In Malawi, there is a common saying, “clean water is life”. In most of the villages in Malawi, people do not have clean water. When you walk through a village, you will often see a stream of water flowing through the village center. Cows, chickens, goats and pigs all drink from this water. Baths are taken in this water. Laundry is washed in this water. Often, the water is filled with human waste from the villages upstream. More often than not, this is the only water people have access to. When no wells are present, the only option is to go looking for one.

Every morning around 4am, the trek for water begins. Women and girls will walk long distances, carrying 20-30L buckets on their heads, all to find clean water. The journey to get water takes the women through dangerous places, and as a result, they are often raped and abused by men along the way. It is not their choice, but they are taken advantage of simply because of the distance they must walk. Not only does this increase the spread of HIV and AIDS, but if one of those girls happens to become pregnant, she will no longer be allowed to come to school.

The lack of fresh water wells creates problems that ripple, affecting .

Fresh water wells save lives.

In Malawi, there is a common saying, “clean water is life”. In most of the villages in Malawi, people do not have clean water. When you walk through a village, you will often see a stream of water flowing through the village center. Cows, chickens, goats and pigs all drink from this water. Baths are taken in this water. Laundry is washed in this water. Often, the water is filled with human waste from the villages upstream. More often than not, this is the only water people have access to. When no wells are present, the only option is to go looking for one.

Every morning around 4am, the trek for water begins. Women and girls will walk long distances, carrying 20-30L buckets on their heads, all to find clean water. The journey to get water takes the women through dangerous places, and as a result, they are often raped and abused by men along the way. It is not their choice, but they are taken advantage of simply because of the distance they must walk. Not only does this increase the spread of HIV and AIDS, but if one of those girls happens to become pregnant, she will no longer be allowed to come to school.

The lack of fresh water wells creates problems that ripple, affecting .

In most of the villages of Malawi, people do not have clean water. We always say, “clean water is life.” When you walk through the villages, you will see a stream of water. When you look at that water, you will see that it is not good water. Cows, goats, chickens and pigs will all drink from this water. Pigs will bathe themselves in the water too. Laundry is sometimes done in this same water. Even adults and children will take baths in this water. This water flows from other places, and you don’t know what others have done with this same water upstream. The water is often filled with human waste. One of the wells planted by our church is the same place where 6 children died because of cholera, which is a water-borne disease. When we plant a church in a village, why can’t we provide them with water too?
When you provide a village with a boho, it serves their women and girls. In Malawi, it is the women and girls who walk for long distances to get water. You will never see a man carrying a 20-30L bucket of water to the homes. It is always the women. They will always carry them on their heads. But the women will always carry them, and sometimes they’re raped. They must get up at 4am and walk through dangerous places to get water. People often talk about the spread of HIV and AIDs in Africa. But they do not realize it is because the women must walk long distances to get water. It is not their choice, but men take advantage of the long distances these women must walk to get water. People will talk about the orphan crisis in Africa. They say there are too many children. But what they don’t know is that it is often because their parents will die from HIV and AIDs that is spread because their parents were raped. People talk about how young girls in Africa are often married too young. They will drop out of school and get married at a very early age. It is because they are abused by men on these long walks. They are raped, and will often become pregnant. If a girl is pregnant, she is now no longer allowed to be in school. You can not come to school in that form. When you provide a village with water, you save the lives of the women, and you save the lives of the girls.
When people are coming to draw water from wells planted by this church (our church), they call it “Nazarene water.” And when they draw it, they say, “this is holiness water.” The church in Malawi, and as the church of the Nazarene, we believe in holiness. That’s why you always see holiness written on our chitenges (colorful wraps worn by the women). This belief that they are drinking holy water has drawn many to the church.
“I remember one chief, in one village, decided to join the church of the Nazarene because the chief believed that he is a chief because of the people. Now, his people were dying because of waterborne diseases, but the church brought water to the community. Now we say, ‘If evil spirits – if the living dead – do not provide water, and God, through the church, has provided water to my community, and I am a chief because of the people, I am a pastor in my country, I am a pastor because of the people that I pastor.
Now the chief said, “if the church has provided water, I will join this church. Because it lets me have healthy people in my community.”
One well costs $4,000. One $4,000 boho saves the lives of women and girls in the villages that our friends in Malawi live in. One well goes 60 metres deep. The wells do not belong to the church, but the entire community and anyone who is in need.