Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Bring Water to the Nioro Region

First of all, I want to thank you for your past support of our missionaries and the people they serve in cities, towns, villages, and rural communities throughout Africa. Without your generosity and willingness to share with those who are less fortunate, we would not be able to provide those who are suffering with the necessities every human being needs. Your kindness has helped them not just to survive, but to know hope for a better life. Your goodness makes our world a better place!

 

 


 

First of all, I want to thank you for your past support of our missionaries and the people they serve in cities, towns, villages, and rural communities throughout Africa. Without your generosity and willingness to share with those who are less fortunate, we would not be able to provide those who are suffering with the necessities every human being needs. Your kindness has helped them not just to survive, but to know hope for a better life. Your goodness makes our world a better place!

I also want you to know how critical your continued support is in helping African people build better lives for themselves. In so many ways, your partnership helps families who desperately want to stand on their own become independent and self-sustaining. I was reminded of this recently when I received a letter from one of our missionaries, Fr. Alick Mwamba, who is working in the Nioro region of Mali in West Africa. Fr. Alick is the pastor of Our Lady of Fatima mission in northwestern Mali.

“Nioro is a desertic place,” Fr. Alick writes. Things are so dry that because of little rainfall only sparse vegetation grows or — as is often the case — no vegetation at all. “We are in the northwestern part of Mali — nearly 280 miles from Bamako the capital city and about 40 miles from the border of Mauritania. It is a very hot and dusty place . . . and temperatures can easily reach 115 degrees in the shade.”

“If and when it does rain, the rainy season is short . . . from July to September. Because of this, every year we are faced with drought and famine in the region. Needless to say, water is a big problem here in Nioro.”

“The mission was founded in 1960,” he continues, “and this house was built in 1970. That was when the water system was installed. Because water is so scarce, borehole wells (wells that are drilled deep into the earth to tap into a water table far below the surface) are essential for survival. But even though we have a borehole well, water storage tanks are still a necessity. Throughout the decades, though, the original metal water tank that was installed in 1970 has been weakening from rust. Just this year, we have needed to have the tank welded three times, cleaned, and painted. Still, because it is so old, there are other holes which come and the tank continues to leak. Also from time to time, insects as well as rats, bats, small birds and lizards in search of water are able to get into the tank where they die and rot.”

“When water comes out it has a bad smell,” he explains, “so it has now been quite a long time since we stopped drinking water from our tank or even using it for bathing. Sometimes we have to drive more than 90 miles to the next mission to fetch water for drinking. We have no water for gardening or growing vegetables — and it since water is scarce in the entire region, it is very hard to find vegetables anywhere.”

“Even though the people here are very poor,” his letter concludes, “they have donated more than $200 towards the purchase of new water storage tanks. That is an incredible amount for them! They are also doing all of the labor themselves. They are determined to do as much as they possibly can on their own — but they do need help. I am praying that you can give them the extra support they need to purchase the water storage tanks.”

My friend, you and I both know how valuable and precious water is! Protecting it and taking steps to conserve water are things we all need to do every chance we get. In our own homes, we can make sure that we replace leaking or dripping faucets. We can make sure that we don’t let the water just “run” unless there is a container to save it. Try saving the water that is “running until it gets hot” to be used for drinking or for water houseplants. Small efforts like these can make a huge difference.

At the same time, the people in Fr. Alick’s mission also need our help! While my hope is that we can raise at least $38,000 to provide water storage tanks for the mission in Mali as well as assist our other missions throughout West Africa, please know that any amount you can send will be a source of hope to those who are struggling to stand on their own. As I said at the beginning of my letter, it is your continued generosity that makes our work among the poor and needy possible. Your kindness and caring help to make the world a better place.

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle

Director of Development