Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Provide Clean Drinking Water for Children in Uganda

“Here in Uganda, 28 million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water. And this lack of clean water for drinking and bathing has a profound impact on families — preventing them from lifting themselves out of poverty. Additionally, since families must spend so much of their time and energy searching for sources of clean water, children are often pulled out of school in order to help search for and fetch water. When they do find water, often it is from surface sources such as ponds, rivers and lakes. These sources are often watering holes for livestock, downhill from latrines, and catchments for mudslide debris. All of these contribute to contaminants that can cause life-threatening illnesses such as diarrhea, holera, dysentery and hepatitis.”


“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”

Benjamin Franklin

New gutters are needed to transport water to the water tanks.

I hope that you and your loved ones are well — staying healthy and safe. This month marks a year since the COVID pandemic began to have a deep impact on so many around the world. But instead of focusing on the effect of the virus, I would rather draw attention to the effect your continued generosity has had on our work among the poor and those in need. Because of you and your ongoing financial support — especially during the past twelve months — our Missionaries have been able to continue providing basic living necessities such as food, water, clothing, medical care, education and pastoral care to needy men, women and children throughout Africa. For all that you have done, thank you!

I also want to share with you a letter I received a few weeks ago from Sr. Resty Namugerwa — a Missionary Sister working in Masaka, Uganda, in East Africa. Sr. Resty is the director of the Holy Family Center that provides outreach for orphans and poor children in the community. In her letter, Sr. Resty explains the crisis that is currently making life so incredibly challenging for the children as well as for the Sisters.

A water tank which needs to be replaced.

“Having access to clean water continues to be a significant problem for us,” Sr. Resty explains. “Here in Uganda, 28 million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water. And this lack of clean water for drinking and bathing has a profound impact on families — preventing them from lifting themselves out of poverty. Additionally, since families must spend so much of their time and energy searching for sources of clean water, children are often pulled out of school in order to help search for and fetch water. When they do find water, often it is from surface sources such as ponds, rivers and lakes. These sources are often watering holes for livestock, downhill from latrines, and catchments for mudslide debris. All of these contribute to contaminants that can cause life-threatening illnesses such as diarrhea, holera, dysentery and hepatitis.” Over 70% of all diseases treated in Uganda stem directly from issues related to a lack of clean water,” her letter continues. “For the sake of our children here, it is a crisis we must address!”

Students carrying water from the dam.

“The community has come together to see what we can do to construct a water harvesting system — saving rainwater from the seasonal rains and storing it for use during the dry seasons. But while everyone here is willing to provide labor for the project (digging the foundation for the storage tanks, making bricks, mixing concrete, etc.), we still need financial help purchasing the water storage tanks as well as the pipes, valves and other components. Is there some way you can assist us — for the sake of our children?”

You and I both know that without clean water — life stops. That is why it is critical that we do everything we can to conserve the water we have. At home, we can make sure we only run a washing machine when it has a full load. We can also choose to take a shower instead of a bath — saving as much as 45 gallons of water at a time. What a difference!

I also hope that you will send a donation to help the children and Sisters at the mission in Masaka get the clean water they urgently need. While my hope is that we can raise at least $42,000 for this and other water projects throughout East Africa, please know that any donation you send will help our Missionaries continue providing life-changing care for those in need. Quite simply, any amount you are able to send helps in some way.

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development