Did you know that today is World Water Day? For more than ten years, the United Nations and NGOs worldwide have used March 22 as a day to promote safe, clean water for the estimated 1 BILLION people who have no access to such a basic need, and to enlighten the rest of us about how the contaminated water they drink causes millions to suffer and die from waterborne diseases, parasites and human waste.
Today in this update, Heaven’s Family’s Safe Water Fund focuses on Goma, a city in the Central African nation of DR Congo.
Five years ago, 300,000 inhabited Goma. Today, 1.2 million—a 400% increase—now live there, many as refugees seeking shelter from years of civil war. As a result, many city inhabitants suffer from rampant hunger, homelessness and the unavailability of clean water, something that most of us take for granted.
Most of Goma’s water taps are dry, just one of many infrastructures that have become casualties of government neglect. Most residents are forced to look to nearby Lake Kivu, where they must fill jerry cans with dirty, unfiltered water and carry them back to their homes or shelters. Few have a means of filtration, chlorination, or boiling to purify their water. With unemployment at a staggering 90%, they simply can’t afford it.
But there is hope. Heaven’s Family’s Safe Water Fund has recently provided 10 Sawyer water filters to Goma chaplains who will be strategically using them to provide safe water for their congregations and neighbors. Each filter can effectively remove bacteria, pathogens and debris for as many as one million gallons of water during its expected lifetime. Also, thanks to recent donations, we’ll be installing 3 rainwater collection storage tanks that will provide a reliable supply of water to 90-100 displaced women—most of whom are victims of rape—and their children. Other local church members will benefit also.
Please remember to pray for the suffering people of Goma who don’t yet have access to clean drinking water. Pray also that, through the gift of safe water, our chaplain partners there will be able to open doors in their communities for telling many about Jesus, the One who can provide “safe, living water” for their souls.
Director, Safe Water Fund