Water Is Life

by Marsha Winsryg

The people of Jack Mwanapapa in front of their new well and cistern

I saw the people of the village of Jack Mwanapapa watch the dry season stretch into months without rain, and the Nansazu river, their source of water, slowly dwindle and then disappear, along with their livelihood. Every crop withered and the old fruit orchards began to die. People went into the bush to forage for wild food which also was diminished. Children stopped going to school because there was no money from the sale of their vegetables to pay school fees.

Sydney Mwamba, The AACDP’s general manager who was born in this community, wrote to say that the situation had become a crisis. He sent pictures of a riverbed that was completely dry, of the crops dead in the fields and the haggard faces of people facing an unsure future.

What do you do when a problem is so large that you cannot find a solution? These days, I start a go fund me campaign and that’s what Sydney and I did.We reached out to a world that we hoped cared. Donations started to come in and then one of the donors said that she had access to a family trust and was interested in helping people in developing countries get access to water. A few weeks later a well and a pump were installed. Then it turned out pump and well were not big enough for the whole village. So we went back and campaigned some more to raise money for a second larger system. After nine long months the village of Jack Mwanapapa finally had a water system that was not dependent on the rain fall. 

Sydney described the women gathering at the new well to collect water for the first time. There was silence as one of the women placed a bucket under a spigot and turned it on. Water began to trickle slowly, then faster and then with force as it filled her bucket. There was another moment of silence and then she began to laugh. Another women joined her until all of them were laughing with unrestrained joy.

..And barren grasslands Flourish richly.”Isaiah 35:5 -7

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