By now you know the story of how Water is Basic came into being. Our work has always been a local solution, birthed from decades of war, by a visionary meeting of key religious leaders in South Sudan. The goal from day one has been to provide clean safe water to as many people as fast as possible. Clean water is more than basic, it is essential to life itself. When scarce, it steals the very life of a nation by zapping a family’s ability to become economically independent, educated and a productive part of society. Clean water is basic, dirty water is apocalyptic.
It really is that simple.
I wish I could tell you that we have eliminated the clean water issue in South Sudan but that would be silly. Clean water is a constant task. Here in the United States billions are spent annually to collect, clean and deliver water to our homes and businesses. It is a never ending task. Take a look at Flint, Michigan or the central valley in California to get a feel for what a lack of safe water can mean, here in our own backyard.
Simply put, Water is Basic is constantly at work helping local communities establish what we enjoy and so often take for granted: a regular supply of safe clean water.
For more than a decade now we have been burning through drill bits and diesel while drilling more than 500 sustainable water wells. Along the way, we added a land cruiser pickup and developed a pretty efficient rapid response team for repairing and putting back into action old but still useable water wells.
Our local sustainable experience has opened the door to bringing our expertise to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Kibumba, DRC we have established a very effective water committee from a cross-section of the more than 30,000 inhabitants, who have worked diligently to provide clean safe water to all 5,000 households. This is a place where it rains a lot but the deep volcanic rock precludes drilling boreholes. Recently, we completed the intense training and distribution to every single household of a Sawyer water filter. These little super powered filters remove 99.999% of the pathogens that make people sick and so often lead to death. 99.999%!
Now we have Beatrice, a mother of 10 and bundle of energy and hope who just happens to be World Wildlife Federation trained in building cement rain catchment systems. Beatrice is leading the way to building enough catchment systems to provide water 365 days per year for this entire community!
STOP! Given your understanding of dirty water, just enjoy this accomplishment for a few minutes. WE DID THIS! YOU DID THIS! This merry band of community members has chosen a solution, implemented it with diligence and precision and now ALL are drinking clean water.
It’s important to remember that their solution is funded by us. Our collective contributions are the catalyst to their ongoing water solutions. Thank you for being a source of life, over and over again.
We will be working on these rain catching cisterns for years, they simply cost too much to build all at once. We will work towards another pickup in South Sudan and another complete drilling rig. We will continue to raise money and distribute Sawyer filters during this excruciatingly painful season in South Sudan’s history.
We will carry on because of you. Now would you take a moment to recommit to our work financially? Your regular support is essential. Secondly, would you share this work with one other person you know who would love an opportunity to save lives too? Feel free to introduce us, Im always free for coffee or lunch.
Thank you and happy new year, it’s going to be a good one!