Further Report on Water Projectby Fr. John Eaton, OFM on 01/23/18
As you may know, for the past two years, the Franciscans of Sacred Heart Province have been raising money to dig wells in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is an update on that project.
The first two wells were completed in the villages of Mulenga and Kienge. Each well uses a solar-powered controller and consists of four large reservoir tanks. Pipes run from the well to a 4-spigot watering station.
More recently, a third well was completed in the village of Kabinda-Kyolokosa. If you want to see a video of what your contribution has done, please click on this link:
The excitement of the children when they saw running water in their village for the first time is truly heart-warming.
The friars of the DRC recently asked us to help with two new projects. In the village of Kibwe, the outdated well is run by a generator—much less reliable and much more expensive than a solar controller. Also, there is virtually no storage capacity, so water is not readily available throughout the day. We have sent funds to upgrade this well.
The village of Lukonzolwa is in an area where the ground is too rocky to drill for a well. In the past, water was delivered by a series of pipes running from the mountains. When armed conflict broke out in the region several years ago, the pipes were either stolen or destroyed. We have sent funds to restore the water delivery system.
Friar Jean-Marie Mufeji writes: “Indeed, your financial aid…has produced very great fruits! Drinking water is already flowing into our village; it will significantly reduce the waterborne diseases that are endemic in our region and, the painful life of our mothers and girls will considerably improve.” In another e-mail he writes: “your generosity manifested in this past year has effectively supported our apostolate and saved thousands human lives! Thank God !!!”
This month, the friars in the DRC have asked for assistance in digging wells in two more villages, Kilumba and Mwemena—though work on those projects can’t begin until the rainy season is over. By the time those two wells are completed, we will have exhausted our resources and the project will come to an end.
On behalf of the friars and the people of the DRC, I extend thanks to all our many donors and supporters.
Peace and every good,
Fr. John Eaton, OFM