Imagine you wake up, shuffle into the bathroom, turn the handle in the shower, and then … nothing. No water comes from the faucet. What do you do?
You call the plumber.
Now, imagine you live in a small village in Africa. You wake up and walk an hour to the well that holds the only clean water source for miles. You fill your vessel and slowly carry it back home. Then you turn around and walk the same path back to the well. You do this morning after morning, all for enough safe water to last the day.
Most of us don’t worry about whether the water we use is clean or safe. For many in the developing world, finding a life-giving water source is a real challenge … with life-and-death consequences.
Cross International believes that water is life. We know that not only is a clean water source essential, but so is education around proper hygiene, sanitation practices, and equipment so the water remains clean from source to stomachs.
We are committed to working with our local ministry partners to do the hard work needed to solve these problems. One hundred percent of our clean water programs incorporate WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) training to make sure local people know how to handle clean water appropriately. We also develop local leadership’s commitment to the ongoing monitoring and upkeep of the project’s work.
In the Eastern Province of Zambia, Africa, Cross International and Kachere Development Programme (KDP) partnered to provide a bore hole for access to clean water in the village. To avoid the underlying issues of illness that stem from contaminated water, we also established the Village WASH (VWASH) program to train local leaders on health and hygiene. Leaders take what they learn and bring ownership and knowledge of best practices to their community so clean water remains sustainable.
The training covers:
- The importance of keeping the borehole surroundings clean
- Diseases caused by drinking dirty water
- The value of good hygiene and sanitation
- Basic maintenance of the borehole
- Income-generating business ideas related to the sustainability of the borehole maintenance
- Roles of the WASH committee members
- Biblical principles of the Water for Life Project
With our partner, KDP, we continue to identify remote villages that have no clean water options other than an open pit or river often contaminated and shared with animals. We rely on local information when deciding to invest into a new community well, and self-help groups formed by women in the rural villages help select well and borehole locations. More villages are reached, more villages and lives are served.
In Zambia, our partnership with KDP has impacted 22,200 households with access to clean, safe and sufficient drinking water. We equipped 780 VWASH committee members with knowledge on health, water and sanitation. Through increased media visibility of the program, 62,000 people have received health education information through community awareness meetings and radio programmes in five chiefdoms of Chipata Kasenengwa and Chipangali District of Eastern Province. Without the task of fetching water for hours a day, thousands of mothers have time for activities that could help their households survive and children can remain in school.
Where water flows, so does opportunity. For so many vulnerable families around the world, getting clean water isn’t as easy as turning on the faucet. With ongoing support from our generous donors, we can help our local ministry partners transform lives from deepest need into thriving joy with clean, life-giving water.