The Kebeneti SDA Dispensary in Kericho, Kenya has been providing much-needed healthcare services to the people living in this underserved area of rural Kenya since 1966. But until recently, the doctors and staff managed to get by without a reliable supply of fresh water. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to install a pipeline from a nearby uncontaminated source.
This fall, we took the next step by installing a solar water heating system to provide hot water, so the doctors and staff have hot water when showering and washing their hands, and to aid in keeping the dispensary more sanitary.
As noted by dispensary manager Titus Korir, “Solar power is a cheap source of energy which can be sustained for a long time.”
Life is hard for the nomadic people struggling to survive in the arid Afar region of Ethiopia. For generations, they have managed to be able to keep themselves and their cattle alive in the drought-prone region. But this year’s severe drought is the worst these people have seen in their lifetime.
“By now the number of drought victims in Ethiopia has reached 7.8 million people suffering from widespread drought,” reported Yimer Mohammed, Director of the Yeteem Children and Destitute Mothers Fund, our long-time partner.
The severity of the drought has prompted Mr. Mohammed to make an urgent request for emergency drought food aid citing crop failure and food shortages “which aggravates the vulnerability of household livelihood through the devastation of livestock resources.”
And we could not refuse his request for funding for wheat flour, vegetable oil, biscuits and rice which will go towards sustaining an estimated 12,000 children, women and men on the brink of death during this period of extreme hardship – and thanks to our supporters, we did not have to.
A serious drought is having “immense impact” on people’s lives and livelihoods in Ethiopia, stated a United Nation Emergency Relief Coordinator who visited the country in January.
The UN News Service reported that Ethiopian farmers are “still living on the brink…and struggling to sustain themselves and their families. Farmers are already fleeing their homes in search of water.”
And this is the case in a region of the country known as Kombolcha.
“Tragic,” you might say to yourself in sympathy for those affected. “But what can I do?”
For one thing, you can participate in the Bread and Water for Africa® Generosity Series 5K to be held Sunday, June 11, at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC. At only 3.1 miles, the event accommodates runners of all ages and abilities, walkers and the differently-abled as well.
Our mission has long included bringing clean, safe water to those communities in Africa most in need.
Through the 5K run/walk, Bread and Water for Africa® is hoping to make our goal of $11,500 to dig a water well in a region of the country known as Kombolcha. The well would serve an estimated 130 families – each with an average of six family members – providing water to 780 children, women and men.
“Woha hiyiweti newi” means “Water is life” in the Amharic language spoken in Kombolcha. The “Woha (Water ) for Kombolcha” 5K will help us in our mission to give water, and indeed life, to families in Ethiopia.
As the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator stated after seeing the dire situation in the country, “We need to act now before it’s too late. “We have no time to lose.”
For more information on the “Woha (Water ) for Kombolcha” 5K Run/Walk, or sign up to participate, please click here.
Access to clean, safe and unpolluted water is a valuable commodity in many places in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 90 percent of all serious illnesses in Africa can be linked to contaminated water and poor sanitation.
For decades, Bread and Water for Africa® has made providing access to clean water a key priority by digging wells, ensuring that thousands in the surrounding community no longer have to walk miles fetching water, and literally risking their lives drinking it.
Such was the case in the community of Rutile in Sierra Leone where years ago, working our local partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, we were able to fund the construction of a well on the grounds of an orphanage providing safe water for all.
But that was before the mining operation “whose activities have resulted in the pollution of all source of drinking water” arrived, we were told by FHDO Executive Director Rev. Francis Mambu.
Sierra Leone is one of the leading producers of bauxite, an aluminum ore and the world’s main source of aluminum, and nearby mining operations have caused the water to be unusable.
However, there is hope. It is possible that with a processing plant, the contaminated water in the well can be filtered and packaged into what are known in the country as plastic “sachets” which can contain between 8 and 12 ounces of water.
“These sachets are commonly bought and sold in all of the markets and streets throughout the country,” said Rev. Mambu who is proposing, with the support of Bread and Water for Africa®, to construct such a plant to not only restore access to safe, unpolluted drinking water for the community, but also provide a means of support to the orphanage where the well is located.
“From all indications, this project will be a lucrative one that will greatly sustain itself due to the demands of clean water in our mining communities, especially now that the dry season is about to begin,” Rev. Mambu told us.
The estimated cost for the processing plant is $16,000, and we at Bread and Water for Africa® are committed to supporting the project in the knowledge that not only will the processing plant restore safe water to those in the village of Rutile, it will also provide much-needed income to the orphanage so that orphaned children in the community will have a home to go to for years to come when there is nowhere else for them to turn.
There is nothing we like more at Bread and Water for Africa® than to see a project we have funded come to fruition and be successful.
Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre’s first fish harvest.
Such is the case of the fish farm we constructed for the Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre in Zambia. For the past year, we have worked with our partner there Angela Miyanda from when she first proposed the project which would provide thousands of fish for the children of the orphanage as well as generate a self-sustaining revenue source for Kabwata by selling thousands more annually.
Zambians love fish, eating it every day for at least one meal, and tilapia is among the most popular as it is fast-growing, and tasty.
Today, we have come from when a tilapia farm was just a dream in Angela’s mind to the reality of the first harvest with 70 percent being sold to stores in the capital city of Lusaka, and the other 30 percent set aside for the children.
In just a few months, the small tilapia fry have grown to full size and Angela’s crew have been able to harvest them from the two ponds as they prepare for the next batch.
Angela, who also oversees a banana plantation which supplies bananas to the orphans as well as generating a revenue stream for the orphanage, told us at the time of the construction of the fish ponds that “depending on the outcome of the fish project, we may shift into full time fish farming as it is proving to be less labor intensive.”
She also noted that Zambia has been blessed with many rivers and lakes stocked with a lot of fish, however due economic challenges facing the country people are taking fish of all sizes with no exceptions for the smallest ones who have not attained full size.
Even with a ban that is imposed on Zambians from December to March every year that is designed to help the fish breed, it does not help as many continue to harvest fish illegally, Angela told us.
“Fish farming is new for Zambia,” she said, adding “The community is excited with fish farming because it will be sold in the local community.”
As we seek to do with all our partners, by providing funding for capital projects such as fish farming ponds, we are leading them on a path to self-sufficiency, not perpetual reliance.
And thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide the seed money for the ponds which will provide great returns for the children of Kabwata for many years to come.