How do you tell people they can't have water?
It is H.O.T. here in Malawi right now. It’s the dry season. We are waiting for the rains, to both quench the dry air, and quench the dry ground. The importance of water is obvious. As obvious as the drops of sweat beading down my face each day and night. With little relief from the heat, I drink as much water as I can to try and stay cool and hydrated.
But this isn’t possible for all Malawians. In our community of Luhomero, thousands don’t have water near their huts, and even if they do, it often is just a hand dug hole made out of desperation.
This week we will begin the process of boring 3 wells! Bringing water! Bringing life! To THREE clusters of villages in our community of 5,000.
… However … on Friday, we had some concerning news.
From Julie Seath, on location in Luhomero, Malawi ….
It is HOT. Blistering HOT here. With the sun directly overhead most of the day, and no shadows cast by the bare trees, it is difficult to find even the slightest relief from the heat. It is the driest and hottest time of year here right now. I drink a ton of water every day, and have very little output (sorry for the TMI). That’s how hot it is here! And how desperately needed water is. People are out starting to till their land in preparation for planting for the rainy season. In this sweltering heat. Water is a MUST! And most don’t have any close to home. Thousands have to walk up to a kilometre each way for water, multiple times a day, to fill their buckets for washing, cleaning, drinking and bathing. Out of desperation, many have dug holes by hand, beside their huts. This water is dirty and contaminated, but is still used out of desperation, and with no other option.
In 2016 the LAV team of girls censused Luhomero and found a cluster of villages desperate for water. They are atop a mountain in the back of Luhomero’s mountain range, with no borehole anywhere nearby. They use a hand dug hole to scoop water from. It is dirty. It is contaminated.
This September, RDP’s committees in Luhomero jointly chose this as one of three areas to benefit from a borehole for 2019.
The RDP team and I have just travelled in our Hilux up a mountain to visit them. Our path is edged by a sheer cliff to the valley below on our left, and crevices all the way up. Before we can get to them, our road ends. A narrow path winds back down the other side, to the place where the little huts are scattered. But, we can go no further.
Concern fills our minds realizing that the drilling rigs likely won’t make it up this mountain, nor get beyond the road’s end to the area where they need to bore the hole. This cluster of villages may not end up being able to have water. Ever? Our vehicle is filled will despair, tears (by me) and broken hearts for these people. We want to help, but might not be able to. Khezzie and Blessings gotten out of the truck and have begun their decent down the mountain side to deliver the news.
I have no words to describe the feelings inside our truck. Helpless to help.
How do you tell people you can’t give them water?
It should be so simple.
AN HOUR LATER
Upon Khezzie and Blessing’s return, we learn from the villagers that there is possibly one other route that might be accessible by the rigs. Khezzie will go to the area by motorbike, with a driller to both assess the route we took, and scope out the potential other route. Let’s pray a way can be found. To have the hope of clean water dashed is unimaginable.