Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clean Drinking Water for Yongmondere, CAR

Along the main dirt road from Cameroon to Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), sits the village of Yongmondere, home to some two hundred people. Until now their only source of water has been a little spring where the water trickled out in several places. It took a long time and a lot of patience for villagers to fill a small container.  For over a year, the village chief of Yongmondere has been asking the Lutheran Water Management Project (Known as PASE for its French acronym) for help with potable water in his village.


Last week, PASE began construction of a spring box in Yongmondere and finished the work in less than a week.  The work went faster than expected partly because the women of the village helped by carrying the sand and rocks to the spring on their heads.  The villagers are very pleased with the results.  The concrete slab and pipe make it is much easier and cleaner for them to fill their buckets. Managing the spring increased the available flow to over 8 gallons per minute. This means they can now fill a 5 gallon bucket in less than a minute. 


Sustainable development projects such as this–the spring box has no moving parts and will require no repairs perhaps for decades–help improve the lives and the health of villagers for years to come.  For only $5 per person, the village has a sustainable supply of potable water for the foreseeable future. 


The advance team from PASE has now left to begin work on two springs near Bohong, located in northwestern CAR where many internally displaced persons and returned refugees have settled, after the violence and insecurity of the past several years seems to be over.  Bohong is about 4 hours northeast of our office, so logistics are a bit more complicated as cement and wood for formwork are not locally available.


Our work is supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) through their Global Mission and World Hunger Fund programs.  To find out how you can help, contact Rev. Twila Schock, Global Mission and Development Services, 8765 West Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631.  Or e-mail her at  Checks may be made out to ELCA.


Joe Troester

Baboua, Central African Republic


Photo: Woman and her daughter collecting water from newly constructed spring box in Yongmondere, Central African Republic (after the concrete cures, the extra long pipe coming out of the spring box will be trimmed.)


Joe and Deborah Troester are ELCA missionaries in Baboua, the Central African Republic.   Joe serves as technical advisor for PASE, which provides clean drinking water and promotes good hygiene and sanitation to villagers.  Pastor Deborah teaches at the Theological School in Baboua. Their daughter, Christa, attends Rain Forest International School in Yaounde, Cameroon.


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