Sunday, September 26, 2010

Digging Sand from a River Bed for Clean Water, Bohong, CAR

Last week, the Lutheran Water Management Project (known as PASE for its French acronym) began construction of three spring boxes in Bohong, located in northwestern Central African Republic. After the violence and insecurity of the past several years, many internally displaced persons and returned refugees have settled in this region.  Bohong is about 5 hours northeast of our office, so logistics are a bit complicated as cement and wood for formwork are not locally available.


We needed sand to construct the spring box in the Mbeyeng neighborhood, so I drove the villagers 12 miles south of town to the Ouham river, which is normally a braided stream with lots of exposed sand bars. However, the river was in flood from recent rains. So the villagers waded into the stream until they were chest-deep and shoveled sand into buckets that other men held just out of the water and then carried to the shore (see photowere through, they were understandably cold and tired; but they still sang all the way back into town (about a 45 minute ride).


The hard work and dedication of these men clearly indicate the value they place on clean water. Your prayers and contributions help us to help them help themselves.


This 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-GM.


Joe Troester

Baboua, Central African Republic


Photo: Villagers from the Mbeyeng neighborhood of Bohong, mining sand by hand from the bed of the flooded Ouham river south of Bohong, Central African Republic. The sand was used to construct a spring box to provide clean water for their neighborhood.  


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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