Sunday, September 12, 2010

World Water Week in Sweden and in the Central African Republic

Last week, international experts gathered in Stockholm to discuss the water problems of the world. At the opening address, Anders Berntell said, “Bad water kills more people than HIV, malaria, and wars together, affecting the lives of families and the economic development of many countries around the world.


This week in the Central African Republic (CAR), there was no meeting of water experts. We did not need an expert to tell us the effects of bad water. As they have for decades, women and small children go daily to the nearest stream or spring for water of dubious quality. Most families do not even have a pit toilet for sanitation. People regularly get sick from water-borne diseases. Typhoid, giardia, and amoebic dysentery are common ailments at the hospital. There is a cholera outbreak in a neighboring country. We hope it does not come here. People in the CAR die from these preventable and treatable diseases because they lack access to safe water, sanitation, and health care.


This week, however, the Water Management Project (known as PASE for its acronym in French) began construction of a spring box in Yongmondere, a small village about 15 kilometers west of where we live. This is the tenth spring box we have worked on since the beginning of the year. That may not sound like much, but with a small amount of funds from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) we are able to improve the life of many villagers in western CAR through the construction of spring boxes, plus teaching hygiene and working with village water committees. 


Soon, I hope to be able to post a picture of the finished spring box in Yongmondere.


Joe Troester

Baboua, Central African Republic


Photo: Man drinking from small spring that drains into an old metal pot, Yongmondere, Central African Republic


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 Yaoundé, Cameroon.


1 comment:

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