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04 March 2013

Help provide clean water in Africa

Help provide clean water in Africa

 A new Evangelical Alliance member organisation is working to provide safe water to people in several African countries.

Watchmen International, which has been working in East Africa since 1994, has a clean water project called Lifewater’, which is working through international partners, to India, the Philippines, and to Central and South America.

‘Maji Safi’ means clean or pure water in Kiswahili. Nearly a billion people in the world have no access to such water for drinking purposes.

Unsafe drinking water often leads to life-threatening diseases such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery, and is the biggest killer of children under the age of five. Around 1.8 million young children die every year from contracting water-borne diseases – that’s around 5,000 deaths every day.

In developing nations, families are usually encouraged to boil water to kill off harmful bacteria before using it for drinking. But in 2012 in Uganda alone, large bags of charcoal, used for boiling water and for domestic cooking in many households, have significantly increased in price.

Many families now have no choice but to drink unsafe water – their meagre resources are needed for other daily essentials.

Lifewater will be exhibiting at several Christian events this year, including Spring Harvest and New Wine.

Last year at Grapevine, Lifewater launched a new project called the Uganda 20/20 Maji Safi Project. This project raised sponsorship to place 20 Lifewater systems into each of 20 selected Ugandan towns supplying up to 25,000 Ugandans with clean and safe drinking water for a whole year.

In 2013 Lifewater has raised the bar and is seeking to raise sponsorship for their latest project – East Africa Maji Safi 20/13 project. Their new project covers the five East African nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi (all nations where Watchmen International has national teams). In total Lifewater is seeking to raise sponsorship for 260 Lifewater systems in each of the five nations – that is 1,300 systems in total.

Lifewater estimates that their latest project would potentially provide clean and safe drinking water for up to 100,000 people across East Africa in 2013. Lifewater would achieve this through distributions and training workshops which target the most vulnerable – schools, orphanages, homes for the physically and mentally challenged, and local hospitals and clinics.

The Lifewater systems use ceramic filter technology coupled together with locally-sourced buckets, providing clean and safe water for up to one year before the ceramic filter needs replacing. The ceramic filters, impregnated with colloidal silver filter out 99.99 per cent of life-threatening bacteria, parasites and cysts.

Roger London, one of Watchmen International’s UK directors, says: “The Maji Safi project is aimed at UK churches, businesses, schools, clubs, asking them to get behind the project by raising £35 to sponsor a water purification kit or £700 to sponsor a town. If folk already support organisations or ministries in a certain town, then please consider partnering with Lifewater and sponsorship raised can be specifically designated to donating Lifewater systems to those places. Each Lifewater system provides more than 100 litres per day of safe and clean drinking water –enough for up to 60 and 100 people every day for a whole year. In return for sponsorship raised, donors will receive photographs of kits being set up and used, along with testimonies from the local people benefitting from the drinking water.”

To find out how your business, church or organisation can support Lifewater's work visit www.lifewaterkits.org.uk.