Spring Protection Projects:
Having full-time missionaries on the ground has been such a blessing. They see first-hand the needs of the people. They have accomplished in a short time what would have taken us years as short-term missionaries to do. When we arrive, the projects are ready and everything is in place to begin the work. This leaves us free time to meet with the villagers and share the love of Jesus. Jeff and Carla have paved the road for us.
Jeff and Carla saw the need for clean water. Jeff began looking for a way to filter the natural underground springs. He met with a water technician who gave him a blueprint and plans to build natural black granite water filters to capture the water from the underground springs and filter it through an enclosed catch basin. We initially raised money to construct 11 filter systems and the water project is ongoing.
Jeff has located over 70 natural underground springs in the Kesogon area alone. These springs bubble up, making a small muddy watering hole. The women and children gather their daily drinking/cooking water and to do their wash from these holes.
It is also a place where livestock and wild animals drink. The animals oftentimes relieve themselves in the water leaving bacteria that causes dysentery. This is also where mosquitoes breed. Because of the water conditions, typhoid, dysentery, and malaria are the biggest killers. They kill more people than AIDS, and all are curable.
The water is pure, clean, and can fill a 5-gallon jug in approximately 15 seconds. Where we have built the filters it has all but eliminated typhoid, and dysentery has decreased by 75%. This is a life-giving project.
How the Springs are built:
The area where the groundwater is coming up is cleared and hand-excavated. A dam with wing walls is built and a concrete box (weir box) is constructed so that the water will be channeled through it. The area behind the wall and around the weir box is filled with black granite that filters out sediment. It is no longer a swamp, but a free-flowing water source. The project from start to finish takes about five days. The cost to the ministry is $1,000-$1,200, including labor for a water technician.
Below are four pictures of the spring built in the memory of Mark Steven. Mark died at 4 years old from malnutrition. When brought to us he was so thin you could count his ribs. He was one in the first group of children that came to Jeff and Carla and passed away while we were building In Step Children’s Home. Mark died knowing he was loved.
Another spring being built in memory of Brittany, she was one of her Sunday School kids.
Completed SpringsEach spring brings clean water to 50-300 families. Because the spring has been enclosed in cement and there has been a trench dug in front of it, the water is constantly moving downhill. The mosquitoes no longer have standing water near the spring so their breeding ground is no longer there, thus making it safer for people to come and get water. With the spring enclosed with a fence, the animals no longer can contaminate the water. The people now have cement stairs to climb down to get their water. No more muddy or standing water for the mosquitos to breed in.
Jeff has learned a lot about working with the local people. He has a list of things that the community has to provide before we begin. First the community must have control of the land. They must have a committee and a chairman that will serve the community afterwords. The community has to supply and feed the workers along with supplies of brick, sand, rock and the pay for the mason (about $66). When done, the community has to maintain and protect the spring. We have found that if they don’t have a part in building the spring that they don’t take ownership.
When we arrived in 2006, we were told one of the brick walls washed away on the spring built in 2005. We walked up to look at it. There were about 6-8 men repairing it. It was great to see that they have taken true ownership of the spring.
The story of Trenton
He went to Africa when he was 8 yrs. old. Carla was his babysitter before they moved to Africa and he was very close to her and Jeff. After going back home, he started lots of small fundraisers and collected enough money to pay for one of the spring projects. They named it Trenton Springs after him. The picture on the left is of Trenton on a matatu with his new friend Bafo who live at In Step Children’s Home. Next, Trenton was given a couple of chickens as a thank you for raising the money by the villagers.