A big problem demands a big solution. When members of the De la Mission A, Lwamisamba, and De la Mission B communities in DR Congo gathered to identify and prioritize the respective issues they faced, they agreed that addressing their problems, as well as implementing their solutions, were a collective effort.
With eight months of every year decidedly dry, the perils of a life without reliable access to clean water is a looming, dreadful specter.
DR Congo has a climate that ranges from hot and humid to cold and dry, depending on elevation, though its location dictates that the most of the country’s default climate is steadily tropical. The geographical position also contributes to the country’s seasonal cycles instead of periods of deepening cold and warm weather, the seasons fall into two categories: Wet and dry.
The wet season, lasting only from March to June, is more of an interruption of the dry portion of the year than a distinct transitional phase. With eight months of every year decidedly dry, the perils of a life without reliable access to clean water is a looming, dreadful specter.
How does one get water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing without a properly dug water well? One finds a shallow, hand-dug well during pre-dawn hours and waits in line well into the afternoon as the meager wells slowly refill after each resident replenishes their respective supply. Imagine the pace of a dripping faucet filling up a bucket. Along with the effects of a recent draught, finding water each day was becoming ever more impossible for those in Outreach-affiliated DR Congo communities.
With the work completed and solutions forged, the new wells brought clean water to nearly 1,800 women, men and children throughout all three communities.
Luckily, Outreach’s community partners know how to get things done. Accessing heavy-duty manual drilling equipment owned by the DR Congo team, residents from each of the three communities worked together to construct new wells, accessible to all, in centrally located public spaces. As work progressed, residents augmented preexisting technical skills with new experiences, and grew closer with their neighbors, united by a common cause. This project was funded by Dial as part of 2016’s Global Handwashing Day partnership. Thanks to their generous donation, the new water wells are a sustainable reminder of the power of teamwork, and the transformative change it can achieve.
With the work completed and positive outcomes achieved, the new wells brought clean water to nearly 1,800 women, men and children throughout all three communities, and will continue to make life simpler and healthier for years to come. The experience of teamwork and sense of accomplishment shared by everyone involved in the projects, however, will last a lifetime.
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