Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Water!

It may be hard to comprehend, but clean water is a scarce resource in Dargout. Very few homes have running water. Wells are expensive and unless they are deep enough are often contaminated. The majority of the people must purchase the water they drink and wash with from water trucks (think ice cream truck that sells water) or local entreprenuers.
We are blessed to have clean water at One Family in Christ Foundation. Pastor Kesnel has a deep well and a reverse osmosis water purification system. The Foundation sells water to people in the community at a reduced rate (2 gourdes or about $.05 per 5 gallons). Unfortunately, the system requires power to pump the water from the ground and through the purification system. On the days that we get electricity from State Power this is no problem as a night of eletricity fills the tanks for the day; however, there are many days when State Power does not come. For the first seven days of January there was no power in Dargout. When this happens, the generator must run for at least six hours to fill the tanks, as gasoline is over $6 a gallon here filling the water tanks with the generator is very expensive and the Foundation must either charge more for the water or run at a loss.
This dilema was resolved this weekend when the people from Water Missions International (the organization that donated and maintains our purification system) installed solar panels on the roof of our school and a new more efficient pump for the well. The panels power the pump and fill the tanks in a third of the time that the old pump did. This is a huge blessing for the orphanage, school, church, and the community. Due to the reduced cost, Pastor Kesnel is giving away water for free all week and then lowering the price of water to 1 gourdes for 5 gallons for everyone in the community. An incredible blessing in a country where millions live without access to clean water.
Merci Senyor! (Thank you Lord).