Black Creek Mennonites helping thirsty people in Tonga

Dear editor,

In Black Creek, access to water is not an issue.

Dear editor,

In Black Creek, access to water is not an issue.

If you are on the water system you simply turn on the tap and if you have a good well, you have water pumped into your house year round. When it rains, water runs down the streets and drains away to the ocean.

This is not so in the Tonga region of southern Zambia where it is flat and semi-arid with only small trees dotting the landscape.

Residents of this area are challenged by increasing droughts and ever-longer dry seasons. The water level in wells and riverbeds is decreasing, and many women and girls must walk several kilometres each day to find water.

This walking and waiting in long lines for water takes time and energy from family, work and schooling.

The Mennonite Central Committee is working with households and villages to increase the availability of safe nearby drinking water, clean unused boreholes, construct cement dams and sand dams, and repair or build earthen dams. Technicians are receiving training and tools for borehole repair.

The co-ordinator is also administering a small loan fund to provide capital for farmers to purchase irrigation equipment and for families to build latrines. For this project, $18 Cdn. pays for one bag of cement. (Each dam requires 30 bags.) and $590 Cdn. pays to rehabilitate one borehole.

To raise funds for these projects local Mennonites are having their annual  MCC World Relief Fair on May 25. There is a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. The main fair starts at  9 a.m. and a live auction starts at 1 p.m.

Come experience ethnic Mennonite foods, kids’ activities, rummage sale (including the contents of a defaulted storage unit), plants, baking and more.

Ernie Klassen,

Black Creek

 

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