Please know that whenever I write to you, it is not something I do without a lot of thought. I don’t ask for your help without considering the deep value of your friendship and caring. To put it simply, whenever I sit down to write a letter to you, I take time to make sure that the projects I want to tell you about are things that the men, women and children in our missions desperately need — or may even be necessary for their survival. I do this because your kindness and generosity mean so very much! For all that you do for those in need, thank you.
have to admit that I love this time of the year. For one obvious season, the leaves on the trees will be changing soon and nature will display a rich bouquet of color. Another reason is that for many of our missions in Africa, particularly those in East Africa, the seasonal rains are underway. For people living in some areas, the rains that come in September, October and November may be the first rainfall their region has had in three months!
Here in the U.S., that may not sound like a big deal. Most of us can walk to a faucet and fill a container with water. But for millions of poor men, women and children in remote regions of Africa, when rain doesn’t fall, sources of fresh drinking water dry up!
That is what happens in the Mbarara District of Uganda, East Africa. Sr. Dinah Kyarimpa is a missionary Sister who works at a primary school there. “Before we built the school in this area,” Sr. Dinah’s letter begins, “some of the children walked as far as six miles or more a day.”
“The school is in a very rural region that is in the ‘rainshadow’ area … meaning that the seasonal streams disappear during the dry season. As a result, people throughout this region are living without safe drinking water. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the people living in Uganda do not have access to reliable sources of safe drinking water! This lack of clean water hits our school children particularly hard — especially since many of them still walk long distances to get to school every day.”
“The water crisis in our mission is something we urgently need to address,” Sr. Dinah continues. “That is why we are writing to you. Our plan is to construct a water harvesting system that will allow us to collect a large amount of rain that fails during the rainy season and store it in tanks. The water is then purified and saved for use during the dry season — particularly from July to September when no rain may fall at all.”
“The local people have begun collecting stones for use in building a foundation to support the water storage tanks, but we need financial help purchasing the tanks. We also need to purchase cement, lumber, pipes and valves, as well as gutters and faucets. Is there some way you can help us?”
Access to clean, safe drinking water is something that all of us need for our health and even for survival. I hope you will join me in working to protect what we have as well as ensure that it’s around for the generations to come. One thing you can do to help is to take showers instead of baths! Did you know that taking a shower can reduce water usage as much as 50%? You can also use a car wash instead of washing your car at home — especially since most commercial car washes recycle their water. Everything we do, no matter how small, adds up!
I am also hoping that you will send a donation to help those in Sr. Dinah’s mission construct a rainwater harvesting system. While I am hoping we can raise at least $37,750 for this project and other projects and programs that the Missionaries of Africa sponsor throughout East Africa, please know that any amount you send will be used to help improve the lives of the men, women and children in our missions. God bless you for all that you continue to do for those in need!
Your Missionary Friend,
Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development