Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 22, 2008
Ugandans pump Canadian wells
Fresh water means people are not at risk of water-born diseases
By DAVE FULLER
- Photo by Vince Ramcharran
Dr. Chris Opio of Northern Uganda Development Foundation inspects a newly-drilled water well in Uganda
People could work better, children felt well enough to go to school more regularly, and the community no longer suffered from such problems as stomach upsets or constant diarrhea.
While each well cost only $2,500, it served communities of up to 2,800 people and made a huge difference in their lives. These people daily walk up to five km for clean, safe water and pack 50-pound water jugs back the same distance.
On Sunday we went to Mass in the village. The church had no roof, no glass in the windows and only a few benches. But it was packed with hundreds of people singing, dancing and praising God with such joy as I have rarely seen in Canada.
The choir was amazing. Despite the people’s lack of possessions, they had such a strong faith I felt humbled.
Even the political meetings started with a prayer.
I returned to Canada after a couple of weeks in Africa and I appreciated how lucky we are to be born and live in this wonderful country.
It is hard for Canadians to comprehend the need for clean water and the value of water that flows so freely from our taps, in our houses that have electricity and our communities that have universal health care and roads relatively free of potholes.
In Uganda, a couple of thousand dollars can change the lives and improve the health of a village of 1,000 to 2,000 people. The people are extremely grateful for this support.
Now if only our churches and our lives could be filled with the joy these poor people experience and share.(Dave Fuller is a partner in Ave Maria Specialties in Prince George. For more information on NUDF, go to its website at www.nudf.org.)
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