Groomsport Presbyterian Church is supporting The Shallow Wells Project in Livingstonia, Malawi over the next few months.
The Aim of the project is to provide a source of clean water to rural villages in Northern Malawi.
The Primary Health Care Department (PHD) of the David Gordon Memorial Hospital in Livingstonia recognises that there is a need locally for clean water. One in every three patients at the hospital are sick with an illness associated with not having fresh water. These illnesses mean that people are unable to work and children cannot attend school as they wish. This is a big problem and affects the local area as well as putting a strain on medical staff at the hospital.
When clusters of patients come into the hospital with waterborne illnesses, the PHD staff visit the area and check the water source. If the water source is found to be inadequate, the Primary Health Care Department offers to help provide a well.
However, this is not as simple as just going into a village and digging a well. The villagers have to be on board with this project and the area must be suitable for a well. The Public Health Team will check this. The young men of the village are then enlisted to do the manual work such as the digging and they are required to make the bricks. The whole community gets involved in the project, which will become a valuable asset for them.
When the water table is at its lowest in August/September, the digging takes place. The well is made to at least three feet below the water table and course gravel put in its base. The hospital supplies the cement for the linings, a pump, piping and a cap for the well. The well is specially constructed to keep the surrounding area dry. This improves access and discourages mosquitoes which in turn would spread disease. The runoff water from the well is then used to help irrigate a vegetable patch; nothing will be wasted.
The wells cost around 3500 depending on their depth and are ideally free of problems for ten years. The wells are looked after by an experienced management team who can maintain the wells should problems arise. A well would easily supply 50 people with clean water, which means that it costs £1 per person, per year for ten years, for this basic need.
The Mission Committee is planning to host an Auction Of Promises. A similar event was held in the church back in 2000 and everyone involved in the event have reminisced that it was a great evening. The Mission Committee call upon the congregation to support this event once again. It is anticipated that the Auction of Promises will raise enough money to supply a well to a needy community in Malawi.
The Auction will be held on Friday 7th June and there will be a supper provided.
The full details of the evening have not been worked out yet, but be assured with what is already in place, the evening is bound to be an exciting one.
The last Auction Of Promises provided a fascinating array of donated promises. Many of those promises cost little to the provider but meant a great deal to the receiver. Some of the promises included: use of a trailer and driver for a few hours, boiled cakes, transfer of records or cassette recordings onto CDs, dog sitting, BBQ butcher meat, six months supply of toothpaste, grass cutting, car valeting, lifts to the shops or airport, and even a load of manure! Given how things have moved on in 19 years it will be interesting to see how technology appears in this set of promises.
Most of all it is important that everyone has fun with this event. If you would like to help in any way, or you have any ideas for this evening, then please contact The Mission Committee by email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can submit your promise for the auction, by using the form below.