Water for Life

Josh Kurtz attended a seminar at Equip International in North Carolina learning practical skills in well-digging.

Josh Kurtz attended a seminar at Equip International in North Carolina learning practical skills in well-digging.

During the time I’ve spent in East Africa, I’ve witnessed the difficult but necessary task women and children take on everyday--collecting water from rivers, water holes, and community wells. This responsibility demands a large portion of their time, especially for those who live in rural settings, having to walk long distances to the nearest water source. Walking a half mile or more to collect water is not uncommon. Women and children carry five-gallon jerry cans on their heads in order to transport the water back to their homes. Many of these women and children develop neck and back problems. Furthermore, many of the water sources available are contaminated with disease-causing organisms and harmful chemicals. These issues only make the task of water collection more overwhelming.

According to UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), nearly one billion people live without access to clean water, with the majority living in Sub-Sahara Africa. Daily, five thousand children die needlessly due to waterborne illnesses. These are serious problems.

Seeing these issues has forced me to ask, “What responsibility do we have to meet the needs of these women and children? How can we help to change this sobering reality?”

G.O.D. Int’l is a movement that desires all people, without discrimination, to experience life to the fullest. The major difficulties associated with water collection keeps the impoverished and oppressed from experiencing this fullness. Life, health, and freedom for human beings is close to God’s heart. Collecting water from unclean sources causes physical harm, spread of disease, and death. This is an injustice, and change is necessary.

Recently, I attended a well digging training course. I was taught how to find water, drill for water using three different techniques, and extract water in order to provide clean drinking water for communities without it. This education to access clean water in areas that suffer with insufficient water sources is invaluable. Not only will we be able to help bring clean water to communities, but also we now have the capacity to educate, equip, and empower communities to access clean water themselves.

By Joshua Kurtz