“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”
Proverbs 25:25. (ESV)
In this second of four updates from my recent trip to Boma, the focus is on the installment of a solar-powered water pump. This new system now gives us the capability of supplying clean water to the entire Upper Boma community. We are truly grateful for our generous donors who gave funds towards this project and want to share the “good news from a far country” with you all.
One of our five strategic initiatives is to develop clean water for our students in Faith Learning Center and their families in Boma. Last week we installed a solar-powered pump into the well located in the SEA Partners compound. To our knowledge, this is the first “running water” ever in Upper Boma and our hope is that this pump can make clean water more easily accessible to more people. The hand pumps we installed previously were overused causing them to become damaged prematurely. With our new system, the pump will only operate when the water level in the tank goes below a certain level where a float automatically engages the pump.
Milton and Ken removing the damaged hand pump.
Another advantage is that the solar system does not require bright sunlight to power the pump. In our initial test, the sky was cloudy with intermittent showers and the 10,000 liter tank was filled in 10 hours. It was simply amazing!
It was fun watching the children play in the water. They all came to our compound and wanted to be part of the action. Even the chiefs and army officers came to see this wonder of water coming out at the turn of a handle rather than with all the effort involved in pumping it by hand.
This project is a great success! According to Milton, our installer, with future funding we can raise the tank about 18 feet and the water can then be pumped to tanks 10 kilometers away. In this scenario, we could send water to Kiowa Village where getting clean water is very difficult. We look forward to seeing what God opens up for us as a result of this new water system.
I remember my first trip to Boma 10 years ago. Doug Vander Ark (a founding Board member) and I hiked up the mountain through difficult terrain to reach the village in Upper Boma. The people we met (along with cooler temperatures and the lush vegetation) created a special place in our hearts that confirmed this as the site of SEA Partners’ first project. One of the significant challenges we initially encountered was the lack of clean water. There was one old hand pump installed by a former missionary located some distance from the village, but the pipes were rusted and the water that came out was brown and unfit to drink. People (women) were at that time walking down the mountain to fetch clean water and then carrying it on their heads the 8 miles back to Upper Boma.
Over the next few years SEA Partners installed four water wells to improve this situation. But in the past year the wells became damaged through overuse during the ravages of tribal and national conflicts. Before this trip, only one well remained somewhat operational in Upper Boma. Now, because of your generosity, we have made a major stride forward in blessing this entire community with clean water. Your gifts are having a remarkable impact on the lives of the Murle people in Boma.
The well in the school compound produces some water, but the seals have been damaged due to overuse.
We continue to need your help as we now must settle our account with the water pump contractor. To date, we need approximately $4000 to make the final payment.
Please prayerfully consider a gift to complete this project.
God bless you.
PS. I have added many new pictures to our website. Please go to www.sea-partners.org to see them.