There is a lack of clean drinking water in Liberia. It’s 14-year civil war destroyed the country’s hydroelectric plant along with most of its infrastructure. Government funding to provide reliable clean water is scarce. Purchasing safe water is financially out of reach for most families. And collecting dirty water from area rivers, streams, and open wells often leaves people sick.
One Bite at a Time
There’s the old adage of how do you eat an elephant. It’s so commonly heard I imagine you may have just rolled your eyes at the mention of it. But one of the reasons it’s so common is it’s so true. To tackle any big problem, you have to take it on one bite at a time.
Unsafe drinking water is a huge problem. The World Health Organization estimates that between 650 million and 1 billion people lack access to clean and reliable drinking water. Furthermore, a million deaths each year are attributed to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene. It is also estimated that over 2 billion people are considered unreached by Christianity. That’s about 1 in every 3.5 people that don’t know the love of God. For a ministry that’s in the business of providing clean water and spreading the message of Jesus, that feels like an awfully big elephant to try to consume. But one bite at a time, we’re making progress.
Getting Clean Drinking Water in Liberia
The end of June 2016 marked the end of a big milestone. Set Free completed our work in an entire county in Liberia. We always want to be good stewards of our resources – both time and money. So we decided instead of taking our crew, supplies, and machinery all around the country, we would be systematic in our approach. A survey was completed of the entire county of Bomi. We looked at both the water situations and the spiritual realities of the villages. Did they have reliable access to safe water? Was there a church or pastor nearby? Then, we made a plan.
Since 2006, little by little, we’ve been plugging away. In the past year, Set Free drilled 70 wells to serve over 52,000 people. In areas that were impossible to bring drill rigs to because of the landscape and topography, we provided water filters to serve an additional 12,000 people. Bomi County Liberia has been shown the love of Christ. Its people won’t have to worry about waterborne diseases. We’ve taken a significant bite out of a pretty intimidating elephant.
Onto the next – Lofa County.