And yet, in most areas of the western world, we take our ready supply of water for granted. Indeed, anyone living in the 'green and pleasant land' of the UK, could hardly envisage a world without water! However, for those living in the hot, dry and dusty plains of landlocked Burkina Faso, they know all too well the value of water. For them, the simple tasks of cooking or cleaning, are made much more difficult, due to not having an available, ready supply of water close to hand.
Typically the rainy season in Burkina Faso lasts for only five months at the most, after which the rains literally stop until the next rainy season. For the remaining seven months of the year, if you want water, you have to go and find it!
The job of retrieving water for the family is typically given to the younger women and children, who often have to complete a three or four mile roundtrip to obtain it. In many rural villages, it can be up to ten miles one way when things get really dry. This trip sometimes has to be completed several times a day, just to meet a basic necessity of life, which many of us take for granted. In many cases, the water obtained is not sanitary, which poses another set of problems.
By partnering with an organisation called FRIENDS IN ACTION INTERNATIONAL, myself and a group of friends from Northern Ireland are planning to travel to Burkina Faso at the beginning of February 2018, to assist with drilling a well for a remote village.
FRIENDS IN ACTION INTERNATIONAL assists in facilitating and equipping mission work around the world. They have an excellent track record of organising groups to travel to places such as Africa, Nicaragua, Moldova, Papua New Guinea and other areas where need has been identified. In some countries, they teach life skills - building, maintenance, structural repairs, and in other countries they provide much needed water wells and water systems and also show the villagers how to maintain and repair the systems provided. By doing this, they bring a better quality of life to many villagers, training and equipping the villagers to be self-sustaining.
The drilling rig purchased by Friends In Action (shown above) travels to various parts of the world where there is need, creating new wells for remote villages. Ground assessments are carried out and the best locations for the prospective well are chosen and plotted. However, the rig can't operate by itself. It needs capable people to travel to the rig's location and facilitate the drilling of the well. And that's where our group of friends come in!
Much of the work for drilling the well is manual and laborious. Once the ground has been broken, quite a bit of time is spent shovelling away the dirt being removed from the bore hole and feeding pipework into the shaft. As you can imagine, it is dirty, messy, sweat-inducing, back-breaking, labour intensive work.
However, once the water table has been breached, and the water starts flooding back up the bore hole, then the sense of achievement and fulfillment compensates for all the hard work that went before.
By supporting our project and giving what you can, you will be just as responsible for drilling the well, as if you had actually been on the ground! These projects would not succeed without the input of many different people - those who travel to dig the wells, those who organise all the travelling and admin, those who maintain, service and transport the equipment used for the drilling and most importantly, those who back these projects financially. Without financial support, none of this work would be possible! So, we are asking you to give what you can, so that people's lives will not only be changed for the better, but be changed for life!
Please give as generously as you can. Your support will allow vital, life sustaining wells to be built in remote village areas of Burkina Faso. Thank you for your support!
My name is David Johnstone. I am General Manager of LEOcrowd. I am taking time off work to travel as part of the team and be part of this worthy project.