For the 362 people that resided in Domborembudzi, the water crisis was a daily reality that sapped away their health and strength. The sole water sources available to them were three hand-dug well, which were essentially shafts cut into the ground.
The nature of these wells made water access physically taxing. The community members lowered ropes and buckets into the depths of the wells, drawing the water in a way that hurt their hands and backs. Yet the pangs of thirst compelled them to perform this task and to ration their water at home as carefully as they could.
While the physical effects of the water crisis were tragic, the mental strain was also insidious. There was always uncertainty regarding water access. What if the water made them ill? Would there be enough to last through their day? The community members were plagued by these worries on a constant basis. Their thinking associated with water access was reactive at best and desperate at worst.
The vendors who worked at the community business center often went thirsty because they could not compromise time running their stores. When they were ill due to unsafe water, they forfeited time needed to work to support their families. Although the entire community suffered from the water crisis, the problem seemed to be magnified at the community business center. Some of the women and men who worked in the business center decided to take action. They heard about the work that Living Water International was doing in the region and decided to pursue their help as a solution. They made a formal request, and Living Water Zimbabwe responded by making a visit to Domborembudzi. It was clear to them that the need for safe water was dire and that the residents were prepared to collboratively sustain a well.
They were glad to announce that a project was possible. The drilling team soon returned to the community and began work on the project. They drilled until they reached a safe water aquifer 70 meters deep. They then cased the borehole, flushed it out, installed a sanitary seal, and completed a shock chlorination. The water quality of the well was tested and proved to be safe for drinking. The staff assembled the hand pump, and finally, the well was complete! Living Water Zimbabwe also led a sanitation and hygiene promotional activity for 46 participants. The lessons in the training were participatory and supplemented by visual aids. The community members present were given the chance to practice and express what they were learning through demonstrations and question-and-response. The staff explained how to use the new safe water well properly and how to store water in a sanitary way. They also gave an overview of the nature of germ pathways and disease transmission. The community members learned that the surest way to keep themselves healthy is proper handwashing, and they were given the chance to practice. All of these lessons postured the residents to begin taking ownership of improving the health of their community.
The Living Water staff led an evangelism session so that the community members could discuss the gospel in the context of the water project. They explained how Christ alone provides the living water that cleanses and sustains their hearts. The staff also distributed pieces of gospel literature that explained salvation in terms of scripture. Through these activities, 40 people were presented with the message of the gospel. At the end of their time together, the community members, staff, and local church leaders came together to give thanks for the well and dedicate it to the kingdom of God. The gift of safe water you gave this community will continue to remind the residents of how the Lord often shows his loves through others' generosity and the fulfillment of basic needs.