The Horn of Africa countries of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are on the cusp of yet another expansion of their ongoing humanitarian crisis. While food, medical supplies, and water have been critically short for years, a huge outpouring of aid in response to the 2011 peak in suffering, resulted in many saved lives and an overall improvement in infrastructure. But once again this progress is being threatened. According to a recent Unicef article, “the first raining season of 2012 again brought below average rainfalls, which may negatively affect the mid-year harvest and further delay recovery of soils and livelihoods impacted by 2011 drought.” Those sparse, objective words, while technically accurate, fail to convey the suffering of even one of the 8 million people in dire straits. What will be our response?
Summer doesn’t seem so daunting this year in the small Indian village of Godicherla as Hydromissions has just equipped 350 more people with access to clean water. Godicherla, located in the Visakhapatanam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh is known for its dry heat and rocky soil.
A few months ago, a broken water well, located within the village, was a constant reminder of what was so badly needed but couldn’t be had. But through the grace of God, it is now a functioning well that brings much relief to villagers in Godicherla.
The people who live in the village are considered “backward caste” by the Indian government because of their educational and social disadvantages. With little education and even less money, working the land becomes essential for their livelihood.
Godicherla is home to many shepherds who need access to clean, drinkable water for their animals to thrive.
Agriculture is the main occupation of these villagers, and they depend on fresh water to grow their key crops. Summer time brings dry heat that is detrimental to the already imperfect soil.
Penke, a native Indian and a leader of Hydromissions, says, “Here people are under the poverty line and are troubled during the summer season because they depend on seasonal rains.”
With rivers and canals drying up during this time of the year, the pledge to fix this bore well provided the perfect avenue to share the good news of the Gospel and provide hope to the people of Godicherla.
“God opened the door to hear the Gospel with the promise of a new bore well,” says Penke.
The sound of a squeaky pump and the crisp splash of fresh, clean drinking water is truly a blessing for these villagers.
Giving Thanks for Another Well
Well Depth: 202 feet
Hydromissions recently completed another well in the small village of Polavaram. This village is in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is about 35 km away from the banks of the Godavari River. Access to this village was no simple task as it is extremely remote and isolated. Roads leading to this village snaked across treacherous terrain, but the journey was well worth the effort.
The people of Polavaram depend on selling firewood, honey, coal, tamarind fruit and soap nuts for their livelihood, because the rocky nature of the landscape makes farming very difficult. The water they drink comes from streams and is contaminated by human and animal waste. Because the village is so remote, there is no hospital access, making the diseases caused by the contaminated water a significant concern. For the severe and life-threatening symptoms that can accompany any of these diseases, a villager would have to travel a minimum of 100 kilometers (approximately 62 miles) over treacherous roads to reach medical care.
Access to clean water is paramount to the health and well-being of the Polavaram people. This drilled well will help to make their improved well-being a reality.
Penke and his team are accustomed to the challenging geological conditions of India that often arise as a project progresses; the landscape of Polavaram and the surrounding villages proved very rocky, making drilling especially difficult. Hydromissions usually only drills boreholes by hand, but on this particular project after no advancement was made in several locations, work came to a stop because of hard black rock formations underground. Finally, a rig was brought in that was able to break through the rock formation, drilling 202 feet down to bring the much needed clean, reliable water to a village of God’s beloved people. Thank you for being a part Hydromissions and helping to make this water project possible.
Village: G. kothapalli
Well Depth: 125 feet
G. Kothapalli is a village in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The “G” in its name references the neighboring village of Gudimetta. G. Kothapalli is very rocky in parts, but farming is possible. The people of this village depend on crops such as rice, cotton, chili, ground nuts, tomatoes, brinjal (eggplant) and beans for their income, in addition to gathered commodities such as bamboo and honey.
The people of this village are classified by the government of India as scheduled or backwards caste. In India, the caste system classifies division of labor and power in human society. To be classified as scheduled or backwards indicates you are part of an educationally and socially disadvantaged group. Among other necessities, access to clean water was desperately needed by the people residing in G. Kothapalli.
And while the nature of the landscape proved difficult for drilling, the lack of support from some of the local villagers proved to be the bigger challenge. When word spread that drilling was being done by followers of Christ, hostility grew. Many were against the work being done simply because it was being done by Christian hands. Some of the workers became very afraid, but God, who is faithful and worthy of trust, did His great work despite the resistance by some of the villagers.
Please pray specifically for our dedicated worker, Penke, who has been a victim of much harassment and whose camera was recently stolen by the villagers in G. Kothapalli. Pray too that the clean water from this well will ultimately lead the villagers of G. Kothapalli to Christ, the Living Water, who will cause them to thirst no more. John 4:14 says “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”