Shallow Wells

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The Problem In a press release from UNICEF NewYork, March 22, 2005, Executive Director Carol Bellamy stated that 400 million children, almost one fifth of all children in the world, lack the bare minimum of safe water they need to live. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 43 per-cent of children drink unsafe water and one in five die before their fifth birthday. A lack of clean water and basic sanitation is responsible for 1.6 million preventable deaths each year. Millions of children suffer from waterborne illnesses, such as cholera, bilharzia and diarrhea, according to UNICEF (2005).

 A Solution The objective of the program is to provide low cost, technology-appropriate, and sustainable safe water to communities without this basic health necessity. Marion Medical Mission (MMM) is working in communities of Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania to install shallow wells that provide protected drinking water to remote African villages. In many rural areas of Malawi, people draw water from risky unprotected sources such as rivers, lakes and pools, which lead to their contracting diseases resulting in many deaths a year.

 According to Malawi government statistics, over 80% of the children who die under age five die from water borne or sanitation-related diseases. Since 1990, MMM has helped communities build over 3,600 shallow wells by establishing the Shallow Well Program, providing over 900,500 people with safe drinking water.

The Shallow Well Program is a cost-effective and sustainable way for fighting water-related diseases. Our Involvement CCVR "purchased" two wells in Malawi for two villages which will provide safe drinking water for about 400 people each. The villagers dig the well and make the brick lining and a local factory produces the PVC pipe and hand pump. The money buys the pipe, pump and concrete to cap off the well and finish the project.

Two teams of about 25 go to Africa for two weeks in September and October to install the pumps. Jim and Carol Nussbaumer from Estes Park are some local Coloradoans that participate. I expect pictures of "our" installed wells soon with the village standing nearby, that will be a joyful site.

Michael Kempton International Chair CCVR of Parker