Third attempt produces clean water for Los Bahiles

By March 5, 2009

Guatemala (MNN) — After three Living Water International attempts to bring clean water to an isolated village in the highlands of Guatemala, a new well now hydrates villagers. After visiting a previous drilling site and seeing the successful change clean water produced, LWI team members hope the same change will occur in Los Bahiles.

"God definitely multiplies everything we give freely," said Bruce Schnicker, who served on the LWI Los Bahiles team. "I can only imagine what God has in store for Los Bahiles now."

Three years ago, LWI attempted to bring the village clean water. Hand-dug wells serving as a community water source were contaminated with volcanic ash. The entire church congregation gathered at the drill site last year, praying for water as the LWI team arrived. However, a larger rig and bigger compressor were needed; neither was available. On a third and final attempt, a new well was finally installed and clean water produced.

While working on the Los Bahiles well, LWI team members were able to visit a previous drilling site, La Cienega. The team was welcomed by a completely new and improved town – new homes, a paved road, places to shop, a manufacturing factory. Dave Barford, one of the team members, asked a community leader about the town's transformation and found out the impact of clean water his team provided.

"Now that we have clean water, everything has changed," said the leader.

"We never considered what having a sustainable water source does to develop the overall quality of life in a community," Barford said. "When we built the well, we thought only of the clean water and how it would improve the health of the village. We never considered what having a sustainable water source does to develop the overall quality of life in a community."

The LWI team hopes for this same kind of positive transformation in Los Bahiles. They noted the community's overpowering joy at the sight of clean water as it finally poured from the new well. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 1.8 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This translates to one death every 8 seconds. If you'd like to help make a positive change and provide clean water to needy communities, click here .

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