Wells determine the health of a village

By July 9, 2007

Uganda (MNN) — Recent peace in northern Uganda is the result of a tentative truce between the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army. 

Because of the peace, displaced people are able to return to their villages that were destroyed by the LRA. Lifewater International is helping them do this by establishing wells and teaching villages about hygiene. 

They are currently helping several places establish wells. "As long as villages have enough organization, they can have a village well committee," said Dan Stevens of Lifewater. This means there are certain people who will be trained to maintain the
well once it's built. 

"You could be doing thousands, really," said Stevens. There are many villages and schools where there is no water. Children spend all day in schools with no bathroom or drinking water.  Wells offer adults a chance to see the difference safe water makes. "As people understand and see that their kids do not have diarrhea and they're stomachs don't hurt, there's just singing and dancing and excitement," said Stevens.

Some missionary doctors will not travel to places that do not have safe water.

The improved health renews the village. "They can begin to work better. It's really hard to work with diarrhea, you know. Their eyes are better from the disease," said Stevens. One statistic reports that 50-percent of people in developing countries have some sort of water-borne disease in their bodies.

There is always a chance to share the Gospel once a well has been established. Stevens says, "We always work with Christian partners. They'll talk at the wells, in
our hygiene training we connect it to spiritual issues- clean hands-clean heart, disease transmission- sin transmission.  We're always trying to connect the physical and the spiritual."

Lifewater has partnered with Jars of Clay to help the band's 1,000 Wells project. 
Learn how you can help by attending a concert.

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