The rainy season in the North West Province of Zambia starts in December and ends around mid-April. The wetlands dry up fairly quickly, and by June many of the village folk (who 'migrated' to dry land for the rainy season) return to their homes. To reach them, we are dependent on the pontoon/ferry that is only operational from July, when the turbulent Zambezi River has eased up.
We were delighted to finally cross the Zambezi River a couple of weeks ago with Peter and his 3 children. Peter is a Pastor of the Christian Community Church in Angola - 120 kilometres (approx 74 miles) from The Zambezi River. Crossing over from Zambia into Angola is just a line drawn in the sand, no guards or border post. Mobile phone coverage here is also pretty much non-existent, except for the very rare signal here and there. Our journey with a 4x4 vehicle in soft sand took all of seven hours - a trip that via tarred road would've taken little more than one hour.
Our journey with a 4x4 vehicle in soft sand took all of seven hours - a trip that via tarred road would've taken little more than one hour.
We donated 2 canoes (kindly sponsored by ITMI) to Peter some time ago, for him to access villages along the Lungwebungu River in Angola, especially during the rainy season. A year ago, boreholes were installed and we were curious to see the impact on these villages, as very treatable illnesses such as diarrhea, had previously claimed far too many lives.
As much as these flood plains get swamped with water in the rainy season, the harshness of the dry season takes its toll on those that have many kilometers (miles) to walk daily for their water supplies. Drawing water from deep holes in the ground is a tedious and tiring process - pulling up cups of water to fill a container that is carried for miles back to the village. This precious resource is therefore mainly used for drinking and cooking, and not surprisingly, drawing bathing water is just not happening.
We were overjoyed to hear as the local villagers bore witness to the blessing it has been to them to have easy access to clean, drinkable water via the borehole, and also enough water to bathe themselves and their babies, and to wash their clothing! And even more incredible was the report that there had been no further cases of diarrhea or dehydration! Praise be to God!
Great was our joy when we heard that there had been no further cases of diarrhea or dehydration!
In addition, weary travellers and their thirsty cattle also benefit, as some of these villages are transit villages where many pass by on foot. Thankfully, they are finally free from the long, tiring walks to dig unsafe water out of muddy holes.
To date, 21 boreholes /well points have been put down over a four year period. This year, we trust that another five well points will be made available to villages desperate for safe, clean drinking water, so that they too will rejoice and be delivered of years of toil, sickness and unnecessary deaths.
A big thank you to all who have a tremendous difference by sponsoring well points.
Another pressing need during the rainy season, especially for those in the Kawalele village, is for a glass fibre ‘banana’ boat that the children can use as a ferry to reach their school - that they currently cannot attend during the rainy season - and that will also be used to get to the hammer hill.
Thank you for joining us with them in prayer, that The Lord will make a way!