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Water

Half of the Swazi population does not have access to clean drinking water. 60% of the boreholes (water wells) are not in operation. The lack of water, and especially clean drinking water, is the source of both immediate and long-term health issues with dehydration, water-borne diseases, and inadequate crop production.

Bethany First Church of the Nazarene (BFC) sent its first Global Outreach (GO) Team to Swaziland in July 2008. The team accepted the assignment to provide new nurses’ housing in the community of Sitsatsawani. This site is also home to one of the 17 Nazarene rural clinics.

Sitsatsawani had been in a drought for seven years. Their main borehole, powered by an old wind mill, was not working. GO Team member Fred Evans got passionate about water for this community. He tried to fix this old derrick to no avail. Finally Fred and other friends from BFC helped to fund a new solar-powered water system.

Water transformed the entire area.

Today there are vegetable and flower gardens, healthy looking children, and enough fresh water to share with the community.

Fred and Kathy Evans returned to Swaziland in March 2009 to assess the possibility of providing water to the rest of the 16 Nazarene clinics scattered across the country. Their report was included in a proposal to the Coca-Cola Foundation. The foundation awarded a three-year grant for almost one million dollars for new water wells. In the 53 solar-powered systems they have committed to fund, the first 16 will be placed at the Nazarene clinics.

What would have taken BFC a number of years to accomplish, the Coca-Cola Foundation will be able to do in a matter of months providing water to every Nazarene clinic and community.

BFC’s current plan is to provide guttering on these clinics for water harvesting and new pit latrines to maintain sanitation for these new wells. Water harvesting provides “gray water” for use with animals and crops. Gray water also enables conservation allowing the pure water to be used for drinking.

Would you like to help with water issues in Swaziland? Volunteers are needed to help install gutters on clinics and to create new pit latrines. Please contact Pat Burton at the Office of Global Outreach for more information at pburton@bethanynaz.org.