Every time 14-year-old Congolese Marie-Beatrice spins the wheel of the hand pump to draw clean water into her bucket, she remembers the mishap that struck her and two of her relatives two years ago: they fell sick with cholera from drinking contaminated water and were rescued by a narrow margin after being rushed to the Kasomeno mission located 200 km from the province capital, Lubumbashi. Thanks to funding from the aid programme “Wassertropfen” (Drop of Water), the village well could be completely restored and Marie-Beatrice and the other village people are no longer at risk from contaminated water.
The aid programme Wassertropfen that supports the Diocese of Kilwa, Kasenga (55,000 km2/ 500,000 inhabitants) was founded in 2008 by Caritas Upper Austria, Caritas Katanga (Congo) and WDL/Energie AG Wasser. The purpose of the initiative is to repair hundreds of broken water pumps and, in a second step, install new pumps within the village boundaries.
Apart from improving sanitary conditions, this also brings a social benefit: in many parts of Africa, the burden of carrying water (often from rivers) is still mainly borne by women and children who must often walk long distances. And so they often miss out on the two vital sources of development in such countries, regular income and school education. "Wassertropfen" is carried out under the patronage of Christa Pühringer, the Upper Austrian governor’s wife.
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(Source: aqua press Int. 4/2009)