Water Plant Saves Lives
Story and photos by Yrahisa Mateo
“The water we get from the common pipe is not safe to drink, but that's all we have so we have to drink it," said Grandmother Maria Celeste.
She lives in Miracielo, a rural community located in a mountainous area of San Cristobal. Many of its inhabitants live in extreme poverty, and their greatest need is potable drinking water. The community relies on a common borehole to access water but its location means the water is unsafe to drink.
"The pipeline system does not exist in our community. In order to extract water from the ground, the locals dug about 370 feet. However, the conditions of the place are not optimal, and unfortunately, this method does not supply the whole community," explained Edward de los Santos, the Pastor of Compassion's church partner DR0845.
By drinking the borehole water, both adults and children in the Miracielo community were exposed to intestinal stomach diseases, and skin allergies and infections.
"Here at the center, we have treated many children for skin and stomach diseases. According to the doctors, this is due to the water they use," said Pastor Edward.
"I could surely say that if we did not have the water plant, the future of this community would be uncertain. At this moment we are living in, without clean water and good hygiene habits, we would be in a compromising situation." – Pastor Edward
When Iglesia de Dios Rey Soberano church began partnering with Compassion in 2018, Program Facilitator Manuel Morillo immediately recognized the community's urgent need for clean water, where families were forced to choose between drinking the unsafe community borehole water or purchasing costly bottled water. He proposed constructing a water plant system to solve the community's problem.
The project was made possible through Compassion's Complementary Interventions fund, with the finished water plant, constructed at the church's Compassion center, bringing hope and happiness to the whole community.
"To the glory of God, this plant was approved and is now in operation. The whole community benefits, including neighboring communities that also suffer from a shortage of water," said Pastor Edward.
For Maria Celeste, who is raising her granddaughters Celeste, Yeisel, and Over, the clean water is protecting the family's health.
"We are not able to buy purified water often, so I am thrilled that the center where my grandchildren are registered now has a water plant. After we started using it, my grandchildren don't get stomach illnesses anymore," she said.
"We used to drink water from the community tap, and my girls used to get sick often. Now I love that my girls are registered at the center because there they get clean water and it is a blessing. Not only do the children benefit from that initiative, but all of us in the community.” – Martina, mother of two
Martina, a mother, has noticed this too.
"We used to drink water from the community tap, and my girls used to get sick often. Now I love that my girls are registered at the center because there they get clean water and it is a blessing. Not only do the children benefit from that initiative, but all of us in the community," she said.
Clean water is essential for good health. Without safe water, children cannot grow to their full potential. Their cognitive ability may be affected, as well as their quality of life.
"Being able to have our water has not only provided clean water for the community but it has even helped us to teach children the correct use of the toilet and sink. They don't have these in their homes, they have latrines," said center Director Rosauris Mojica.
For this new center, the future of the children and the community without the water purification system would be catastrophic. Simple hygiene habits like washing hands, brushing teeth, and flushing the toilet could save children's lives.
"I could surely say that if we did not have the water plant, the future of this community would be uncertain. At this moment we are living in, without clean water and good hygiene habits, we would be in a compromising situation," said Pastor Edward.
Thanks to this Complementary Intervention, the Compassion center is considered an oasis by the community, providing access to clean water, preventing sickness, and giving children dignity.