I live in California, currently the land of navy showers and crispy landscapes. For four years we have endured the drought. It has parched our land and our lives. Our Governor has wisely called for a one-third reduction of all water use, imposing steep fines for violations. Most of us have cooperated, sacrificing the vibrant landscapes and wondering if the bold bright colors will ever return. They are beyond bone dry. Most of the country is reminded of the drought’s impact when shopping at the grocery store only to confront the skyrocketing produce prices. After four years, I am tired of living without water. I am tired of saving shower water in buckets. I must self-regulate toilet flushing. I miss the vivid technicolor landscape that I have known. I miss water. I want my water back!
(Pause for my temper tantrum here.)
Now I imagine one of my Congolese colleagues sitting next to me during my little tantrum, inquiring of my predicament. “You mean there is no water coming from your faucet? You cannot use your toilet? No water is coming from your refrigerator’s water dispenser? Do you mean, you are walking hours to the local spring to collect water to cook?”
No. This is not my predicament.
“Are you worried about the water-born disease of the water you are drinking? Are the people sick from the water? Are you sending people to the health centers? Do you hear the tribal drums of death due to the loss of life caused by polluted water?”
As I consider the stark contrast of water use and accessibility in the U.S. to that of Equateur, Congo, I am convicted, as we say in the U.S., of my first-world problem. I am not losing a child, mother or husband to a water-born disease. I am not walking miles to the closest water source. I just love what water provides. But so do my friends in Congo.
Beginning year three of the Congo Clinic Initiative, PCP will be coming alongside the CEUM medical system to provide clean water. Next year we will be initiating a water assessment by working with the local leaders regarding strategies under the leadership of James Fischer, PCP’s Director of Economic Development. If you have expertise in water development or know someone who does, please contact us! With the right people and experience, we would like to form a group of consultants to assist with the water assessment project.
If you are interested in joining in the 5-year Congo Clinic Initiative to provide solar electricity, refrigeration, and clean water to our friends in Congo, sponsor a clinic today.