Mumbya Samson, Twali Julius, Oryagi Geoffrey
To use the provision of water purification in rural communities as a channel to promote health and to practically share the “Water of Life” in Christ.
While working as a nurse with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in 2005, Karina became burdened by the need for pure water on the Buvuma Islands. Citizens of the islands rely on the polluted lake for drinking, bathing, cooking, washing, etc. Thus began the Lake Victoria Pure Water Project.
SHIM uses questions to help communities discover their need for pure water and sanitation and to explore their options. One option for clean water is a community water purifying system. As of December 2010, 11 systems are in place. SHIM partners with New Life International and community water committees to establish and oversee water purification projects. The systems operate using battery power to chlorinate rain and lake water at a small cost (between one and two pennies per gallon).
Knowing that pure water and sanitation go hand-in-hand, the SHIM water and sanitation team empowers island communities to become “open defecation free”. In 2009, Drs. Kloot and Wolfer from University of South Carolina introduced SHIM to the “Community-Led Total Sanitation” model that has proven highly successful.
“We attribute the initial success of the interventions and subsequent follow-up results to the notion that CLTS emphasises people’s primary responsibility for their own lives and communities, and profoundly respects their ability to understand, decide and act to solve their own problems.” (Wolfer, T. A., & Kloot, R. W. (2010). From amazzi to amazi? It’s not a water problem. Participatory Learning and Action, 61, 81-90.)
After suffering a cholera outbreak in 2009, Mubaale village showed a remarkable turn-around to become (nearly) open-defecation free. As a result, they were awarded a New Life International water system. Citizens demonstrated their ability to work together by mobilizing themselves to dig some 40 pit latrines and by purchasing a battery to run the system.
As of late 2010, the Lake Victoria Pure Water and Sanitation team had visited and conducted trainings in 24 island villages, ranging from those of Lingira Island to isolated southern islands located below the equator.
In addition to sharing the joy of pure water, it is the purpose of the water and sanitation project to spread the good news that Jesus is the Living Water, the One who satisfies the thirst of the soul.
Posing with their new water purification system are leaders of Mubaale camp, who received the system in mid-2010 in response to their notable efforts to become a “clean camp.” SHIM’s water and sanitation director, Pastor Mumbya Samson, is shown second from left.
To stay up-to-date on the Water and Sanitation team and their efforts in the islands, visit the SHIM Facebook page.