September 22, 2017
Yesterday I visited the WaterStep Organization (WaterStep.org) in Louisville, Kentucky where I met two very amiable staff members: Sarah Yoder and Diego Lyra. I arrived without an appointment but they made room for me on their schedule. Diego gave me a comprehensive tour of their training site. WaterStep trains people to fix wells, pumps, and filtration systems.
GMPI is planning to send volunteers to WATERSTEP for training and then sending them to Gulu to put their training to good use. More borehole wells are needed in Gulu. Many existing wells are not in use needing pump repair. Gulu wells, especially shallow wells, are contaminated by ground water and need a filtration system installed and maintained. The lack of accessible, clean potable water is the cause for typhus, immune disorders, and other health issues. Recently, thanks to the GMPI donors we were able to send to Gulu over $13,000 to drill a bore hole well and repair four pumps. We required of the churches and villages several things to qualify for receiving these funds: 1) Have a church and community well committee 2) Open a bank account 3) Raise funds for future repairs 4) Have two volunteers at each well site who will take well maintenance and pump repair training. If GMPI is requiring volunteers who are willing to be trained, then we need to provide that training. WaterStep will be important in enabling us to do that. We have two GMPI Volunteers who are willing to take the training and go to Gulu.
I will attempt to describe the training evolution that Diego showed me, but understand I have no prior knowledge of the process, terms or tools.
The training begins with a mock well bed (right) that simulates where the pipe makes contact with the under-ground water source.
Pictured below is a low-tech way that two or three people can drill a shallow well up to 50 feet deep with only some primitive equipment and without the requirement of mechanical or heavy duty equipment. Shallow wells are easily contaminated by ground water so infiltration plants are needed.
Diego showed me two filtration systems. Pictured (below left) is a small portable system that is powered by a common car battery. The system makes its own bleach using water, salt and electricity from the battery. The system pumps, filters, and purifies the water then pumps the water into a tank or a large bladder like the two contained in the blue bags behind the unit.
The larger filtration system (pictured left) runs off a generator or the electric grid. It can process more water faster
The filter for both of these systems is made to be cleaned and reused. Inside the black housing (pictured left) is a stack of individual yellow rings with scrubbing teeth. The rings encircle a water pipe that carries water through these filter rings.
The system can draw water from a source like this and turn the water into clean, pure water that is safe to drink.
The training will cost GMPI about $780 ($400 for the training $320 for lodging and $60 for food) per person. The trainee will furnish their own transportation. It will cost about $2600 (transportation, food, and lodging) to send each volunteer to Gulu for ten days. This does not include the purchase of tools and material. But it will save the lives of many people.
Without neglecting your home church we invite those who feel led of God to support GMPI. You may give a general gift to go wherever it is presently needed or you may designate your gift to support Gulu pastors, Childero or any of the other vital ministries listed on this GMPI Website. Send your checks to GMPI Attention: Treasurer, 133 Cumberland Rd, Greenup, KY 41144. Unless your gift is for the general support of GMPI, clearly designate where your gift is to go.