When was the last time you walked four miles to collect one pail of water for your family? My answer would have to be never.
The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. Approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors; with the bathroom being the largest consumer (a toilet alone can use 27 percent!).
Not everyone is as fortunate. In Malawi it is not uncommon for people to walk as much as nine miles for one pail of water. One pail of water, perhaps five gallons, for an entire family.
With a population of 17 million people Malawi is among the smallest countries in Africa. It is also one of the least developed and poorest. Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa and despite signs of economic development many challenges remain – in rural areas as few as two in ten people have access to a toilet. While water sources are fairly numerous in Malawi, much of the population lives without access to a safe and protected water source.
Malawi suffers frequent droughts and floods. The last several years have been extremely difficult for the Malawians. In an economy that is heavily dependent on the agricultural sector, it is crucial to understand the implications of these extreme climate events. About 2.8 million Malawians face food insecurity, making the country one of the worst hit in southern African drought.
Many people in Malawi live in rural areas where extreme weather, rapid population growth and pollution have made farming difficult. A reliable safe water supply is essential to grow enough food to eat.
Although official figures show Malawi to have 90% water supply coverage, the number of people with reliable access is far lower. Many hand pumps are broken, leaving no choice but to go back to unsafe water sources. Almost 90 percent of child deaths from diarrheal diseases are directly linked to contaminated water, lack of sanitation, or inadequate hygiene.
So here we are in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Can we make a difference? The answer is a resounding yes.
First, we can pray. Here’s a recent prayer request from a missionary our team met on their trip in May. As you can hear in her words this is a request from her heart.
Can you please join me in praying for the nation of Malawi….?
- We need rain. Not too much and not too little, but God knows what we need.
- We only get 2-4 hours of electricity every 48 hours. It normally turns on between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. while people are sleeping.
- Water is only turned on for 30 minutes three days a week. This normally happens about 5:00 a.m.
- With limited electricity we are unable to pump water from one tank to the other. We are currently out of running water. We are still blessed with one water tank so we can collect water using buckets.
- The lack of electricity means no maize mill…. no maize mill…. no ufa…. no ufa… no nsima…. This is the staple food for Malawians.
- No water requires people to wait in long lines at boreholes. Sometimes taking all day. Walking long distances in the middle of the night to return with one pail of water.
Amidst this entire crisis God continues to provide for His children, but please let’s come together and let’s pray for Malawi.
What else can we do?
On Sunday, October 23rd AFBC will hold its annual Night of Worship followed by our Chili Cook-Off. During the Chili Cook-Off you will have the opportunity to vote for your favorite chili using “change.” That’s right your coins, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters can make a difference for the people of Malawi.
100% of the money collected on Sunday will go to the Malawi Mission Project, which includes digging and maintenance of a new well in Malawi. To us it may be pocket change but what a huge difference those coins can make in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Malawi.
We hope to see you there!