It was time to clean our water storage tank. Dirt often settles on the bottom of it. The water is typically not brown, but the picture shows the water near the very bottom of the tank. We’ve had an abundance of rain the last few weeks, so some were scared that more than just dirt was getting into the water lines. We already use a special water filter for our drinking water to ensure that we don’t get sick from waterborne illnesses, but at the moment, we’re boiling it, too, just to be extra careful.
Like many houses in Nairobi, we have a large water storage tank in our back yard. City water pressure fluctuates. Sometimes water is cut for a few hours in a day or for a whole day or two during a week depending on how much water is available for city consumption. Water storage tanks like ours fill when the pressure is good and the water is running from the city. An electric pump pumps the water to a smaller tank in our attic so that all the faucets in the house, save the kitchen cold water tap, have gravity-fed water pressure. It’s a practical water system design.
By shutting off the valve to refill the storage tank, we drained it over a few weeks enough to clean it out. The tank in the attic is still full…for now. We’ll have to wait for the big storage tank to fill, though, before resuming all of our regular water-based activities. Since living here, we have a little better understanding of what a precious resource water is and how we shouldn’t take it for granted.
Access to water and to clean water is challenging in many parts of the world. People use water for drinking, cleaning, cooking, irrigation, generating power and more. According to BBC, “The world’s supply of fresh water is running out. Already one person in five have no access to safe drinking water.”
Water access can also be a challenge to Bible translation projects. Local and foreign staff working on projects may get sick from waterborne illnesses. Some of these illnesses can cause death. They may have to spend time collecting water by hand from far away sources, or spend money having clean water delivered by truck. For these reasons, Wycliffe Associates (a partner organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators), is committed to Operation Clean Water. Through this project Wycliffe Associates is providing funding for clean water projects and training local people. Here’s an excerpt from a report from a water project in Cameroon (a country in Central Africa):
“Recently, a team of Wycliffe Associates volunteers returned from the Ndop region of Cameroon, where they spent a week training locals on the design, construction, and use of Bio Sand water filters. Ndop is made up of 10 language groups with one language group having a translated New Testament. Bible translation projects are currently underway for two more language groups. This training demonstrates the love of Christ in a practical way, which helps open up communities to the work of Bible translation.
As the training concluded, participants took Bio Sand filter molds back to their villages to begin the construction of home filtration units from gravel and sand. These lifesaving units are a godsend for families where sickness and death are everyday realities as a direct result of using dirty water. Their main water source is a contaminated river used for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, watering animals, and drinking. Properly used, the filters will remove 95 to 98 percent of harmful bacteria from the water.” Read the full report and see how you can be involved.
Learn more about global water access.