By Bill Dukes, Tanzania Safe Water Project

The Tanzania Safe Water initiative began during the SC Synod Mission trip to the Southwest Diocese in July 2012. Bill Dukes and representatives from Water Missions International visited 4 villages in the diocese to share the story of Safe Water with the members of the villages and to determine if a suitable water source was available. Bishop Herman Yoos endorsed a fund raising effort to develop Safe Water systems in the SW Diocese. In 2013, the SC Synod and Water Missions International formed a partnership to construct Safe Water Systems.

Three Safe Water Systems were completed and dedicated in 2014. These systems provide safe drinking water to more than 3,000 people in the villages of Mlwonde (Dedicated to honor the SC Synod Youth), Nogoje (Dedicated to honor the SC LMM) and Ikungula (Dedicated to honor William E. Dukes and Mt Horeb Lutheran Church).

During 2014, the Wheatridge Foundation provided the SC Synod with a $50,000 grant to implement and evaluate the feasibility of drilling Bore Wells to provide convenient access to water and to provide a much safer source for water. The SC Synod formed a partnership between Water To Thrive and St. Paul Partners to complete the bore well project.

Ten bore wells were completed in 2015 serving Nhungu, Matamba and the Itamba Middle School. The bore wells are projected to serve 2,000-2,500 people. Mr Marvin Sox understands the bore well technology and serves as the SC Synod liaison for the bore well systems. He visited the SW Diocese in 2014 and 2015. This Bore Well project is a “work in progress” and Marvin is providing expertise to help ensure the bore wells deliver a sustainable and quality water source.

During 2016, Water Missions International began developing engineering designs for the construction of a Consolidated Safe Water System that has the capacity to serve two large adjacent communities – Magoye and Makusi. WMI has determined that a water source is available that will supply the two communities. This project does present some new issues and WMI is working closely with the leaders of both communities and hopeful that the two communities will support the Consolidated/Shared Water System proposal during 2017.

Water Missions and Water To Thrive have formed a good relationship and the two organizations will work together in 2017 to determine if a Hybrid Bore Well/Chlorination System can be developed by adding the WMI filtration and chlorination system to the WTT bore wells. If this hybrid concept can be perfected then the cost of water systems can be greatly reduced and allow the SC Synod to fund many additional Safe Water projects for the SW Diocese.

Safe Water Sunday 2017 – Bishop Yoos has designated March 19 as Tanzania Safe Water Sunday for the South Carolina Synod. In previous years the LMM has taken a lead by creating awareness of Safe Water Sunday and collecting a special offering for Tanzania Safe Water.

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