This week's story comes from Saint Paul Partners, a BKB affiliate, and their current volunteer in Iringa, Ethan Brownell. A recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, Ethan's report highlights the many ways that communities, organizations, and individuals are working side by side to deliver safe water throughout the Iringa Region.
In January 2017, four engineering students from the University of Minnesota visited Itonya village to assess their water situation and develop a design to supply safe and clean water to the village. Villagers in Itonya were using unsafe surface sources for all of their water needs including for a local dispensary and primary school.
After the students completed a successful design, St. Paul Partners in Iringa began working with Itonya to create a water committee and to train villagers on sustainable practices of maintaining a water system. Through generous support by the Winter Wheat Foundation and Itonya's partner congregation in Almelund, Minnesota, Immanuel Lutheran
, funds were raised in order to begin work on the system.
Beginning in November 2017, work was started to construct a water system capable of supplying safe and clean water to over 1,200 people, the local dispensary, and primary school. Villagers worked daily to dig over 3.5 km of trenches for the piping, broke rock for concrete construction, and assisted the fundis (skilled workers) with the plumbing and concrete work.
As of February 1st, the work is almost complete. All the plumbing has been completed, all of the concrete construction has been done, and all that is left is to finish burying all piping and check construction quality for the large concrete work. Many people have worked long hours on this project and it is exciting to see the progress that has been made. It is anticipated that the system will be fully functioning in mid-February.
Besides the obvious benefits of providing safe water to the village of Itonya, this project has touched the lives of many in both Minnesota and Tanzania. Crossing cultural boundaries to provide this basic need has demonstrated generous spirit and the bond that can be created through God. There are too many people to thank to name them individually but among others, many thanks go out to the village of Itonya, St. Paul Partners Iringa team, the Winter Wheat Foundation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, and the students from the University of Minnesota.
Saint Paul Partners