of the town of Luputa in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo
are celebrating the arrival of clean, fresh water to a region which
has known only scarce water from shallow wells since the 1950’s. A
dependable water system has been in the works for the last few
years but residents lacked the money to complete it. (Newsroom
first reported on this story last summer.)
missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
knew the Church was in a position to assist. After much discussion
and review of what would be required to pipe clean water 19 miles
through five communities, the Church helped to fund the
The Church pledged not only money but, also engineering services. A Church representative in the area, Celestin Kubangila Kamanda, said the people are grateful to the Church for providing the means to complete the project.
“The people have said the
Church has given a great lesson about charity and the golden rule,”
A water distribution system
of smaller pipes will take the water throughout the village of
Tshiabobo to 40 water stations. All the trenches are hand dug by
the people in the villages who will receive the water. On one given
day, 83 people were requested to clear foliage to make room for the
pipeline, and 206 showed up to work.
A significant benefit of
this type of water line is it requires no pump or electricity.
Spring-capture systems require virtually no maintenance and they
last three times longer compared to wells. Even in the dry season,
the spring source for the project continues to flow at over six
gallons per second.
The people have contributed
$3,000, which they used to develop the spring sources. Residents
will manage the gravity-fed system through a community water and
sanitation board. The board’s charge is to ensure water quality,
determine fees and perform regular maintenance.
The completion of the first phase of the Luputa water line includes a nine inch pipe which feeds water from a nearby source and carries it nine miles to the village of Tshiabobo. Phases two and three include extending the pipeline another ten miles to Luputa. Once the entire project is complete more than 166,000 people will have clean water.