The House on the Hill

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Saturrin’s family lives on the hill overlooking the Central African capital city of Bangui. His job with the local telecommunications company means that his family is pretty middle-class. Since he is blessed to have a good job, Saturrin not only supports his own family, but has taken in several of his nieces and nephews, cousins, and siblings, adding up to a household of 12 people.

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None of the nearby water sources are safe—all are hand-dug wells and the water is visibly dirty. So, many mornings, Satturin loads up a few jugs in his car and takes them to work, which is about 7 miles away. At his office he can often fill up the jugs with potable drinking water. But that is not enough for the whole family and all their water needs, which means that every day before school all of the kids make a trip down the hill to a neighbor’s shallow, hand-dug well.

The kids have to wait their turn to draw water. If the owner of the well (or any of his kids) happens to need water, they get priority and cut in line. Sometimes there’s a long wait. The family tries to only use water from this source for washing and chores because, again, it’s from a shallow, hand-dug well which is likely to be contaminated.

“So that’s our struggle, day, after day, after day. It tires us out. We’d love to have a little vegetable garden beside the house, but it’s just not an option since there’s no water to water it. You see this child? She used to go to school, but we had to take her out, and bring her home to help us out. She fetches water for the house from morning to afternoon. If we had close water access, she’d be in school.”

– Saturrin

With so many children in their house (remember, 12 people live there), this extended family uses a lot of water. Even the jugs the children bring home each morning are not sufficient for bathing, laundry, washing dishes, and cooking. As a result, one of Saturrin’s daughters, Verlette, has had to drop out of school in order to stay home to fetch water during the day. There’s a 55 gallon drum in the kitchen that she works to constantly keep filled.

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Please pray for this family and consider making a donation. Your generous support will help us bring clean water to more people so families don’t have to sacrifice their children’s futures.

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Looking to the future, we are helping to  build local, Central African drilling, service, and supply businesses that will continue to provide and maintain water for the people of Central Africa, forever. This is not easy. The long-term solutions will involve the government, large international humanitarian organizations, and local nonprofit groups like Water for Good, all working together so that CAR can support its own people. 

But it’s worth it! Never again should a girl like Verlette have to quit school to collect water. Thank you for joining us to build this better future.

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