Water security

  •  April 11, 2022
  • By: Evan MacAlpine
A child holds a glass of clean water in their hands.
This project will help: 165 children and families

Compassion centre: BR0608

Country: Brazil

Completion date: January 2023

Executive summary

The availability of safe and clean water is a prerequisite for life itself—more than any other factor. There is a sense of heightened urgency when it comes to the need for water. According to the Pan American Health Organization, “the water and health of a population are inseparable situations.”

This is also the case in São Gonçalo do Amarante, a rural town located in the State of Ceara in Northeastern Brazil. The need for water security is intensified as the town is an area prone to drought and infrequent rainfall. The town is located on the top of a rocky and mountainous terrain, where water suppliers do not have regular connections. There are few local public policies and social services and the local water and sewage management company does not reach the neighbourhood consistently. As a result, it is not uncommon for the community to go up to 15 days without water. This community is frequently prone to waterborne illnesses due to lack of access to clean water or safe filtering methods. Chronic lack of water also leads to difficulties in managing agriculture and livestock, and the lowered levels of crop yields lead to lack of economic stability and resources. This town is encroached by constant pressures of getting food on the table day to day.

The local Compassion centre provides several programs that proclaim the Kingdom of God, foster recreation activities and provide a safe space for children and youth. However, beneficiaries often don’t attend the Compassion programs during the frequent water outages. This causes delays and gaps in the Compassion program and makes it difficult for the church to properly follow-up with the children.

Our church partner in São Gonçalo do Amarante wants to offer children in the community access to better living conditions by drilling a well and distributing water filters to 165 families in need. Families will also receive hygiene training. Access to clean drinking water will give them stability in their daily lives. Ultimately, with the daily struggle and worry over clean water gone, children and youth will have the headspace to pursue greater things in life such as education, building a strong and healthy family and developing their relationship with God.

Summary

Background

Our partner church in São Gonçalo do Amarante, Brazil, has been working with Compassion since 2018 and serves 165 beneficiaries in the Compassion program. The municipality has nearly 44,000 residents. Unemployment is high here—only 7.4 per cent hold formal jobs and 59 per cent has a monthly income of less than half the minimum wage.

Local church partners were already working with children from the local community to provide better standards of living and regular exposure to the life-changing message of the gospel. However, the urgent need for consistent water sources persists due to the isolated nature of this community. Those living in the mountainous areas of the municipality do not have access to safe water, causing disruptions to Compassion’s holistic child development program and exposing families to illnesses as they collect what water they can from contaminated sources.

The need

Children and their families in the remote areas of São Gonçalo do Amarante struggle to eke out a living. Facing obstacles of unemployment, frequent drought and lack of municipal and social services, many families here also have no access to clean water. The municipal water services simply do not extend to those living high in the mountainous terrain, leaving families to collect water from unsafe sources and causing children registered in the local Compassion program to miss centre days.

Our local church partner, First Missionary Baptist Church Vivendo em Amor, recognizes that providing access to clean water will bring major health benefits to children and adolescents enrolled in the Compassion program. Through this intervention, the church seeks to drill a well, install a water storage tank and distribute water filters to 165 beneficiary families. This project will be led by the local pastor, who is personally experienced in drilling wells and handling construction projects. Families will also receive training in hygiene and how to clean the water filters. Access to clean water will not only allow children to attend the Compassion centre on a regular basis but it will also increase agricultural output and reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases.

What your gift will do

  • Well drilling:
    • Pipe lining
    • Submersible pump
    • Pumping water pipe
    • Cable and rope
  • Water filters for 165 beneficiary families
  • Hygiene education for families

Logistics

  • Local contribution: US$530.00
  • Handling of funds: Our church partner will budget, negotiate and hire local contractors. They will ensure this intervention stays within budget and remains on schedule.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: The church partner will work to distribute water filters and organize training sessions on filter cleaning. The partnership facilitator will conduct follow-up checks every month.