Water for Life, a major project of The United Methodist Church in Liberia, has now crossed into Guinea, with plans to build at least five water wells in the country.
Water for Life, Advance #3020811 is a United Methodist Board of Global Ministries Advance project led by The United Methodist Church in Liberia. The church expects to spend more than $13,000 in Guinea, with each well costing about $2,650.
The first two wells were dedicated in Yassata and Burumma as part of the church's Guinea Ministry, while the other three wells are undergoing construction in additional communities where The United Methodist Church has a presence.
The Rev. Pade Mietakor Kialen, associate director of the human rights department for The United Methodist Church in Liberia, said the decision to construct the water wells in Guinea grew out of the many requests from church members across the border.
"We have reports of people who died from waterborne diseases and we don't want the same thing to happen to our young and small membership and the people here in Guinea," he said.
The Guinea Ministry of the Liberia Conference includes 15 churches and is the denomination's only presence in southeastern Guinea.
Kialen stressed that while the church is helping to improve health through safe drinking water, it is the responsibility of the people to care for the wells properly. He said the way in which communities handle the wells will determine if the church builds more wells in the area.
"Water is life. That is why your brothers and sisters overseas are funding the construction of these water wells throughout the Guinea Ministry," he said.
"Our partners, especially St. Paul United Methodist Church in Rochester, Michigan, are standing with us in saving lives in both Guinea and Liberia through the provision of safe drinking water," said Jefferson Knight, director of the Liberian church's human rights department.
"What is done by Water for Life in this town will be remembered by the people of Yassata for a very long time," said Yassata Town Chief Gede Kpomou.
Speaking during the dedication and presentation ceremony of the water well (known as a hand pump locally), Kpomou said he has been waiting all his life for the day that safe drinking water would be available in his town.
"There will be no more sicknesses from drinking unsafe water," he said. "The United Methodist Church has made the dream a reality for all of us."
"Waterborne diseases will now be lower in the community since the people will be drinking this water," he said, adding that the water well belongs to the community and its presence has increased the people's trust in the church as a caring entity.
The water well will be used by the entire community for drinking, while the creek water can be used for other chores in the home, she said.
The Guinea Ministry in Diecke is in partnership with several churches in the United States as well as the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
E. Julu Swen, communicator in Liberia,
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