Clean water flows in rural Côte d’Ivoire communities
The Rev. Dr. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka, missionary and evangelist who coordinated the water project, offers thanks at the dedication ceremony. PHOTO: COURTESY OF REV. DR. JEAN CLAUDE MASUKA MALEK
By Christie R. House
Over two years, despite the spread of COVID-19, United Methodists in Côte d’Ivoire worked diligently to bring clean water to four different villages. Along with the tall towers that hold the water and the parts for pumping stations, spigots for wash areas and, in some cases, a solar array for power – newly formed villages water committees received knowledge and new skills as well.
“The communities received this project with joy,” said the Rev. Dr. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka, a missionary and evangelist with Global Ministries who coordinated the water project.
The villages of Istha, Allangouanou, Soukoukro and Youhil, with tens of thousands of people in total, now come to draw clean water from their new systems. They used to draw water from contaminated rivers, streams and wells.
“A nurse from a village clinic told us that clean water has boosted health conditions overall, because she hasn’t seen as many cases of diarrhea since people started using water supplied from the tower,” Masuka Maleka confirmed.
Dedication ceremonies in the villages drew large numbers of men, women and children. An elected chief in Soukoukro noted that he had never been able to offer his people clean, running water, nor had he ever had it himself. “I thank The United Methodist Church,” he said. “I am Catholic, but we serve the same God, thank you.”
Because the formation of water committees and training for their members were part of the project plan, all four villages maintain their water systems, ensuring that the water will keep flowing.
Christie R. House is a consultant writer and editor with Global Ministries.
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Through United Methodist conferences and health boards, the work of global health strengthens whole networks of health responses, from revitalization of facilities and staff training to building better water sources, developing sanitation facilities and promoting nutrition. Global Health continues to concentrate on eradicating preventable diseases, such as malaria, HIV and AIDS and COVID-19, and supporting the most vulnerable populations, including mothers, newborns and children.
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