The largest country in Eastern Africa, Tanzania lies between the African Great Lakes and the Indian Ocean, covering 365,756 square miles and home to Africa’s lowest point, Lake Tanganyika and the highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Over one third of Tanzania’s land is set aside for protected conservation areas, made up primarily of 16 national parks. The national language is Swahili, but 100 other languages are also spoken, the most linguistically diverse in East Africa.
Despite the diverse beauty of its landscape, approximately 44.9 million of its 51.8 million citizens live on less than $2 a day. Tanzania ranks No. 151 out of 188 countries on the 2017 Human Development Index report, which measures life expectancy, education and per capita income indicators to determine the development of a country.
We just want to be servants like Jesus was when he was on earth.
The Water Crisis in Tanzania
Tanzania is home to over 51 million people, with 70% of its residents living in rural areas and only 44% of rural residents with access to an improved water source.
Nearly half the population of Tanzania, 23 million people, do not have access to safe water. 44 million people lack access to appropriate sanitation causing over 3,000 deaths per year from waterborne illness in children under five.
The Water Solution in Tanzania
Water4 launched a partnership in Tanzania with Mighty Men Well Drilling in 2016. The name “Mighty Men” was inspired by King David’s Mighty Men in 2 Samuel 23, and was started as an initiative of Empowering Lives International in 2013. Nine employees make up the team, Yokobo, Kisula, Dotto, Ibrahim, Shuka, George, Ngosha, Lawrence, Amos Ndalahwa, Daudi and Andrew. The team has completed 12 water projects in the past three years and is focusing on installing water systems in 20 schools in 2018. The first two years of drilling were extremely challenging as they learned drilling would require a large mechanical rig. After receiving an investment to purchase a drill rig, Mighty Men drilled 15 wells in 2017 and are focusing on installing 30 wells in 2018. They believe that schools are a way to have the most impact because of the opportunity to empower the next generations. The average water project in Tanzania costs $8,000, impacting 600-700 lives per well. The geology of Tanzania requires heavier equipment than the traditional Water4 hand drilling method, making the average well cost higher in Tanzania.
Mighty Men Drillers share the Gospel throughout the water project process in every community they serve.
Over the next three years, their goal is to become a leading example of Christian business practices, having a business that is Christ-centered. “We just want to be servants like Jesus was when he was on earth,” said Co-Director and CFO, Andrew Belko.
Mighty Men Drillers have witnessed a wide range of change in Tanzanian communities against the backdrop of a newly elected president who has ushered in a period of less corruption and more peace.
Mighty Men Drillers finish each well installation by gathering community members together to talk about the Gospel and the Living water Jesus offers, further transforming communities. “That’s really the best part,” said Andrew. “After all this work and getting the water, you get to share the message of the Living water.”
It’s the strength, determination and care of teams like Mighty Men Drillers that will eradicate the physical and spiritual water crisis around the globe. At Water4, we are constantly grateful to be partnered with such willing and bold leaders across Africa.
By Emilie Hechtner / Sources: Wikipedia, Water Aid / Category: Countries