Water4 partner, Access Water4 Zambia is transforming lives and instilling hope in Zambian communities in bold and innovative ways.
Home to over 16 million people, Zambia has one of the world’s fastest growing economies thanks to rich resources and a thriving agriculture industry. Zambia was once known as Northern Rhodesia and was named Zambia after the Zambezi River when gaining independence in 1964. Zambia is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, and is now a thriving destination for Africa tourism.
Although Zambia’s economy and tourism industry are growing, challenges remain with widespread poverty and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, making the average life expectancy just 47 years. 4.7 million out of 16 million residents don’t have access to safe water, and an even greater 7 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation. As a result, 5,000 children die every year from diarrhea in Zambia.
Water4 has trained three Zambian drilling teams, with a focus on technical and spiritual support.
Water4 began working in Zambia in 2009, training a team of five young men who’d been orphaned by the AIDS crisis. Together they founded Samfya Water and Sanitation and began completing water projects in and around their local communities. Access Water4 Zambia took over operations in 2014, and since operations began in 2009, 227 wells and 3 piped water systems have been completed. They have also improved, capped and fitted 45 shallow wells with Access pumps. Their work has impacted 46,291 lives, including 740 people with in-home piped water. Access Water4 Zambia has grown into the lead franchise of three manual drilling teams, Bangweulu Drillers, Chifunabuli Water and Sanitation and Pambashe Drilling Company.
Current initiatives focus on well projects, water vending kiosks and Gospel Reaching Opportunities with Water (GROW), an irrigation pilot program. In everything they do, Access Water4 Zambia uses water as an access ministry to share the Gospel and make disciples. For example, when doing mobilization and mWaSH training in the community, relationships are developed with the mobilizers who invite the community into conversations about the Gospel.
Carmen Brubacher serves as an administrative and technical advisor to Access Water4 Zambia. A second generation missionary, Carmen grew up in Kenya and has extensive international development experience having worked with post-war reconstruction in Sudan and the AIDS crisis in Zambia.
In 2004, Carmen and her husband, Mark, moved to the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan to work as area coordinators with Fellowship for African Relief in water and sanitation, food security, health and small grant development programs. In 2007, they moved to Zambia with their two children to work with Bright Hope International, targeting poverty alleviation through local churches.
Since 2013, Carmen has served full-time with Water4 as the director for Zambian programs. Carmen has an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California Berkeley and a graduate degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in Water and Sanitation from the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
“By providing access to sustainable sources of clean water, Access Water4 Zambia helps validate the church’s response to the community by meeting a very tangible need and inviting people into a church where they can be discipled,” Carmen said.
Discipleship happens in Zambian communities as drillers share their testimonies, attend discipleship meetings, participate in church planting and strengthen partnerships with Bible schools through training and mentorship in Disciple Making Movements (DMM) from Bright Hope International and Water4.
“As we talk with them [the drillers], they’re showing interest in spiritual things and asking if we can spend more time with them on discipleship–not just drilling,” Carmen said.
Water4 has trained three Zambian drilling teams, with a focus on technical and spiritual support. Carmen’s prayer is for the drillers to grow individually, and for their lives and testimonies to influence their families and the communities where they live and work.
Prosper, team leader of the Bangweulu Drillers franchise says “In general, the drilling program has really changed my life. I am supporting my family financially with the money I make from drilling. I took my wife to the beach and we had a coke the other day. I’ve never been able to do that before. Spiritually, there is also a change in my life as a result of being mentored. I understand about tithing and that it comes from the heart, not just a rule of the church. I tithe on the money I make from drilling and it has helped my church. I’m a deacon in my church and I’m leading the youth department. As a result of the discipleship training I’ve received, I’ve also started mentoring the 40 youth that I meet with each week. I never used to do that and didn’t even think it was important.”
For Carmen and the entire Access Water4 Zambia team, life is about using their talents in a way that honors Jesus and shares his Gospel with the nation they call home. Access Water4 Zambia is paving the way for a Water4 exit strategy in their region, and we couldn’t be happier.
By Emilie Hechtner / Sources: Wikipedia / Category: Countries