The Water Crisis in the DRC
In 1998, the Democratic Republic of Congo became part of what some people called Africa's First World War, in a conflict between seven African nations. After the war, water became an increasingly sparse resource due to the collapse of the DRC's infrastructure during the fighting. Although the DRC use to be one of the wettest nations in Africa, today the majority of rural Congolese do not have access to sanitary water because of the lack of infrastructure. In fact a study carried out by the IRC found that since the war, most Congolese have not died from violence, but rather from malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition, all problems associated with the lack of water (Global Issues).
In the DRC, the state water utility does not have the ability to improve its water pumping system, because they lack the funds to undertake the project. Instead, they continue to pump water to needy areas through rusty, decaying pipes. According to the IRIN, only about 69 percent of the urban areas of the DRC receive water from the state water utility (IRIN News). This means that there are a significant amount of citizens not receiving water to their towns and villages, resulting in the locals having to find other options to satisfy their need for water. Many of the streams and ponds they are accessing are contaminated with waste, chemicals, or bacteria.
The Water4 Solution in the DRC
Beginning in 2013, we partnered with Justin Wren, a former Ultimate Fighter working with Fight for the Forgotten (FFF) and a local organization to help teach the Congolese nationals how to drill for clean water.
For more than a decade, the organization had focused on restoring human rights to the Pygmies, who have endured years of forced slavery by the region's other people group.
Through joints efforts with FFF and Water4, a negotiation was made to purchase the freedom of Pygmy slaves by offering both the oppressed and the oppressors what they desperately needed: clean water.
Throughout 2014 we worked to train the newly renamed Ituri Drillers, to drill water wells on the land acquired for the newly freed Pygmies, now numbering over 1,200. Ituri Drillers continue to work for the peace between the two people groups, while also offering Living Water and spiritual freedom by modeling prayer and worship while they are working, and discipling local people.