Another drilling season draws to a close! And so, it is time for us to give you a summer update of what has happened with Myra’s Wells over the last nine months. Once again, we can only praise the Lord for His goodness. By His provision, we have been able to drill 34 wells bringing the total on the list to 149. The full list can be seen on this link. With this number of wells, it has been difficult to keep up with obtaining photographs – we hope to obtain more as soon as possible.
So, here is the news!
Thank you to all our wonderful supporters.
We have received grants from some Christian trusts which have allowed wells to be drilled at Yil-Yaale and Windpagouri. The story of Yil-Yaale, sponsored by Wilmslow Wells for Africa is below. Another trust – the “Harry Inman” family trust provided the finance for the well at Windpagouri – number 120 named “Harry’s Well”. We will give more details of this in the next newsletter.
A number of individuals have paid for wells in memory of a loved one or a special event. Many others support us regularly or as they are able. There are also anonymous donations and donations from some whose name we know but, for whom, we have no contact details. To everyone who has given gifts, “Thank you so much”. This includes others who have given support in “kind” to save the trustees some expense.
Featured wells: Yil-Yaale – well number 132 – “Betty’s Well”
We heard about this village just about a year ago. The application form told us that there were three places where the people might be able to find water.
The first water point was only 1.5 km away – about a mile in old money. This is quite good in Burkina Faso. But the real problem here was that people had to get up at 4 am if they didn’t want a 3 hour wait in a queue. And, on top of that, the pump might be locked and not usable.
The second water point was in a “puit à grande diameter”. These are large open wells, usually lined with concrete, up to 10 metres across. From March to July, this one was empty. And even when it had water in it, it would be dirty. These wells can be quite deep. We have heard stories of people, especially babies, falling into these open wells.
The third nearest water point was a pump 4 km away.
There is now a new well here – “Betty’s Well”. It provides plenty of lovely clean water for the large village and their cattle. Our thanks to “Wilmslow Wells for Africa” who provided the finance for this one in memory of their founder Betty.
Featured wells: Fandjora – well number 146 – “Charles’ Well”
Fandjora is an unofficial and (therefore) unregulated “gold mine”. People just arrive, build a small hut to live in, and try to find gold by digging deep holes. Nobody can make enough money to live on. There is a high mortality rate as the deep holes collapse and young men are buried alive. There was no water there other than a dirty river which became contaminated with cyanide (which is used in the gold refining process). We provided a well there. And the Mayor of the town responsible for Fandjora wrote to thank us. This is a translation of part of his letter:
By your intervention, the village of Fandjora now has a positive well which gives us the provision of pure water. The people are greatly comforted and have been revitalised by pure water from deep underground that has not been contaminated by cyanide or the gold panning and mining activities in the locality.
Happily, this well means that everyone in Fandjora has access to pure water, helping sanitation, and helping them to reduce the number of illnesses that they were suffering because dirty water was all they had.
The well will be fitted with a plaque – “Charles’ Well” in memory of the father of the generous donor who has paid for the well. She was moved to do this after she saw the conditions in a video on YouTube. If you want to see the video, copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7iv1fef6qo. (Unfortunately, we cannot just make this a link from the newsletter!)
Fouti – number 124 – “Eileen’s Well” and Tanhoko – number 125 – “John’s Well”
These are two villages about 10 km apart both with long waiting times at existing wells. Myra’s Wells drilled wells there – “John’s Well” and “Eileen’s Well” – in November. Here are pictures from the Well Blessing day. The full details are available on the news story on our web site. Use this link to read it.
3 stories to illustrate common reasons why wells are needed.
Tonon – well number 149. The need because of population growth.
The last well of the season was drilled at a village called Tonon. This is what the trustees were told when they visited last January:
“The population growth and number of livestock on one hand and the very limited water resources … often waiting for 5 to 10 hours to get this rare commodity.”
How sad to think that water is described as a “rare commodity”.
We are happy to report that water was found at 50 metres. The flow rate is 800 litres/hour which is quite adequate.
But what makes this a lovely well is what happened when the team went to install the pump and build the surrounding wall. Some of the Muslim people in the village were busy building a mosque there. They stopped doing that so that they could help with building the well surrounds. We pray that they will also find the living water!
Wouskossogo – well number 148. The need because of long waiting times at existing wells.
In January as well, a man came from a village called Wouskossogo in the north of the country to ask for a well. This is what he told us about the three places where they can find water:
- Pump 2 km away. But there are a lot of people and cattle. The people wait in a line in the order of arrival. The wait can be 5 to 6 hours.
- A seasonal river 1 km away – dries up in the dry season.
- Open well 4 km away. The water is dirty and many people use it.
Myra’s Wells arranged for drilling in March this year. We praise the Lord for providing water at a depth of 55 metres. The pastor there is now highly respected and people will listen to what he tells them about his God
Banamba – well number 118. The need because of dirty contaminated water sources.
To fetch water, the people had to go down to the dirty marshes and dig all over to finish up with a small amount of water. As the ground dried out after the rainy season, it took longer and longer to collect enough water.
And, anyway, this water is risky and can be polluted by chemical products which are used in the region
The new well was finished in October 2018. It produces an amazing 7200 litres/hour.
We have always been concerned to make sure that wells are properly looked after. But we wanted to have better arrangements put in place. So, we asked Christine and the other helpers in Burkina Faso to make some suggestions. They have come up with a good plan that will involve more people at each village. This is now in place at about 14 of the wells and will be implemented at all new wells, and all older ones gradually.
This has meant a small increase in the cost of each well. But it is only very small – and very worthwhile.
Part of the training given is also about health and the need for cleanliness. There is an article, outlining what they are taught, on the web site – click this link to read it.
Sabtenga – well number 65. Maintenance needed!
One of the villages where the maintenance committee has been established is Sabtenga on the outskirts of Ougadougou. When the mechanic arrived to do the training, he found that the pump was not operating as efficiently as it should do. So, he looked at it and realised that it needed one or two extra rods to be inserted. He was able to do this and now the pump is performing properly again. The cost? About £50.
The people there (who are not Christians) were SO pleased. They said that it is only the Christians who will drill a well, check it and repair it, and put a proper maintenance regime in place. What a good testimony! The picture shows the training in progress – we don’t have the original, but this is a scan from the training documentation.
Please pray about the security situation in Burkina Faso. Over the last few weeks, there have been regular attacks on (mainly) Roman Catholic churches. The groups that are carrying out these attacks are associated with extremist Islamic groups. All church groups of any type will be considered as at risk of attack. The problem is mainly in the north, particularly around a town called Arbinda. But it is not restricted just to church groups and the north. The whole country is considered to be at risk, particularly schools. We ask for prayer for:
- Safety, particularly for those who we know and work with;
- To be able to continue to provide wells – drilling companies are now unwilling to go to some areas;
- Wisdom about decisions which have to be made about whether to visit Burkina Faso next January.
Money for NO rope
We have talked about GiveAsYouLive before. Forgive our mentioning it again. But GiveAsYouLive allows you to give charity, without it costing you anything! Sounds too good to be true? But it is TRUE. So far, with just a few people participating, it has brought in over £300 pounds for Myra’s Wells without it costing a penny
If you shop online, this is how it works:
- You just need to create an account with GiveAsYouLive.com. We have a “How to” guide for this.
- Then, for your online shopping, log onto to GiveAsYouLive.com.
- Choose your online shopping site and go to it from the GiveAsYouLive page. Your favourite shops/stores are all there including Supermarkets, Amazon, clothes retailers, Travel etc.
- When you have completed your purchase, the retailer (not you!) donates a small percentage, typically between 1% and 2% of your spend, to Myra’s Wells.
The biggest benefits come when you use GiveAsYouLive to change energy suppliers and insurers. This can generate up to £18 to Myra’s Wells, every time you change your supplier.
JustGiving is very well known! Perhaps because of that, it is also the most expensive of the online giving sites for a charity to use. Because of this, we regret that the trustees are unable to continue to fund it for much longer. Besides taking 5% of your gifts, JustGiving charges £15 a month just for the privilege of being able to use their services (even if there are no donations made in that month!). So, from the end of this year, we will no longer be using their services.
Instead, we are encouraging online giving to be made using a service called “Wonderful”. Their monthly charge is £0. Their commission is 0%. They are funded by charitable trusts and so don’t charge the charities themselves anything. 100% of your gifts reach us! This link will take you to our “Wells Fund” donation page.
For regular giving, the best method is to set up a standing order with your bank. We can send a form for you to fill in if you would like to do this – please just ask!
Thank you again for your support and prayers.
Myra’s Wells trustees.