UNDER THE AFRICAN SUN

“Actions Speak Louder than Words"

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The Zambezi River: A Lifeline for Rural Communities

Between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe is the Zambezi River, a source of water, fertile soil, and electricity for 32 million people (about twice the population of New York). Some communities are only accessible by boat on the Zambezi. The river, home to the world’s biggest man-made reservoir, has taken care of its people for a thousand years.

But with 2022 charting record low rainfall, the Kariba Dam electric station has been suspended until the necessary water levels return. With more than 70% of the power in Karoi generated by the river, the loss is immense. For most surrounding towns, the water goes out when the electricity does, leaving them without clean drinking water.

The Zambezi

The Zambezi, meaning “great river” in Tongan, stretches 1,600 miles through South Africa. It’s been a source of life for a thousand years. In addition to the millions of people it sustains, it’s home to fauna such as hippos, lions, crocodiles, elephants, and sheep.

Karoi, a rural tobacco town, is a close-knit community that relies on the river. While the dam provides water to the folks nearby, there are still many people who have to go and carry the water back to their families. It’s estimated that half the households in the area around Karoi are outside the recommended safe distance from a water source.

Building Sustainable Solutions with Boreholes

While the fate of the river is uncertain, there are folks dedicated to providing communities with clean water sources. Far away Missions and Quench Ministries fund and build boreholes throughout the Karoi area.

Led by Brother Bill Evans from Kentucky and Leonard Miaronda from Karoi, the mission is to bridge the gap between the tiresome trek to the river through a well technology called boreholes. Boreholes are typically six to eight inches around and can go as deep as 200 feet. By using the hand pump, locals can bring up fresh water as needed with little interruption.

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Strengthening Communities

Where boreholes have been placed, communities have grown stronger. The ministries intentionally find neutral places to drill to provide everyone in the area with access to water.
As of 2023, Quench Ministries has funded the installation of 11 boreholes, and repaired several others, providing access to clean water for thousands of people.

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