64 Days Left – Remembering the Green Bucket…

Posted by on May 9, 2012

The temperatures keep rising here in Texas, already topping out at 90 degrees-plus. And it’s not even summer yet!

Which reminded us of our trip this time last year to South Sudan’s city of Tonj, where despite the onset of the rainy season, temps still edged up past the 115 degree mark. To say it was warm is an understatement.

But the long days of sweltering air, the endless stifling nights that glowed silver-blue in the moonlight, reminded us then – and now – just how grateful we are for clean water. Because no matter how much water you drink in South Sudan, you always need to drink more. That’s because it’s so easy to dehydrate.

We drank filtered water while we were there. Day and night and the water wasn’t like water from our refrigerators or even our taps. Instead, it was hot like the air – but at least it was clean.

water for South Sudan, green bucketOur sisters in the surrounding villages didn’t drink this same kind of water. No doubt theirs was hot like ours. But it wasn’t clear and clean; it looked like what you see in this picture. In fact, while we chatted with women in the village of Timtuk, one of them quietly got up and walked to this old green bucket. She picked up the dirt-crusted tin cup that sat next to it, filled it from the bucket and returned to where she was sitting. She pulled her little daughter back into her lap then held the cup to the child’s lips.

Dazed, we all watched the toddler gulp filthy water. Unfazed, the women calmly explained that none of them drank much, maybe around eight ounces each day. Despite being contaminated, the water was precious and hard to come by. Even the heat and the need for hydration to continue nursing their babies weren’t strong enough reasons to drink more of the compromised water.

The story was pretty much the same everywhere we went. Women and water were connected in a complicated, tug-o-war relationship that was only finally relieved by the presence of local and reliable clean water sources. Water wells in a village, we say firsthand, could change everything for women and girls.

We want to see that kind of change and relief for our sisters in South Sudan. We long to see southern Sudanese women stop walking hours and miles daily to fetch dirty water that makes them and their families sick. We long to see girls attending school instead of missing classes to haul water. And we want to see local gardens, better nutrition, economic development and safer communities because the presence of clean water has eliminated the need to migrate and has promoted long-term community development.

Most of us don’t think all that much about water here. That’s because we have unbroken access to it whenever we want or need it. But clean water is a bridge to better health and untold opportunity. Will you prayerfully consider how you might do your thing in a way that helps bring clean water to a village in South Sudan? We still have 64 days left in our Water Effect Challenge and we’re hoping you’ll join us!

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