Despite Delays, Great Progress in Zambia
Because of shipping delays caused by the Coronavirus, it took six months. But 300 Sawyer PointONE Filters have finally arrived this month in Zambia, and the training of new Water Women has begun.

The goal is to train 100 Water Women each month.

“We are building the numbers of trainers, but we have seven right now working with small groups,” said Fr. Douglas Ogato, who serves a large parish and surrounding community in northern Zambia. “They are all lay women, all specially commissioned for this work, and with special uniforms. Sr. Theresa Konsolo is behind all of that work.”

Fr. Douglas said that when he met with the new Water Women, it was like the story in the Gospels of the man Jesus healed who couldn’t keep the good news to himself.

“Of course I could see how much they want clean water,” he said. “But just as in the Gospel, when God does great things for us, we want to share it with others. You can’t keep a good thing to yourself. It is with great joy that they go to filter water with their neighbors.

“Sometimes a project takes time to take root, but this one has taken root in people’s minds and lives and hearts. They want to be part of the training. We are now up to 250 Water Women, and they are good messengers for the project. They are not going to keep it to themselves.”

Sr. Theresa noted how happy the people are not to have to spend money on water.

“Normally it is about $3 for 10 liters of water, which is a great cost for the people,” she said. “Now in these areas they have made bore holes, and they fetch water in the buckets and filter it. When we have gone back to track how the people are using the buckets an filters – it is overwhelming.

“Now we have people approaching us: ‘When are you coming to our area? When are you coming to train us?’ They want to be a part of the blessings of this organization.”

Fr. Douglas has heard this too.

“Other parishes have expressed interest in the program,” he said. “This is also a good sign – we have to go beyond our parish into a new province. People want to have life in abundance.”
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