November 24, 2017

African Water Projects

By Provision’s Africa headquarters were located in Tsumeb, Namibia. The headquarters moved from Ondjiva, Angola to Tsumeb, Namibia in 2007. By Provision continues to work in both Angola and Namibia, and started in Botswana in 2009. Now all work is coordinated from the US.

NAMIBIA

Population: 2.2 million

-       7% without access to an improved water source

-       65% without adequate sanitation services

-       35% living below the poverty line

Life expectancy: 62 years

Infant Mortality Rate: 31 per 1000 live births

Gross National Income (GNI) per capita: $6323 USD

*sources: World Bank, UNICEF, USAID, UNDP, CIA World Factbook

According to the latest UNDP report, Namibia is ranked 105th out of 169 countries with comparable date in the United Nations Human Development Index. This arid country is rich in mineral resources, but the mining sector employs only 3 percent of the population. More than half of Namibians depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. In years of drought, rural areas face major food and water shortages; overall, agricultural productivity is generally low due to the arid climate, as well as poor and easily degradable soils.

A high per capita GNI (relative to the region) hides one of the highest income disparities in the world. 35 percent of Namibia’s population lives on less than one dollar per day. The structure of the economy has made job creation and poverty reduction difficult at best, further feeding the cycle of inequality.

Another key challenge facing Namibia’s development goals is the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS infection. AIDS accounts for half of the deaths among Namibians age 15-19 and for 75 percent of all hospitalizations in public facilities. The poorest parts of the country are those with the highest rate of infection. About 120,000 Namibian children under age 17 have lost one or both parents; about 57,000 of these children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. UNICEF considers AIDS the driving factor in recent increases in Namibia’s maternal mortality rate.

By Provision began operations in Namibia in 2006, and is already making a marked difference in the northernmost areas of this arid nation. More than 733 water projects have been completed in Namibia since we began drilling and rehabilitating wells there. Our partners on the ground work closely with communities to implement water and hygiene solutions, building relationships and creating a sense of ownership among the people while helping teach them new skills. By Provision trained workers through out communities that received boreholes and left stock piles of needed supplies to rehabilitate boreholes with the head men in these villages. This ensures the communities with constant clean, safe water for generations to come.Namibia’s northern border is with Angola and is southern border is with South Africa. Its entire 1,572 km western coast runs with the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa. The land mass is 825,418 sq km or slightly more than half the size of Alaska. Namibia is mostly desert; hot, dry with sparse and erratic rainfall. Less than .01% of land mass is arable. Natural fresh water resources are very limited. The interior of the country has no surface water whatsoever.  The rivers are dry.  There are only 2 lake systems in the country and one of them has been dry since 1985.  The only rivers with year-round water are on the northern and southern borders.  Interestingly, many of the dry river beds have underground streams flowing underneath.  There is an adequate aquifer but it is very deep in most places, under lots of layers of rock.  Boreholes (wells) have to be dug over 100 meters deep in many locations.  Prolonged periods of drought are common. Desertification, the encroachment of the ever growing desert, decreases the chance of survival for 47% of the population depending on agriculture. Namibian’s survival depends on water.
 
The interior of the country has no surface water whatsoever.  The rivers are dry.  There are only 2 lake systems in the country and one of them has been dry since 1985.  The only rivers with year-round water are on the northern and southern borders.  Interestingly, many of the dry river beds have underground streams flowing underneath.  There is an adequate aquifer but it is very deep in most places, under lots of layers of rock.  Boreholes (wells) have to be dug over 100 meters deep in many locations. 

            The population is 2,055,080: black 87.5%, white 6%, mixed 6.5% About 50% of the population belong to the Ovambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other ethnic groups includes Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%. The UNDP's 2005 Human Development Report indicated that 34.9% of the population lives on $1 per day and 55.8% live on $2 per day. This low income is largely due to the scarcity of water with which to grow crops and livestock.

            Life expectancy is 43 years old, slightly more for males and a couple of years less for females. The median age is 20 years old. HIV/AIDS and water borne diseases account for nearly all deaths. More than 20% of adults tested have HIV/AIDS, most people do not get tested. In August of 2006 there was a nationwide celebration about the downturn in HIV/AIDS rate. The newspaper report said the HIV/AIDS rate was now estimated at 30%---a major victory! There are many contributing factors to HIV/AIDS. In Africa there is an additional factor: traditional customs and practices (“witchcraft”) involving old needles, cutting, and burning the body both for celebrations and “healing”. These practices transport blood from the sick to the healthy, carrying HIV to uninfected people celebrating birth, puberty, wedding, and other life passages rites. Evangelical Christians practice new ways of living, healing, and celebrating that elevate life instead of threatening it.

Other major infectious diseases are bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid, schistosomiasis, and malaria. All of these are waterborne. Clean, safe water is key to improving the health of Namibians.

            The most recent CIA report indicates religious preferences as: Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%. These numbers are highly subjective. The Lutheran Church counts every person born in its provinces as church members. The people don’t get to choose. They are told what religion they must be. This kind of interpretation of religious affiliation is not in keeping with By Provision’s understanding of a Christian, as a believer of free will with a personal relationship with Christ. Therefore when Namibians say they are “Christians,” By Provision follows up with a clear gospel presentation. We have witnessed pastors and ministers accept Christ. Namibian “Christians” clearly need to be told about the one and only way to heaven: Christ, the Living Water.

Angola

Population: 18.9 million

-       49% without access to an improved water source

-       50% without adequate sanitation services

-       54% living below the poverty line

Life expectancy: 48 years

Infant Mortality Rate: 220 per 1000 live births

Gross National Income (GNI) per capita: $4941 USD

*sources: World Bank, UNICEF, USAID, UNDP, CIA World Factbook

According to the latest UNDP report, Angola is ranked 146th out of 169 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index, with over half of its population living on less than $1.25 per day. Much of the country's infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from a 27-year-long civil war. Since the war ended in 2002, three million refugees (primarily women and children) have returned to their homes in Angola. Most have resettled in isolated and heavily damaged provinces, many littered with unexploded land mines.

 

Angola’s low level of human development seems inconsistent with its potential for economic success. The country is already sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest oil producer and the sixth largest source of U.S. imported oil. In addition, Angola has tremendous agricultural resources, giving it the kind of export potential that could contribute to development and stability. Even so, both life expectancy and infant mortality in Angola remain among the worst in the world.

Clean, piped water is prohibitively expensive for many Angolan families, forcing them to rely on water from unprotected sources, which, along with poor hygiene and sanitation, contributes to nearly 90 percent of deaths from diarrhea in the country. Diarrhea accounts for 18 percent of child mortality in Angola. In Luanda in 2006, contaminated water in the city led to one of Africa’s worst cholera epidemics—more than 80,000 Angolans fell ill. Efforts to reduce mortality rates will undoubtedly be hindered indefinitely unless adequate sanitation facilities and potable water sources are made available throughout the country.


Since beginning operations in Angola in 2004, By Provision completed more than 110 water projects, primarily in remote areas of the Cuenene province near the city of Ondjiva. In Angola we left a trailer, hand pumps, pvc, leather o rings, and other supplies to keep the boreholes maintained. Visa issues often interfere with By Provision’s work in Angola, but our partners on the ground remain faithful. They continue to work closely with desperate communities in remote regions of the country in order to implement water and hygiene solutions. Our partners work to do more than just complete a project—they build relationships and help teach new skills while creating a sense of ownership for the project among the people they serve.Angola is about twice the size of Texas. 
 

Cunene is a province in central southernmost part of Angola about the size of Alabama. There are 600,000 people in this wilderness trapped by the 30-year civil war that ended in April of 2002. Land mines planted through out Cunene shut it off to the outside world. The Kwanyama are the major people group in the area. This people group also extends into Namibia. The political boundary between Angola and Namibia was imposed on the Kwanyama people and also separated family members from each other.

The infrastructure of Cunene was lost during the war. The closest source of running water is the Cunene River that marks the northern border of the province. There is no system for water distribution. Most people live 100 or more miles south of the river, because the military occupied areas around the river during the war. Electricity is only available in a few villages and is unreliable. The north/south tar road connecting Cunene to the rest of Angola is barely existent. Four wheel vehicles have beat out a parallel dirt road beside the old tar road making transportation possible during most of the year. Schools are being established, but many are without teachers or facilities meeting under trees and in churches wherever someone is willing to offer their services. Most hospitals have not opened back up yet. The only hospital open at the moment is in Ondjiva. Patients must supply their own water, food, bed, and supplies. Sometimes the hospital has medicine on hand, but many times does not. This is a hard place to survive, much less prosper. Past stories and images of better days fuel the Kwanyama people’s heart to remain, reclaim, and rebuild their land. Meanwhile, present day hardship takes their very lives.

Evangelicals were targeted during the war, so the area has been void of the Gospel for nearly four decades. Clean water and a clear message of salvation through Jesus Christ is the only hope for the Kwanyama and other people groups in Cunene.
 
Botswana
 
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It meets Zambia at a single point.

Geographically the country is flat and up to 70% of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert. Botswana was one of the most impoverished countries in Africa when it became independent in 1966. Today, it is home to a relatively stable political system and a rapidly developing market economy. Being closely tied with the economy of South Africa, the country's economy is one of the most successful in Africa and is dominated by the fast-growing service sector, world-renowned diamond industry, tourism, and manufacturing.

About 50% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. The greatest threat to Botswana’s stability is the deadly AIDS virus. Botswana has the highest HIV infection rate in the world, and according to a UN report, 19% of all people and 36% of young adults (aged 15 to 29) are currently infected. Discussion of AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and contraception continues to be taboo in Botswanan society, especially in rural areas.