How Precious is an OB Well?

by Herald Gaculais
Operation Blessing Writer

DOÑA REMEDIOS TRINIDAD, Bulacan — Nora Fajardo allowed the water gushing out of the newly built well flow through her fingers for quite a while before touching her cheeks with her wet hands. Assured that the water was cool, clean, and refreshing, she cupped more of the water in her hands and took a drink. A bittersweet smile crossed her face.

Nora understands, probably more than anyone else in their community, how precious the well is and the water coming out of it. Some of her sad experiences in life could have been prevented if she had access to a well early on.

Nora is 39 years old and lives in one of the inner barangays of Doña Remedios Trinidad in the Sierra Madre. Her family belongs to the Dumagat tribe. She married at age 11 and has given birth to 14 children already.

Of those 14, only eight survived. All of the six who died succumbed at an early age. Diarrhea was the cause of three deaths. The first was their eldest, a boy. For a whole day, he suffered from loose bowel movement. The elders made the child drink water drained from boiled guava leaves, but this didn’t stop the diarrhea. When night came, the boy passed away.

The second was a girl. Apart from passing loose stools, she had been vomiting. She survived the night but died in the wee hours of the morning.

In their grief, Nora and her husband blamed themselves and their poverty for these deaths. They couldn’t afford to bring their children to a doctor. When another of their children again had diarrhea, their neighbors urged them to bring the child to the hospital, which they did. The hospital was far from their village and the road was rough. When they arrived, it was already too late.

But the couple got a piece of crucial advice from the doctor: “You have to boil the water you drink,” the doctor said. “Your children might be drinking contaminated water.”

In the village where Nora lives, people fetch water from a stream. They would dig a hole close to the stream and would scoop the water that trickled into the hole. This would be their drinking water.

“We didn’t have any other source,” Nora said. “It’s not only my family that has suffered death because of diarrhea.”
When Nora heard that Operation Blessing is going to drill a well in their community, her heart was gladdened. She knew this will be a big blessing to the community. She knew the well is a life-giver, and she also has already met the Giver of Life.

“I have met the Lord,” she said, “and He has taken my sorrows away. Now we are receiving another precious gift.”
The well from Operation Blessing was dedicated to God and then turned over to the community last February. Villagers came to express their thanks. Apart from the well being placed right in the heart of their village, the water they would get would be purer and safer to drink.

Nora attended the dedication ceremony. “It’s hard to express how much the well means to us,” she says. “We are truly grateful to the Lord!”

YOU CAN PREVENT DEATHS FROM WATER-BORNE DISEASES

All over the Philippines, villages and communities are waiting to be saved from thirst and deadly diseases caused by unclean water. Support Operation Blessing’s water and sanitation project TODAY and you can make a huge difference, one drop of clean water at a time.
 




 
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June 2011
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Weaver on Wheels
Helping Out Grandma Potter
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May 2011
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