I love having e mails from my Maasai friends. I settle down to read the latest one from my friend Timothy. ‘our challenge is drought due to lack of rain. This means cattle are being taken further away to graze and our tanks are nearly empty of rain water.' It’s amazing that there is the technology to allow him to tap out a message on a mobile phone in a remote African village and seconds later it arrives on my smart phone. And yet they don’t have the most basic human necessity..…water. I am so glad that three years ago, CalltheMidwifeTanzania fundraising initiatives enabled us to erect our first rainwater harvesting system. This year we have started to extend the system to two more centres. Normally, while waiting for the rains, we can purchase clean water in tankers. This is cheaper and one would expect, a whole lot healthier than having dirty water brought in plastic jerry cans on motorbikes. It has been satisfying to see people in surrounding areas modelling the idea of erecting water tanks at their homes. Now some enterprising but horribly corrupt motorbike couriers have taken to hiring the water tankers, labelled 'clean water' and filling them with filthy water from the gravel pits, ready to pass off as drinking water. Their mean deception was discovered when a recent cholera outbreak was traced to this source. Fortunately Timothy is a good watchman and will check thoroughly before purchasing water.
I feel comforted as I remember the words of Martha, who benefited from our micro finance initiatives. ‘Now I have a smart house that will provide shade from the sun and shelter from the rain, I have no fear of either.’ Our investment and her hard work enabled her to leave the falling down hovel that was all that she could afford to her new 'smart house' with a metal roof. It's good to see her sense of dignity renewed. Soon that 'smart roof' will become another rain water harvesting area for public use.
For Pastor Jacob, it's a happier story. Although once again, rising inflation has risen up to sting us, a stronger pound enables us to purchase more Tanzania shillings which soothes the sting somewhat.
We are so grateful for two generous donations received through the website. It puts the commandment of ‘bearing one another’s burdens’ into practice. I feel relieved while Jacob is ecstatic with joy as he looks in wonder at the two normal size tanks already purchased. He seems to be doing a rain dance in the knowledge that the guttering and pipes will be in place before the rains comes. I feel so privileged to know this amazing man. He has the heart of a good shepherd. He knows how to encourage and guide people across the stony obstacles of hard times. He and Timothy work seamlessly well together. They have brotherly love and truly know how to bear their people’s burdens and protect them from unscrupulous merchants whose love of money is the only love they have ever known.