Colchester County residents helping build wells in Africa and Haiti

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TRURO – Colchester County residents are again raising money to help build wells in Africa and Haiti.

These two bottles of water represent clear, healthy water that Colchester County residents want to provide people in Africa and Haiti, compared to the dirty water many people overseas often consume. Monique Chiasson – Truro Daily News

The initiative, Water of Life, encourages communities to raise funds to help build wells in Africa and Haiti so people there can have access, or better access, to clean, healthy water. In Truro and area, fundraising for Water of Life began 11 years ago and Salmon River resident Placide Chiasson has been an advocate for the project since it began here.

“One child dies every 20 seconds,” in those countries without access to clean water, said Chiasson of the statistic he shares with new projects participants. “It’s about helping people and creating awareness. Wherever you are you can do something to help people. We are so blessed and we should bless others … this is a good way of making a difference for years,” said Chiasson regarding his continued interest in the project.

Since the effort began in this area, 22 wells have been built, each costing $3,000, thanks to fundraising by local residents. This year, a number of people are getting involved, including some churches and schools including Bible Hill junior, Hilden elementary, South Colchester Academy in Brookfield and Winding River elementary in Stewiacke. It’s expected some community organizations will also help and each group is organizing its own fundraiser for the public to support. Anyone wanting information on starting their own fundraiser can contact Chiasson at placide@ns.sympatico.ca.

Donations can be made to the participating groups, online at www.lifewater.ca or www.canadahelps.org (click on how to give, then giving pages, type in Ina Major in the name column, click ‘find giving page’ and click on Water of Life Project, Truro.). Donations can also be sent to St. John’s Anglican Church, 23 Church St., Truro, N.S. B2N 3Z5. Checks should be made to Water of Life Project, and for a tax receipt, make the donation to Lifewater Canada, which oversees the initiative.

Donations will be sent to Lifewater Canada at the end of June and wells will be dug in the fall.

“They usually are built in Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya or Haiti … it depends where the need is and if they can get in if the area is not conflict-ridden,” explained Chiasson. “We have also helped repair broken (water) hand pumps and provided some health clinics in Africa.”

Chiasson said soon after a well is built, information on the structure is sent to the fundraising community, including the depth of the well, the number of gallons per minute it provides and where the old and new well locations are. A letter from the African community is also included to share how the much the wells mean to them.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

Info box:

Did you know?

-      One child dies every 20 seconds.

-      In places like Liberia, 15 per cent of all children die before age five, mainly due to poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water.

-      Contaminated water causes diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, weight loss, trachoma which can lead to blindness, skin infections and more.

-      Most girls and women are responsible to fetch water for the household, walking long distances.

-      Lifewater Canada only uses five per cent of donations collected go to administrative costs.

Organizations: Lifewater Canada, South Colchester Academy, Anglican Church

Geographic location: Africa, Haiti, Truro Colchester County Salmon River Liberia Brookfield Winding River Stewiacke Ina Major Nigeria Kenya

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