I want to thank everyone for their interest in the Agua:Yaku water well drilling project. We are scheduling a number of mission teams to help us drill wells in the coming year. While we certainly appreciate volunteers, we also need monthly support to pay salaries for our growing staff, travel expenses, and material costs for our ongoing well drilling program. We are expanding our program into four of the nine departments in Bolivia—Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and Beni. It seems like for every well we drill, we hear of ten more families who need water. We now have two teams out drilling full time. Two new Agua:Yaku employees, Irai and Netino, are both from Brazil and have been trained as missionaries with YWAM. They are both quick to share their faith with everyone they meet and are a great addition to our team. It would be such a blessing if you would consider making a monthly commitment to our ministry, or if you would like to sponsor individual wells—they cost about $500 each.
Agua:Yaku is also excited to announce a new partnership with a Canadian Christian NGO called The Water School in 2010. Warren McCaig (my EFCCM partner in Agua:Yaku) and I will begin implementing a water disinfection program called SODIS in many communities around Bolivia. SODIS is a simple method developed by a Swiss NGO to disinfect contaminated water using two liter plastic bottles and the sun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_water_disinfection). This is an inexpensive way to treat contaminated water in places where we cannot drill wells—where the water is too deep, or the soil is too rocky to drill. People can get water from surface sources such as ponds, rivers, springs, or rain runoff and can disinfect it before drinking. This is much simpler and safer than boiling, filtering, or chemically treating water. If the water is turbid we will also teach families how to make inexpensive bio-sand filters out of two five-gallon buckets. The water school will provide the funding to implement this new program. Our goal is to see 25,000 people using SODIS by the end of 2010. This will also give us a great opportunity to survey the water needs of Bolivia and begin mapping out where it would be appropriate to expand our well drilling program.