A short time ago we were in the Mekong Delta distributing food for the poor plus bicycles for poor students and wheelchairs for handicapped children when we encountered a most desperate situation that is unfolding for some 11,000 families.
That situation is an acute shortage of fresh drinking water due to the salting of the lower reaches of the Mekong River caused by China’s damning of the upper reaches of the river to generate hydro-electricity. The reduction of upstream fresh water has allowed seawater to penetrate 70 kilometres into the lower Mekong.
Soils are ruined & crops stunted. The acute need is water for drinking, cooking & personal hygiene. Continual bathing in tainted salt water is also causing many skin diseases. Drilling efforts for fresh water have only produced tainted and brackish results. Now whilst there is a monsoonal season the difficulty for the poor is they have no way to store water when it rains.
These families, poor to begin with, have had much of their meagre livelihoods destroyed by the salting of the river. They are in a “Catch 22” situation …. for now their crop failures mean they have no money.
We immediately responded by supplying 200 of the poorest families with 1500 litre concrete water tanks.
Supplying these water tanks which we built on site show these precious but poor folk that Christians do care and that we share God’s love not just by talk but also by action. Our immediate goal is build another 1,000 of these tanks in the months ahead.
Supply each 1500 litre concrete tank means that with families averaging two to three children, each tank helps four to five souls (including parents) at a time of urgent need.
A quick update: We also praise God that our Project Hope program giving free surgery and other forms of assistance to handicapped children has now helped in excess of 20,000 children! Next goal, 25,000!