Earlier this year, I asked my pastor friend in Liberia, Isaac Zoedah, to identify several communities in dire need of safe drinking water. Based on the estimated cost, I told him that we had enough budget to build one well and repair a second one at this time. With that, Isaac evaluated a number of nearby communities (including schools and orphanages), seeking the best qualified (most needy, in his determination) to receive our help.
It has been a long time now, since their well went dry, and these poor people of the small community of Zuawin have had to suffer greatly. That failed well forced them to go back to collecting water from a creek (see photos, below). When Isaac told me of their fate and showed me some photos, I told him to prepare his team to dig a new well and I would get him the necessary funds. By the time I was able to gather and send the money, Isaac had the team all ready to begin. And build, they did. Isaac sent me the first photos of Day 1 of construction, which began with the hand excavation of the well. Tedious work, I can only extrapolate, from their use these primitive tools. You can see where they have marked the ground for the 2-1/2 ft. (approximate) hole, allowing for the insertion of 24” inside diameter concrete pipe sections—which serve as the well walls. Unfortunately, this is where the photo capture ends—until work was completed, as Isaac’s phone was failing him and he could no longer keep it charged. Although he was so apologetic for failing to capture more of the daily progress, I assured him I understood he had more important priorities than taking photos for me.
One week after beginning the excavation, they started encountering water, making it difficult to continue digging. By now they were down to about 35 feet. With the help of a rented pump, the team was able to remove most of the water, which allowed them to extend the well several more feet. At this point they stopped digging and began the actual well construction. This work begins with the setting of the concrete pipe sections, from bottom to the surface. They then seal the joints between the sections of concrete pipe with morter.
With the well now complete, they worked to form and place the reinforcing steel and concrete that would form the well pad, at the ground surface. Once this concrete had cured for a few days, the team returned to install the well pump, which took them less than a day. After the pump was installed, they immediately began to pump water — clean, drinkable water — after only 11 days, start-to-finish!
Now many in the town began gathering to see this new well and to celebrate the return of accessible, clean water to their community. Being the wonderful pastor that he is, Isaac took this opportunity to present the Gospel to all that had gathered. After his impromptu “sermon”, he reported that five people came forward to accept Christ as their savior. Using the new well water – this gift from God to the Zuawin Community – Isaac immediately baptized them.
“Well done”, Isaac, is all I can say!