When the matriarch of the Daum family, Patricia Daum, recently passed away, the extended Daum family did something unique. In honor of Patricia and the legacy she left behind, the Daums decided that they wanted their mother remembered as one who sacrificed, cared, and gave toward the common good of others. What better way to carry on this legacy than to give a gift of life to others in her memory?
The sign post for Patty’s Well is erected in Malual Chat along with the newly drilled well.
Throughout East Africa, clean water is the fundamental basis upon which communities survive. Wells not only improve basic health, but they aid in commerce, education, livelihood, and the general well-being of countless Africans and their communities. In 2013, some 770 million people worldwide lack access to clean water. And, 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.
The Malual Chat village was one of the hardest hit areas of Bor County in South Sudan following decades of civil war. When members of the Daum family heard about the work of IAS in this area, they rallied the whole family behind the cause.
Prior to the Daum’s well, women in Bor County had only the Nile River as a source for drinking water and domestic chores. Those who could not walk all the way to the Nile depended upon swamp water in the area. Only one other well existed in the entire region, which was a distance of seven kilometers from Malual Chat – a fourteen kilometer round-trip excursion on foot.
Unfortunately, it’s quite expensive to drill wells in a part of Africa where few organizations work in this capacity. The high cost of transporting supplies, the distances involved, the logistics of moving drilling equipment such long distances, staff salaries, and the exorbitant price of diesel fuel all add up to approximately $15,000 for a single well in such a remote location. However, the Daums did not waver when they learned of the expense. They pooled their resources from the entire family together in order to come up with the needed funds.
“With joy you will draw water
FROM THE WELLS OF SALVATION.”
- Isaiah 12:3 NIV
The previous water source for Malual Chat before Patty’s Well was drilled
Even with heavy rains and extremely poor road conditions, drilling on “Patty’s Well” was able to begin on May 6, 2013 in Malual Chat. During the initial drilling process, an IAS vehicle broke down en route to the drill site, leaving the hole without casings or flashings for thirteen days, and eventually causing the initial hole to collapse. On May 20, a second attempt began, which ended in success on May 22.
At a dedication ceremony for Patty’s Well, the community at large and the village Chief specifically thanked the Daum family and IAS for the gift of fresh water for their people. Mrs. Abuk, one of the Water Management Committee Members (an IAS-organized group set up by the community to safeguard the new asset to the community), also stated, “This donation to our village is a blessing, and I believe that it is God who has visited us.” On behalf of all the women of the village she expressed her gratitude to the Daum family for their generous gift.
The Chief concluded the celebration by stating, “Let this well be a source of reconciliation for the community, and may all who come here to draw water forgive each other and live in peace.”
Please join with IAS this month during our fall water campaign as we attempt to raise funds for two new wells in Southern Sudan – a total of $30,000. Where safe water flows; health, education, and economic development spring up. Thank you for being a part of sustaining lives and empowering present and future generations in Africa, just like the Daum family.
Be sure to read this month’s related letter from Douglas Mann, President of IAS America: “A Word About: Patty’s Well.”
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