"I've seen some people go by with their water vessels and then return despondent, because there was no water and they don't know where else to go. That's why, even when the sun is hot, I don't get discouraged working in the water holes, because I see how important it is for the people."
~Djeffson (young leader who supervises the work in the water holes)
The drought on the Plateau never goes away. It only moves back and forth between various levels of severity. The longer the periods of severity, the longer it takes to recover. In general, we feel we have noted an overall worsening trend. In other words, despite periods of rain, the general drought conditions appear to worsen. For example, it seems to us that the positive effects of a rain disappear more quickly than they used to.
Recently, the drought has been very severe. For several weeks, there has been no food easily available for animals. Animals have been set loose to roam and forage for what they can find. Some people have been forced to cut tree branches with leaves to give their animals to keep them from starving. Several animals have already died under these conditions.
The community water holes are literally the only main source of water for people and animals alike. Now, they are empty. The pictures above and below were taken on Tuesday (March 1).
Despite a couple water trucks that can deliver water from the Ti Karenaj source, critical drought conditions like this--which include whipping wind that carries dust and dirt--put a heavy strain on all aspects of life and work. For the community at large, there literally is no other water source for many miles around. This can quickly escalate into a desperate situation.
As we wait for the rains, we continue to work in the new water holes and plan to clean out the old ones that are now dry, so that we can hold more water for longer periods of time.
Only God can send the rain and the water from the mountain rains. Please continue to pray that He will send the rain in His perfect timing while in the meantime giving us and the people of our community endurance and faith-filled patience.
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth..."