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  • Jason Townsell

Partners For Water July 2020 Update

2020 has proven to be a difficult year for the world’s citizens. These challenges have had varying effects in different parts of the world. One of the world’s most prevalent challenges has been the introduction and spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 has not only caused a public health emergency but has led to worldwide economic and social uncertainties. As of 7/23/20 Nigeria has 38,948 confirmed Corona-virus Cases and 833 deaths. While these statistics may seem meager when considering Nigeria’s large population, to date only 212,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed. In a society where respiratory ailments are commonplace and thorough testing of the populations is yet to take place the true effect of COVID-19 in Nigeria is yet to be fully understood.


Like much of America, communities in Nigeria have had various types and levels of social lock-downs. As of the time of this writing most schools remained shuttered, there is still a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people, and there is a curfew between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. in many parts of the country. That said, domestic flights have resumed and restrictions on interstate travel have been lifted (restrictions on international travel remain in place).


In my May update I noted that through the hard work of our team in Nigeria we had accomplished our target of facilitating 5 clean water projects in 2020. We have not allowed the completion of our 2020 target to slow our momentum as we proceed in our mission of bringing clean water to communities in need in Nigeria. While the progression of our progress has been challenged by happenings related to COVID-19 and the beginning of the rainy season in Nigeria (which will go through September), our team in Nigeria remains committed to driving on. We anticipate completing at least two more water projects in 2020.


With the completion of our latest water projects (completed in May and July respectively) we have seen firsthand benefits that local and accessible clean water has on improved health and virus avoidance.


I have provided a few  video links and photos below of these benefits in action.


Children in the Maska Community washing their hands in the new community clean water source



Masaka Community Retrieving Water



Children in Endehu Odne Village washing their hands in the new community clean water source



Children in Endehu Odne Playing in the Water


In closing I want to acknowledge and empathize with the fear, uncertainty, and loss that some of our partners and those that we serve have experienced over the recent months. I have at times in the recent past been burdened with feelings of inadequacy related to the help we as an organization provide to those we serve. Specifically, I have thought “how much impact can we truly make when the world’s needs are so extensive”. Through much thought and prayer on this I have been further confirmed in the critical nature of the help we provide and am steadfast in the understanding that while we may not be able to change the entire world through one project, we can change someone’s world through one project. Reflecting on the story below always helps bring me back to this place.


"Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.


Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”


The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”


The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid      you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”


The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”


adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977

Until next time.

Jason

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