Drinking Mud and Arsenic

Man drinks muddy waterWould you rather drink water laced with arsenic or water from a pond animals swim in? For the people of one small village, this was the choice they had to make every day.

The village had a tube well, which should have been a blessing, but between the arsenic and the bad smell, it was a “blessing” the villagers only approached out of desperation. Most chose pond water. And because filters are too expensive for them, they got creative when it came to purifying water.

“Our family used water from the pond,” said Saatatya. “When it rains, the water is muddy, so we fetch it and keep it for hours at home to let the mud settle so we can use it.”

Situated in an area prone to flooding, Saatatya’s family depended on their improvised “filtering” methods quite often. During monsoon season, the prospect of non-muddy water was an absurdity.

A Clean-Water Solution

When Gospel for Asia (GFA) missionary Naajy heard about the village through a friend, he began talking with his team about what could be done for them. That summer, they arrived at the village with a surprise.

“Today, through some people I do not know, I received [a] water filter, and I am very excited,” said a housewife named Ubika.

Naajy’s team brought 30 BioSand water filters, providing Ubika, Saatatya and 28 other families with 24-hour access to clean water. Even arsenic-laced water is safe to drink now.

“My family used water from the tube well, and we don’t like to drink the water because of the smell,” said Omja. “But . . . when we filter the water from this filter, the smell is gone, and I feel great to have this filter.”

The BioSand water filters don’t just provide clean water, though. Because they require some light upkeep, they also provide continued opportunities for Naajy and other workers to visit and build relationships with the villagers. And as they do, they’ll take every opportunity to share the pure, Living Water of Jesus Christ.

See one student’s take on World Water Day and what he’s doing to help families in Asia.

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