Extreme drought in South India affects water supply at our orphan homes; native team responds with half-mile pipeline solution

Photo: One of our resident orphans is happy to drink a cup of fresh drinking water during the unseasonably prolonged heatwave and drought.

Today we bring you an important update from our native team in India who have been dealing with the effects of a severe drought in the area since June, which is when the annual monsoons were supposed to occur. The monsoons provide a natural irrigation source for the land, and also provide drinking water in the water table for our well and others who own wells, so by August, the region was experiencing a severe water crisis and some people in the area were fighting for drinking water.

And because they only had access to a limited amount of water, many people were afflicted with viruses such as typhoid, dengue, and swine flu. Some of our children also contracted these illnesses, but thankfully they are on the mend after receiving medical treatment. In addition to these problems, our clean water well had run to a trickle, and we were receiving only a very small amount of water through our pipeline because it had been recently damaged during some governmental road work. To reach the water table, we have a well a half-mile off campus, so we must pipe in water from that location. Lastly, our ground level and rooftop box gardens also suffered because of the drought — most of our crops died due to insufficient amounts of water.

But we now have hope thanks to our faithful, hardworking team who have responded to this crisis on behalf of our beloved orphans. We have been able to purchase safe drinking water from local reverse osmosis plants while we worked on repairing our pipeline system. It exists to run the water from the well to the campus, which is 768 meters (about a half-mile) away from the well. The pipeline was breaking because it was made of weak plastic materials, and that was making the flow of water impossible to reach our campus.

Photo inset: (Top-left): These boys, rescued from situations such as child labor and poverty, are happy to be enrolled in our accredited on-campus primary school. (Top-right): Orphans at our Boys and Girls homes are thankful to have safe drinking water purchased by our native team from local reverse osmosis plants while the pipeline system is being repaired. (Bottom-left): We are seeking to raise funds to purchase new playground equipment to replace the current ones damaged by corrosion. (Bottom-right): Students at our on-campus primary school are thankful to be learning their native Telugu and Hindi languages, English, math, science, and social studies.

Thanks to your support we raised $6,500 to replace the pipeline with a stronger metal material that will ensure the constant steady flow of water to our campus, and construction is already underway. Once the water reaches the campus, it is stored on the rooftop and then run through our reverse osmosis filtration system for added purity. In August, we were also able to successfully drill our well deeper to reach an excellent, deep water source, and it has been amazing to our team and children because we have received a very good supply of water, even better than our previous supply. The area has recently received some rain, but we are praying for heavier rains this month, especially for the local fields and lakes.

In other good news, all 119 of our orphans (ages 5-15) are currently enrolled in school — some are enrolled in our on-campus primary school, and the others are enrolled in a nearby high school. The students at our school are enjoying the blessing of an accredited education, studying their native Telugu and Hindi languages, English, math, science, and social studies, taught by our 10 faithful teachers. Our children in 1st-7th grades recently completed their quarterly exams, and now our children in 8th-10th grade are preparing for their quarterly exams this month. When the children are not studying, they enjoy playing games outdoors like cricket and other popular, local games.

We are also planning to remove our playground equipment because it is very old and damaged with corrosion to the iron rods and structures. Thus, we are seeking to raise money to buy the children new, safe playground equipment which they love to play on when they are on break from their studies.

We are deeply grateful for your prayers and your faithful support, and so is our field director — in his own words: “Thank you so much for your great support, we are so thankful to you. Thanks to you all.”

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