When the final well at Karanda Mission Hospital in Mount Darwin, Zimbabwe, dried up, workers began searching for a solution to provide clean water to the hospital. Just a kilometer from the hospital, a brown, murky river flowed. This is the process of how TEAM workers took undrinkable water and made it pure and potable.
Water shortages are a constant problem in Zimbabwe due to drought and inadequate infrastructure. At TEAM’s Karanda Hospital outside the capital city of Harare, wells had provided a good water supply in recent years. But four out of five wells stopped producing water in the fall of 2013. The hospital and missions complex were on water rations and only able to use running water for a few hours on most mornings. The river water supply, which had been used with inconsistent success in the past, was determined to be the best solution for the water problem.
In July 2013, work had already begun on a new system, and clean water began being produced in May 2014. A work crew from the U.S., including TEAM’s Carol Stream, Illinois, facilities manager Ken Atkinson, his sons Nathan and Micah, and volunteers Russ Bennett and Doug Glasser, worked on the project over the course of three short-term missions trips. The building crew also included Karanda Hospital’s facilities manager Jon Christiansen and a group of local workers.
The permanent water system now serves around 1,000 people a day at the missions complex, including hospital patients, staff, nursing students and families who live nearby. Local workers have received training for operating and maintaining the system. The final construction tasks and ongoing training are continuing as the system is being used.
- Written by Lisa Renninger
- Photographed by Robert Johnson
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