Minnesota Farmer

South Africa – Water

Fifteen people from the Shetek conference of the ELCA flew to South Africa on an agricultural mission that departed on January 31, 2011.  Our stay was centered on the Kwazamokuhle Centre.

We were visiting the area in the rainy season.  It rained almost every day.  The ground was often too wet to work.  We dug potatoes that were sitting in water.  The streams were running full.  With all of this water you would not think water was a concern in South Africa.


hand pump


When the rains stop, and it could stop raining for over 6 months, plants and people could be in trouble.  That is why we were working on irrigation projects, to make it possible to grow food in the area all year round.

When we were in South Africa we drank only bottle water, or water we had boiled ourselves.  When you are that far from home there are a few bugs in the water that can upset your system if you are not used to them.  The folks in the area are immune to them.


note the tank at the right of the picture


Almost every building in the area had gutters to catch water from the roof and send it into a holding tank.  I’m not sure if we were using rain water from those tanks, but someone was.

Water is the stuff of life.  It is one of the main reasons we went to Ondini.  To help them get water to their gardens when the rains do not fall.  We need water for ourselves, and we need water to grow our food.  If we can help keep the people healthy and fed we are doing our part to help our neighbor.



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