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Zimbabwe: Water Filters Urgently Needed for Typhoid Outbreak

Photo credit: DFID - UK Department for International Development via Photopin, CC

By MNN, Jan. 10, 2013:

56% of Zimbabweans don’t have clean sanitation facilities. Nearly 20% lack clean drinking water.

Because of this, typhoid fever seems to be something they just can’t shake.

So far, at least 800 cases of typhoid have been recorded in the capital of Zimbabwe alone. The outbreak started in October.

Typhoid is a food and waterborne disease causing high fevers, stomach pain, and diarrhea. It’s transmitted when food or water is contaminated with the feces of another infected person.

Pastors in Zimbabwe contacted Global Aid Network (GAiN) for emergency help, and they were quick to respond. GAiN USA has sent 800 water filters for pastors to distribute. Each filter serves about 20 people.

But Terry Seagrave with GAiN USA says they need to send more. “The project is still going on. We still have a need to send about 200 more water filters to complete the need. We’re looking for that to hopefully be done in the next couple of months.”

GAiN USA’s water filter project costs just over $100,000. It takes $100 to provide, ship, and distribute one water filter.

The community is also receiving hygiene training “so that people understand how to properly use the water filter and keep the water filter clean so that it will not be contaminated backwards with any of the typhoid,” says Seagrave.

Churches who received the filters have used them as a gateway to share the Gospel. One pastor shared with Seagrave, “Many of the people in the community were very critical and cynical of the Christians living there, but the church members were able to share the clean water. The members have been able to then testify about what Jesus Christ has done in their life.

“As a result, they have actually seen an increase in their church membership,” says Seagrave. “Now their church, which was around 80 people, has grown to about 150, and they’ve seen 20 new people come to know Christ as their Savior.”

Pray for the typhoid cases to diminish. Pray for churches in Zimbabwe to vigilantly proclaim the Gospel while being the healing hands of Christ. Pray also for the outreach efforts of GAiN USA.

This vision for Zimbabwe is just one chapter of GAiN USA’s vision for 2013. “It’s ‘Giving for their gain, His glory.’ As people get involved with GAiN and with helping people come to know Christ, it’s really not just giving them something to help their life get better: it’s helping them to come to know Jesus Christ,” Seagraves says.

GAiN USA has a mission trip coming up April 13-24 to Zimbabwe and asks you to join them. Registration is open until tomorrow, January 11.

You can also support GAiN USA in their clean water project by clicking here.

By Mission News Network

Photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development via Photopin, CC

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