fredag den 25. september 2015

It's not too late to help.

I have got friends - Facebook friends, but friends all the same, in a town called Kalima, Maniema Province in DR-Congo. Alphonse, Etienne and Marceline have never been to Europe, I have never been to DR-Congo and we do not speak each other's native languages. So we chat mainly in Esperanto, but sometimes also in French. Although our friendship is virtual we have got to know about each other's every day lives, our hopes and our fears. 

Here they are!

Etienne

Marceline, Etienne's wife(on the left)



Alphonse
 

Because, like everybody else, they watch television and have access to the internet, nobody needs to tell them about our seemingly unlimited supply of water, electricity and WiFi, that we have got public transport and it works efficiently, that we have got a national health service and that our children get ten years' free elementary education etc. etc.

 I too know that they have not got any of those amenities. Etienne is a practical visionary. Although he dreams of the day when 100% of Kalima residents are in the same enviable position, he knows that even wishing for one tap per household is utopian.

Yes, what Etienne, Alphonse and Marceline are most concerned about is the water situation in their part of the world. As members of the N.G.O.Peasant Solidarity the lack of clean drinking water – is their number one priority. Since 2013 they have succeeded in improving the situation. In 2012 approximately 2% of the 136,000 + residents * had access to clean water. By the end of 2014 10% had access to it. They did this with financial help from foundations and individual do-gooders and their own sheer hard work and determination. This photo album shows how they constructed a public water post in December 2014.

This year they hope to continue the good work, but this can only happen if they get enough funds to do so. They plan to build a public water post in one of the districts. All in all it will cost 11,000 Euro. So far A.V.E. (Green Esperantists) has raised 10,400 Euro: 7,000 Euro from two German foundations and the rest from private contributors. All they need is another 600 Euro.

If they get enough money the water post will look like the one in the following photo. It will provide clean water for 4,800 people.



If not it will be business as usual. These 4,800 fellow human beings will have to rely on water from sources like the following.



Alphonse has given me permission to share the following photos and video. Although they were taken in Goma, they are still relevant, because Goma residents have precisely the same kind of problems.




The photos show the multitude of plastic containers that the local people use to collect their daily water supply. They get up every single day at 4 am and walk miles to collect water before they can get on with all the other jobs. What is particularly horrifying is, that the water is polluted and  it is the women and especially the young girls who do this back-breaking and often dangerous work. Dangerous, because far too often they get raped on their way there or back. Although emancipated feminists like me can be appalled knowing that husbands, brothers and fathers do not safeguard their women folk, it is not, in my opinion, our job to finger-wag.

Some seem to be able to make a living selling it in town:


The woman in the following video tells Alphonse, that it is good to have water near home, but often there is not enough of it, because there are so many people that need it.



She puts her finger on the problem: too many needy people and not enough help either from the DR-Congolese government or prestigious agencies in the outside world. Although do-gooders and tiny organisations cannot save the world they seem to be the only ones who do close their eyes to their problems.

*They cannot say exactly how many people live in the town, because in 2013 they accommodated about 5,000 of the internally displaced DR-Kongo's Shabunda district. ''They'' being ordinary citizens who welcomed the newcomers in their own homes. Generosity is not only the prerogative of rich do-gooders. 

My friends in Peasant Solidarity need help to help themselves.

Please show your solidarity.  If  120 people give 5 Euro each they will be able to start work on the water post.

Payment options.



1. PayPal: If you wish to use this option, please send me a mail informing me, how much you would like to donate. chatterjeebetty@hotmail.com


2. Danes can either send money to Danske Bank BIC/Swift: DABADKKK 0274-4594628225 
OR by Mobile Pay (+4542211972). Please label the contribution 'water for Kalima 2015'

3. UEA members can send contributions to UEA-konto de AVE: avex-z 

4.KATCHELEWA KANDOLO Etienne,
  Goma, D.R. Congo
  Bank : BIAC (International  Bank for Africa in DR-Congo 
 Adresse:
Avenue Butembo, Quartier de Turisme, Goma, DR-Congo
 BIC/Swift : BIACCDKI
Account no. : 37572568701-73


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