Having to walk for miles each day is hard. But it’s getting even harder. The climate crisis is causing prolonged droughts in places like Brazil, meaning that the few water sources communities rely upon are drying up. People are now having to travel even further for water that is often unsafe. But in one community, the local church stepped in to make a difference…
Alzira is 61 and lives in north-east Brazil. From a young age she has made long journeys to wash her family’s clothes and collect water. ‘It was very difficult,’ Alzira shares. ‘I had to carry [the water] on my back or on my head. We had to fetch water for everything. There were even situations that we needed to get up at midnight to wait for the cacimbão (a small well) to fill, so we could fill a can of water. But whoever first arrived, would take it.’
Alzira’s son talked to a local pastor about their situation. And the church responded.
‘It is a wonder’
Tearfund partner Ação Evangélica (ACEV) works with local churches in Brazil to help communities build water sources, such as dams and wells. Communities are involved every step of the way – they own and maintain the water source for the long-term.
Clean water doesn’t just protect communities from waterborne diseases and coronavirus. Agriculture is how most people in northern Brazil make a living. Access to water to help grow crops and feed livestock means a way out of poverty. And ACEV has been offering training in sustainable farming to help communities adapt to the changing weather conditions.
Alzira’s church, working with AVEC, built a well in the community. ‘The project helped me a lot. Now I have water here very close to my house,’ says Alzira. ‘I really wanted to have a vegetable garden, now I have one in my yard – all fresh and without pesticides – it is a wonder.’
Read through Alzira’s prayers for herself and her community and lift them up to God:
‘My dream... At this age, you hardly have a dream, but I want to grow in loving others. Please pray for my children to live in unity. Pray also that our place does not go through so many droughts and that the harvest grows. Pray for everyone who works [at ACEV] to continue helping other families, other communities. Prayer is always welcome!’