Read the update on the water projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) was founded over 100 years ago in what today is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire. The church has been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States since 1899 and now relates closely to Global Ministries.
The CDCC functions with 22 ecclesial regions located in the Equator, Bandundu, East Congo, Lower Congo, and Kinshasa regions. Its 358 congregations serve 650,000 members. The church has six general hospitals, nine maternity centers, and 42 functioning health centers.
The communities where CDCC congregations are located are confronted with many socio-economic problems. They are all struggling from the effects of a civil war that included the involvement of surrounding countries as well as broader international involvement. Health care, education, and development programs suffered greatly during the war and during years of systemic corruption before the war. One of the devastating effects of the war has been the rapid increase in the number of HIV/AIDS patients, particularly in the Equator with more than seven million inhabitants, and where the largest numbers of Disciples are located.
Lotumbe is home to a CDCC-affiliated hospital and is located in the Northwest of the DRC, near Mbandaka. Lotumbe’s inhabitants make their living by hunting, farming, or fishing in the Momboyo River and most are deeply impoverished. Almost none of the population has access to clean drinking water.
After a recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2012, Reverend Sandra Gourdet, Area Executive for Africa, reported that two wells have been completed in the Mbandaka area.
Where once people waited in a line that would stretch more than an eighth of a mile to get water, they now report that the lines are much shorter taking much less time to get water. They also reported that they no longer had to get up at 4:00 a.m. in order to get in line to get the water, allowing more time to do other things such as work and school.
One area outside of Mbdanka that had not been settled before has seen an influx of displaced people. These people have constructed homes in this area and have formed a church. They, however, had to go many miles to get potable water. With the help of the church, a well has been located near the area and the community is able to get their water nearby. This community is now flourishing.
The CDCC continues to receive requests for assistance in establishing wells in other areas. The need is great and several projects in various districts in the Equatorial Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo are planned.