Providing Desperately Needed Water in Ukraine

19th July 2022

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Samaritan’s Purse is drilling wells and installing water systems in an area where water pipes were destroyed in the conflict.

How do you survive without clean water? This is the difficult question some residents of a Ukraine town grappled with after attacks on their water supply lines.

One church gathered whatever containers they could find—ranging from buckets, iron barrels, and a 500-litre plastic container—and began hauling water from wells on the outskirts of the city. Loading up two vans with their hodgepodge of vessels bearing the precious commodity, they brought water back to the city and began distributing it to people in buckets or other plastic containers.

A tap stand at Pastor Andriy’s church dispenses clean water to his community.

A tap stand at Pastor Andriy’s church dispenses clean water to his community.

Some elderly, disabled, and sick individuals could not leave their apartments to come get the water, so the church began bringing it to them by car. The difficulty of the situation intensified with a shortage of fuel that was only available at skyrocketing prices.

“It was not an easy period,” said Pastor Andriy*. He said these circumstances caused people reassess their values. “We began to really appreciate things we did not before the war.”

A bit like the Biblical widow whose oil did not run out, but continued to flow to fill all her containers (2 Kings 4), the church rejoiced to receive a fresh water supply provided by Samaritan’s Purse.

“When people found out that a well would be drilled and a filtration system installed, they couldn’t believe it,” Pastor Andriy said. “You have to see the people to understand how grateful they are, they won’t stop expressing their gratitude. Even in the outlying neighbourhoods, people stop us to say thank you for this water.”

Using Science to Share the Love of Jesus

Pastor Andriy’s congregation is one of Ukrainian nine churches for which Samaritan’s Purse has provided clean water, with nearly 30 more to be added throughout the country in the near future.

Pastor Andriy’s congregation is one of Ukrainian nine churches for which Samaritan’s Purse has provided clean water, with nearly 30 more to be added throughout the country in the near future.

Pastor Andriy’s congregation is one of Ukrainian nine churches for which Samaritan’s Purse has provided clean water, with nearly 30 more to be added throughout the country in the near future.

The advanced water treatment systems are capable of handling up to 2,000 litres an hour in a three-step process. First, as water comes in from the well that is drilled, it is put in a 500- to 1,000-litre storage tank. There it begins a pre-treatment process in which sand and charcoal filters remove sediment, odour, and colour. The water is then put through a reverse osmosis system that takes out dissolved salts and bacteria. From there it goes to a larger storage tank that is connected to a tap stand where people can come and fill their jugs with the safe, fresh water.

Early in the Ukraine conflict, Samaritan’s Purse supplied its own water filtration systems, but now we are partnering with a Ukrainian company to create them, contributing to their local economy and allowing for greater ease of maintenance on the systems in the future.

“We are leading in providing new sources of water for [this area],” said our Ukraine programme manager for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). “Samaritan’s Purse ministry is to reduce suffering, save lives, and share the love of Jesus. This clean water programme fits all of those categories very, very well.”

Spiritual Fruit from the Conflict

Pastor Andriy’s church is just one strong example of how clean water is bearing fruit for Christ’s Kingdom. Back in March, they had less than 10 people attending their Sunday services, while today, after the water system was put in place, they have two services of 200 worshippers each. This growth would be remarkable anywhere, but is doubly so when over 40 percent of the population has fled the area in roughly the same time period.

Equipping the Church for the Future

Through the nine wells Samaritan’s Purse has supplied, we’ve already provided nearly 3.5 million liters of water to the people of the Ukraine. Most of these water systems are located at churches that represent many different denominations. Six of these congregations also partnered with us in distributing food, blankets, and other supplies to the citizens of Ukraine.

Our Ukraine WASH coordinator said, “People will remember that it’s the church they got their food and water from.”

”People will remember that it’s the church they got their food and water from.”

“We pray constantly that the war will end tomorrow. The second the war ends the need for infrastructure development will be very high in the locations we can’t get to yet. This is just the beginning of projects that will be needed after the war settles and the smoke clears and we look at what is left and what needs to be rebuilt.”

Please continue to pray that God would protect the people of Ukraine. Even as they receive this life-giving water, there was recently a missile strike not far from one of the collection points.

*Name changed for security


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