Saturday, March 29th was a great day at Kibuye Hope Hospital. That was the day the final connections were completed and water began to flow from the well to the storage tank. A new day had come for the hospital and the entire community.


Here’s how Dr. Jason Fader described it: “Regarding the well, Saturday was a wonderful day. RUBUCO, Gaspard, Japhet, and a host of others were here starting at 6 in the morning to do a blitz on the water project. We exchanged the 2.2 kW pump for a 5.5 kW pump. Then we replaced the galvanized pipe that goes from the well head to the pump house. We then went up the hill to uncover the end of the pipe that was laid last month. We ran the pump and discovered that the fuse was not big enough to run the pump very long before heating up. Nevertheless, we were able to attach the pipe to the existing tank and test the pump for a couple minutes. Sure enough, lots of water. RUBUCO came back yesterday and replaced the fuse and fixed one leaking pipe. Then we filled the tank last night and it took only 90 minutes, which means that we are pumping at about 3 liters per second! Now we can actually wash our hands at the hospital (and I don’t have to take bucket baths anymore!). This will raise the level of care offered at the hospital tremendously.”

emiteamFor the many years prior to this, water had been supplied to the storage tank by gravity feed from springs about 3 kilometers higher up the mountain. This provided, on avearage, only about 40,000 liters per day for 15 community taps, the hospital and the staff that live on the hospital campus. This was never enough and resulted in severe shortages, even outages, every day. The well is about 140 feet deep and is capable of producing 192,000 liters per day, enough to meet the needs of the hospital campus and the surrounding community for many years.

Many people and organizations have contributed to this development. The well was drilled in June 2012 by RUBUCO as a result of a $22,000 gift by the Clear Blue Water Project from the Cornerstone Free Methodist Church in Akron, Ohio. In February 2013 Phil Green’s Engineering Ministries International assessment team unpacked the wellhead and team members Phil Berg and John Joiner conducted the initial evaluation of community needs and system capabilities.

A second eMI team led by Green came a few months later to develop a master plan for long range development of the hospital. Team members Caleb Fader and Larry Moos completed the water assessment and designed the water distribution system for the hospital campus. Zion Covenant Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin donated $90,000 so construction could go forward to complete the distribution system. Gaspard Ndikumana was the water engineer and project leader for construction and installation of the system and Japhet Nsanze, hospital administrator, provided overall support. Dozens of local men worked diligently for many days to dig the ditches, construct the well head and power cabin, and lay the pipe.

We all can join Dr. Fader as he concludes, “One of the really neat things about this project is that Gaspard, the water engineer here, has really taken a tremendous amount of ownership, responsibility and pride in doing the project and in doing it right. He is elated with the outcome of the past week, as are we all. I think this is a mark of a job well done in terms of creating Burundian ownership of the Master Plan…praise God!”

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