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Swampscott Rotarians Help Deliver Water to Villages in Western Africa

The Swampscott Rotary Club recently helped deliver water to villages in western Africa.

Marblehead Rotary Club members Ron Amon and Peter Reardon with club President, Geoff Loynd.
Marblehead Rotary Club members Ron Amon and Peter Reardon with club President, Geoff Loynd.

The following press release was issued by the Marblehead Rotary Club. 

Most everyone knows about Rotary clubs and its commitment to providing services and support to local communities.   Not everyone realizes that Rotary has very active involvements in humanitarian projects all over the globe.

This week, Marblehead Rotary Club member, Pete Reardon delivered a report to Marblehead Rotary, on progress local Rotary clubs have achieved in delivering water to villages located in Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), in the western part of Africa.

By providing water to villages, the goal is to allow the locals to re-focus efforts on education and developing better food sources rather than finding and transporting water from distant locations. 

The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor and The Rotary Club of Swampscott as well as the Marblehead and Swampscott Interact clubs have also supported the Marblehead Rotary Club “Burkina Faso” project. The Rotary International Foundation generously matched funds raised by all the clubs.   Rotary Club partners in Africa are the BARKA foundation (a non-profit humanitarian foundation) with Rotary Club of Arc-En-Ciel.  These are the two local groups spearheading the efforts on the ground.

Pete reported that the project is about halfway thru a three-year plan that includes drilling wells, incorporating appropriate filters to ensure that the water is safe for human use and heath care & hygiene training.  Arguably the most challenging goal for the project is hygiene training – most villagers have little idea of its importance. 

Limpiadi and Tantiaka are the two subject villages where over 1,800 locals reside and water is currently many miles away.   Pete reported that a productive well was drilled in Tantiaka last year and a second will be drilled in coming months in Limpiadi.  An active campaign to train local leaders in health care & hygiene is well underway – training modules have been developed and village leadership has been established to maintain this educational commitment today and into the future. 

Pete is excited about this project; it has huge impact and immediately improves the lives of impoverished people.    There is still plenty left to do; these projects take considerable effort and anyone interested in helping either with funds or volunteer support should consider contacting Rotary to give a hand. 

In fact, Rotarians are doing good work all over the globe.   They come from all walks of life and are united by the desire to put “service and love of humanity above self”   Some members contribute financially to causes such as this water project.   Others contribute through hard work or donation in-kind.    Marblehead Rotarian Ron Amon, for example, made it possible for Burkina Faso team leaders to travel to the United States by donating Delta Airline buddy passes to the cause.   

The Rotary Club of Marblehead meets Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Boston Yacht Club. For more information about the club or membership, e-mail the club’s secretary Julie Livingston at:Jlivingston@marblebank.com or visit marbleheadrotary.com.

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