Eddie and Sue Arthur

Operation Clean Water in Ndop

Operation Clean Water in Ndop

John Hamilton with the Ndop Cluster, NW Cameroon

The Ndop Team certainly do not live in linguistic ivory towers. How could
they when Cameroonians elsewhere apparently sum up the Ndop Plain in the
words “No development or progress”! Water has been scarce this dry season
and pumps are producing less water from the Bamunka wells. A few days ago we
had to limit how many water containers we filled at the nearby pump in Mesaw
so that others culd have some water too.

Dan Grove told me the story of how a government minister appeared out of the
blue at his house in Bambalang one day. “Uhuh, what have I done to deserve
this?” he wondered. In fact the “big man” was visiting friends in the
village and had come to thank Dan for providing a well on the roadside near
his compound so that people returning from their fields could have a drink.
His actions had been appreciated, so much so that the story had got to
important ears.

Mick Toolin from the Blackwells’ church in Dublin is here with us at the
moment on his second trip, visiting all ten Ndop villages and researching
how many people live in each quarter and what water provision exists. The
picture is very varied: from SNEC piped water to standpipes and taps in Ndop
town and elsewhere – which is great, but not totally reliable; to wells,
some with pumps and some not; to muddy streams; to standing pools of quite
disgusting looking water. But people need water to live and they get it
where they can – whether they are aware of the dangers of dirty water or
not.

A few days ago I took a trip with Mick to visit Bafanji to research the
water situation there. En route we chatted with a blacksmith who makes guns
for “cry dies” (traditional ceremonies which take place after someone dies
and these guns are fired into the air). This man had a tap right beside his
house. Further along we met three children emerging from the undergrowth
with water containers. They had been down a steep bank to a muddy little
stream to get their family supply for the day.

In a few days time, the Ndop team will have planning meetings here at Mbingo
Rest House and on the agenda will be how to progress what Mick has found
out. There is no way that good wells can be provided everywhere on the Ndop
Plain – so which villages are strategic in terms of both local needs and the
literacy and translation strategy? For example a Canadian family will soon
return to live in Bafanji where water provision is not great and they will
have three children aged three and under. Mick is also proposing some water
filtration trials to make dirty water supplies safer for people. And then
the money to fund it all will need to be found…

It’s like Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. She needed
physical water to survive, but Jesus also offered her the Living Water of a
saving relationship with himself. And that’s why the Ndop Team is seeking to
provide both fresh water and spiritual water as they work towards Bible
translation in all ten Ndop languages.

John Hamilton with the Ndop Cluster, NW Cameroon

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