New Wells Mean New Life
“In the United States, we rarely think about the need for clean water because it’s so readily available,” says Chicot Irrigation president, Cory Rowe. “But in developing countries, millions of people don’t have that resource.”
With that in mind, Chicot Irrigation of Lake Village, Ark., has teamed up with Benson Pump of Conway, Ark., to provide a well for a small village just outside of Gweru in central Zimbabwe. They are working with nonprofit organization GraceWater based in Yazoo City, Miss. to make this happen.
Over 72 percent of Zimbabwe’s citizens live below the poverty line, and 95 percent are unemployed or underemployed. Almost one-third of the population does not have access to clean water. During dry seasons individuals are forced to walk miles to find water for drinking, cooking, bathing and watering crops. They must subsist only on what they are able to carry.
Drilling wells in these arid communities means crops and herds can thrive. It means the people will have sanitary water for consumption and cleaning. In communities where there are wells, sickness and disease decrease dramatically. Economies are stronger, and children are better able to focus on schoolwork. Water is a very basic element in lifting people out of poverty.
GraceWater was founded in 2016 by the owners of Precision King, an irrigation technology business in the Mississippi Delta. It’s a company that knows a thing or two about the importance of water and seeks to bring that precious resource to some of the 783 million people around the world who are in need.
“Our faith calls us to bring hope to people in need,” says Nick King, President of Precision King. “Community leaders and pastors in Africa who are seeking to plant churches want to show grace to the individuals in their villages.”
In 2016, the GraceWater founders drilled two wells in Zimbabwe. By the end of 2017, they plan to have ten more completed in southern Africa.
“Last year, we wanted to make sure we could implement our plan correctly, so we funded those wells ourselves,” shares King. “Now that we have a working model in place, we are seeking to grow by supplementing our funds with charitable gifts from donors.”
Chicot Irrigation is among the first of those donors.
“Cory had heard about what we were doing and called me last fall,” says King. “He wanted me to come visit with him about what GraceWater’s needs were. I didn’t even have to ask him. He just wanted to help.”
After meeting with King, Rowe contacted D.P. Benson at Benson Pump who eagerly agreed to be involved.
“It was an easy answer for me,” states Benson. “Helping people in need is a privilege. We are glad to have the ability to participate in GraceWater’s mission.”
Benson Pump was a natural fit for the team of supporters who, like Chicot Irrigation, are rallying around GraceWater. Many in the farming and irrigation industry are becoming interested.
“I’ve been working with Nick King and Daniel Cole at Precision King and respect who they are as a company and as individuals,” says Rowe. “They’ve put their commitment to caring into action through GraceWater. We are honored to be involved. I hope others will join us in supporting this outreach.”
GraceWater will be hosting a fundraising gala in Yazoo City on August 12. If you would like more information about the gala or GraceWater or would like to make a contribution, visit www.gracewater.net or facebook.com/gracewaterorg.