Safe water in Guatemala

June 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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Safe water in Guatemala

By Dr. Wrede Vogel Wrede short.jpg

Clean water is something we can easily take for granted. In the United States we are fortunate to have enough clean, safe water to meet our needs. However, this isn’t the case for millions of people around the world.

For the people Dr. Axel Suquen serves in rural Patzun, Guatemala, safe drinking water is not nearly as accessible. Even where a well is built or tap water is available, most often the water is not safe to drink.

Dr. Suquen responded to that challenge more than 10 years ago by setting up a water purification plant funded by a U.S.-based church. That equipment is now aging, and the water produced is no longer reliably pure.

Staff physician Dr. Magda said at their last meeting, “I am worried that we are seeing an increase in intestinal infections because our patients are drinking nonpurified water.”

The availability of equipment for water purification has improved greatly over the last 10 years and Dr. Suquen has presented a request to replace his ministry’s water purification equipment. The new equipment would increase the capacity of pure water production tenfold. He has put together a business plan which would produce enough income to provide maintenance and prepare for replacement of the equipment in the future. Suquen said that can be done while providing the water at an affordable price.

The new water system requires a capital investment of $21,000 for new equipment and refitting of the existing building. This may seem like a large price to pay to provide safe drinking water, but it helps to understand that Dr. Suquen’s ministry provides water to approximately half of the 60,000 people in the region, and reduces the costs of subsequent treatments for infections.

As with all Luke Society ministries, physical and preventative health care flows as an expression of Christ’s love, and serves as an open door to share the Gospel. Please help us provide pure drinking water for Dr. Suquen’s neighbors, as he also shares the Living Water.

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