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Windward // Windward Oahu Coverstory
Carol Chang

A Gift Of Fresh Water For Africa

Dennis Hida (in white cap) of Windward Nazarene Church stands at the site of the church's Koghe Water well with (from left) Pastor Kioho Salomon, Brother Joseph Tiendrebeogo (Nazarene district superintendent for Burkina Faso) and Kenyan Nazarene missionary Rev. Friday Ganda. Photo from Dennis Hida.

A church in Kaneohe, where water is clean and plentiful, is focused on providing water wells to a sub-Saharan country rated by the United Nations as the third-poorest in the world.

According to Windward Church of the Nazarene volunteer Dennis Hida, Burkina Faso has few good water sources, and children walk hours each day to retrieve what they can for their families’ needs. The goal is to finance the creation of a dozen hand-dug wells. Three have now been completed in neighboring Mali, and many others are planned for Burkina Faso, the land-locked nation formerly called Upper Volta and known for its cotton harvests.

The church plans its annual Water Wells Project fundraiser from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 16 at Bay View Golf Park, complete with a silent auction, oxtail soup, corn chowder, Spam musubi, chili, baked goods and drinks. In the band lineup are Will Shine, To and From, Dana Morton, 360 and Kyle Furusho.

“We are trying to raise funds to help to dig 10 wells in Burkina Faso and finish off payment of three emergency wells in Mali,” Hida explained. “I ventured to Burkina Faso in February and had a chance to visit all three well sites (in Loropeni, Koghe and Butinikuy) and meet the pastors and people in the area for which the clean water would benefit.”

Creating water sources empowers local churches to meet the needs around them, he noted, and frees up more time for keiki to attend to their education.

Admission to the event is $5 for adults, $3 for junior and senior high students, and $2 for elementary students. Checks also may be sent to the church, care of Burkina Faso Water Project, at P.O. Box 1633, Kaneohe, HI 96744. For more information, call 235-8787.

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