On 7 December 2022, Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, CMF, Major Superior of Cameroon blessed the Water well for Djaba and Dogba. While on December 8, the Archbishop of Garoua, His Grace Faustin Ambassa, CICM, blessed and inaugurated the Water well in Sakdje.
Sakdje is a village in the Northern Region of Cameroon handed over to Claretian Missionaries in October 2021. During the rainy season, which lasts only 3 to 4 months in the year, the people collect Water as they can, where as in the dry season it becomes very scarce and undrinkable. This area has many diseases because of river and lake water consumption.
The dream is to provide Water to all 16 villages of Saint Anthony Mary Claret Parish in Sakdje. So far, there are four boreholes with pipes connected up to 2km from the water sources. The Water serves the village, the schools, the market and the Church. The people of Sakdje received Water for FREE with the support of the following:
• Father Walters Nolte and the Parishioners of Saint Patrick’s Parish, Fremont
• Mr/Mrs John and Janet Macklin
• The Loyola Foundation
• Kurt and Gina Family Foundation
• Kristen Jimenez
During the address the Bishop underlined that Water means everything to the people of Sakdje. He insisted that Water sets us FREE:
F – This means that Water is a sign of FRATERNITY. It is a meeting point where people come to fetch what they need. In the course of bringing Water, they discuss with one another and help each other put their water pot on their head.
R – This means that Water is a source of REFRESHMENT. We see that grasses and animals die because of lack of Water. Water brings back life and freshness. It refreshes whatever it touches.
E – This means that Water is a good step towards EMANCIPATION. Women and Girls are the most affected by the Water crises. They need to trek up to 10 miles away to look for potable Water. Some are attacked and even raped on their way to retrieve Water for basic needs. No wonder an author once said: “Water, the promise of emancipation.”
E – EDUCATION wise, Clean Water helps keep kids in school, especially girls. Less time collecting Water means more time in class.
The Claretians thank in a very special way Fr. Walters Nolte and Mr John E. Macklin, who took the pain to be physically present during the inauguration. They expressed their unalloyed gratitude to God for the FREE Water. It is worth noting that Father Walter came with Renewal Ministry on a mission trip to Cameroon in 2021. They came to preach a retreat to Claretians and the Archdiocese of Garoua and were present for the opening of the Saint Anthony Mary Claret’s Parish in Sakdje. During the prayer in Sakdje, Father Walters had prophesied that the wilderness would become marshland and the dry ground into springs of Water (Isaiah 41: 18). Touched by the water need, he got his parishioners to support. Mr John Macklin and his wife Janet are among the parishioners who were touched by this action and donated two water wells. Mr John insisted on the importance of Stewardship in providing the water needs.
The Claretians are also grateful to Kristen Jimenez of Our Lady of Fatima Parish Perth Amboy, who heard of this Water through her pastor Father Gilles Njobam, CMF and decided to fundraise. She contacted Kurt and Gina Family Foundation and The Loyola Foundation Inc, who helped to put up one borehole. They are also equally thankful to Father Destin Alolo, cmf, the parish priest and community superior who supervised these projects, the engineers, Mr/Mrs John and Nicole Makebe, for the local support, which went into making water points for nearby schools and to all the parishioners for their support and collaboration.
They often say Water is life. However, for the People of Sakdje and its environs, Water is everything. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) seeks to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation for all. Water is one of the essential elements in the daily life of society. The Claretian missionaries in Cameroon are more than committed to fostering Stewardship in providing FREE Water for Sustainable development.