2023 Lenten Snapshots

During the 2023 Lenten season, we’ll share the work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from around the world. We hope you in turn will share their work with your family, friends, students and faculty.

Lenten Snapshot #6: Clean Water is the Key to Life

Lenten Snapshot #6: Clean Water is Key to Life

The most significant project that is taking place at Pelende, Democratic Republic of Congo is the refurbishment of the water system.

Pelende is located in the Kwango Province approximately 340 miles southeast of the capital Kinshasa. It is a remote village of about 5,000 residents who survive on subsistence farming and raising small farm animals like goats and chickens. In Pelende, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur run a hospital and own both primary and secondary schools with approximately 1,000 boarding students. The Sisters’ photovoltaic system was recently converted with newer power conversion equipment and lithium-ion batteries.

The village water system was originally constructed in 1956.  It failed completely in the late 1990s, and in spite of various efforts to revive it, it is currently disabled. After discussions with the Jesuits, who staff the local parish church and boys’ secondary school, the Sisters decided to pursue a refurbishment of the system.

A Swiss engineering firm is fabricating two bélier (or ram) pumps to replace the current defunct pump. These pumps will propel water up a 700-foot steep incline and into refurbished, elevated village water tanks through the force of the water at the source. Water will then be pushed along 2.5 miles of distribution and treatment piping to supply nearly 20,000 gallons of potable water per day to the village...true miracle for the people of Pelende!

Through your support, the completion of the refurbished water system at Pelende will occur by the end of this year.

Making known God’s goodness with you,

Sister Ann Fanella, SNDdeN
Clean Water for Life Volunteer

 P.S. If you'd like additional information about the Clean Water for Life project, please contact Karen Hadden, associate development director, at [email protected].

Pelende nursery school

Pelende secondary school

Pelende hospital