Clean Water Progress in Itenge and Kitenda, Congo

Clean Water Progress in Itenge and Kitenda, Congo

This is the local water source at Kitenda.

During the 2019 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 by email or by posting each Lenten Snapshot on a bulletin board or social media.

In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the majority of citizens live in rural, poorly developed areas where access to basic commodities such as clean water is a luxury. A child living in a Congolese village is four times more likely to drink contaminated water than someone in town. Limited access to clean drinking water, compounded by poor sanitation contributes to the high rate of disease.

It is in these small communities where our Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur live and work. This week’s Lenten Snapshot focuses on our Sisters in Itenge and Kitenda. They work to develop reliable clean water sources and photovoltaic (solar energy) systems in their communities in Congo.

The Sisters run primary and secondary schools in Itenge. Sister Godelieve is leading the work to construct a complete photovoltaic and water system, which will transform their students’ lives. The system will include:

  • Photovoltaic System: Solar panels and support system, power conversion equipment, more efficient lithium-ion batteries, site electrical distribution panel and wiring to all buildings and satellite dish for internet connectivity.
  • Water System: Three storage tanks along with pipes and control equipment; borehole, pump and piping; water purification and storage system with piping to buildings.


The first step in bringing clean water to Itenge was the installation of a borehole and pump.

With solar panels installed, power is supplied for electricity…

 …and satellite communications.

The water purification system will be upgraded with new infrared purification equipment…

…and a water storage/filtration tank.

The water source at this site is a stream with a pumping station. A new water plant will be built with three storage tanks and a water purification system, piping and controls equipment. Sister Esther is overseeing this work.

The original photovoltaic system was installed on the site in 2010 and will be refurbished and upgraded to handle the electrical power requirements for the new water plant. The lead-acid batteries will be replaced with newer and more efficient lithium-ion batteries that are maintenance free. They will last 15 years and can be discharged to 0% every day.

This is the local water source at Kitenda…

…where children carry water from the local stream…

…up to the village for use by villagers.

More efficient storage tanks, with 60-degree cone bottoms capable of filtering out sediment, will replace the tall structure shown here…

…and provide water to the Kitenda hospital,…

…convent and other buildings.

During the Lenten season, we are most grateful for your support in helping our Sisters in Congo provide clean water and educate for life.