The Church in one of the country’s largest Catholic villages has established a water filtration facility to curb water-bourne disease.
Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad presided over the blessing of the St. Camillus Clean Drinking Water Center in Khushpur, home to seven thousand Catholics, in Punjab province.
Camillian Brother Mushtaq Anjum joined two priests, nuns and villagers at the inauguration of the facility on October 2 in the compound of St Fidelis Church. [see photo]
Bishop Coutts thanked the congregation for the invaluable resource center.
“It is an expensive piece of machinery, and now it is your responsibility to take care of it,” he told the villagers.
The filtration plant cost 2.2 million rupees (more than US$25,000). The Camaillians will oversee changing water filters for the first year, after which the community is to manage the plant itself.
The project is an extension of the Camillians’ relief efforts after heavy flooding ravaged the country last year.
The congregation constructed 53 houses, organized 13 medical camps (in which 2,200 patients were treated) and provided warm clothes and bedding to 300 flood victims last winters in three dioceses.
Brother Anjum who represents the Camillian Task Force, an international relief effort of the Order of Saint Camillus, said he is hopeful the clean water center would help improve health conditions in the flood-affected village.
About 200 mud houses were destroyed and hundreds of acres of standing crops were damaged in the Khushpur by heavy rains this year.
“The sewerage pipes were damaged in floods and the contaminated drinking water was increasing hepatitis and stomach disorders,” Br Anjum said.
Dominican Sister Parveen Lazarus of St Catherine of Siena said the power crisis in the country would present a challenge in running the plant.
“The community elders are planning to make a schedule for collecting water when electricity is available. Still, it will aid villagers who used to get drinking water from the suburbs,” she said.