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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Life-giving water

Ugandan villagers thank the ELCA

Galdino Ongaya lives in Dag Iwayo, northern Uganda. It’s been a little more than a year since Ongaya, a village leader, returned to his home in the Pader District. A long-running conflict had kept his and 67 other families away from the village and in camps for displaced people for 22 years. Life back in the village is difficult, but all say they are happy to be home.

Thanks to the Lutheran World Federation
Thanks to the Lutheran World Federation and the ELCA, the Kitgum District of northern Uganda now has a 2,600-gallon water tank. The 418 students at Labayango Primary School spend more time in classes instead of waiting in long lines at a borehole before carrying water to the school. With water for washing hands and cleaning latrines, school sanitation has improved.
Many families aren’t willing to return, fearing a lack of water, health care and schools. They also face the risk of land mines or unexploded ordnance, land disputes and a shortage of agricultural resources. Others remain cautious, especially after Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony failed to sign an April 2008 peace agreement.

Since 1986 the conflict between Uganda’s government and the Lord’s Resistance Army has claimed the lives of 10,000 people and forced 1.8 million others into crowded, underserved camps, cutting people off from their livelihoods.

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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

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