Jerry Can Distribution


Can you imagine having to collect your drinking water in an old antifreeze or motor oil container? What if you had to collect drinking water in an open plastic container (no lid or covering) found by the roadside, most likely discarded by a passing motorist? This is a reality in the lives of many who live in poverty. In 2014, WFTO distributed Jerry cans within the areas where we conduct discipleship training. The Jerry can is a 20L (5 gallon) plastic container with a sealed screw-on cap used to collect drinking water from the community hand pump. Providing a Jerry can is often overlooked when it comes to improving the hygiene of the local community. Why is that? It could be because it is such a simple item, just a plastic container. Is it because when we sort out how to help those in need we have a default setting that drifts toward the headline grabbing item, certainly not a plastic container? The following is how one of our Zambian colleagues viewed the Jerry can distribution.

One of my colleagues in Zambia confronted me and said, "when I first heard about the possibility of distributing Jerry cans I thought the idea was far fetched and would have little impact among the people. The time came to distribute the Jerry cans and I was amazed at the thankfulness from the community for the Jerry cans and how the people cried for additional Jerry cans. The people realize the importance of having a clean water container." It is our belief that the health & hygiene program has been effective in raising awareness toward the importance of clean water vessels for improved hygiene. What is the long term impact? The community will experience less sickness, possibly reducing the death rate attributed to contaminated water, leading to more productive lives-all from a simple plastic container. Thanks be to God!

1 John 3:16-19: By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;