Cultivating a Better Future

Close access to clean water brings a rich harvest of food and peace.

Photographed by: Howard Collett

Mungassa, Mozambique

Alberto Martinho’s skin glistens in the sun as he stands in his new garden. His crops, as well as the crops of many other villagers, are growing luscious green now that clean, easily accessible water is available to the village of Mungassa, Mozambique.

Before the new well was constructed in Mungassa, Alberto was often worried about the health and well-being of his wife and five children. “The water situation was very critical,” he says.

Alberto hoped that things would improve when the government installed a single water point for the entire community. But it was both inconvenient and expensive. Each family was required to pay 30 Meticais (about $1.15 U.S.) per month in order to use the water.

During the dry season there was usually no water at all, so Alberto and the other villagers would have to walk about three kilometers (nearly two miles) to get water from the small Mungassa River.

“We usually tried to leave home by 4:00 in the morning so we could get enough water while it was still clean. After everyone arrived and filled their containers, the water became very dirty,” Alberto says. “These were very difficult times.”

Today, thanks to the efforts of Latter-day Saint Charities and a partner charity organization, Care for Life, there is a new well and pump very close to Alberto’s home.

“With this water close by,” Alberto explains, “we now have a wonderful home garden, and my family eats much better than before. We even have sufficient produce to sell some vegetables to help with our family finances.”

Alleviated from the stress of acquiring affordable, clean water at last, Alberto is enjoying life to the fullest. “I love living in this community,” he says. “There is no longer the confusion there once was, and life has become quite peaceful.”