Today, hundreds of families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are still living without running water at their homes meaning they must walk up to 8 miles to a neighbor’s or family member’s home to haul water, or drive miles to a community water site for all their daily needs.
Thanks to the supporters of our Mni Wiconi (Water is Life) water line connection program and our partnerships with the Holland Rotary Club and After Hours Rotary Club, both of Holland, Michigan, Cedar Springs Rotary, District 6920, as well as Boulder Rotary and WEHOP (Water, Environmental, and Humanitarian Outreach Projects), we have been able to provide water to thousands by tapping their homes into the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System which runs across the reservation.
Among those who we were able to provide running water to this year is Darla who is raising her three grandchildren and who has not had any water for eight years.
“She had an unbelievably hard time getting any kind of services to her home,” reported our Oglala Lakota contractor. “This was a great project.”
Most of these projects have consisted of water connection hookups and septic tank installations while others have required water well repairs.
When asked why they needed a water line hookup – one applicant simply responded with – “To survive.”
After receiving a water connection hookup for herself and 8 children, Arlene wrote, “Thank you so much, we are eternally grateful and pray Creator blesses all of you associated with Running Strong.”
So far this year, we’ve been able to connect 18 households benefiting 34 children, adults, and elders who had gone without water sometimes for a week but often – years.
Our goal for the rest of 2022 is to connect at least 18 more families to the water line, as well as repair old nonfunctioning wells for an additional 18 families.