UMUKALIKA, Nigeria A Church connection between Rotary Club members in California led to the completion of a water project this year to benefit the residents of a small community in Nigeria.
Lila Bringhurst of the Mission Peak Ward, Fremont California Stake, who was the 2005-06 president of the Rotary Club of Mission San Jose in Fremont, had in January 2005 sponsored for Rotary membership Jerry Kirk of the Irvington Ward. A short time later, he was called as the first president of the Aba Nigeria Temple, which was dedicated in August 2005.
When President Kirk left for Nigeria, Sister Bringhurst asked him to look for a good water project for the club to take on in Nigeria. Water projects are an area of service performed by Rotary clubs.
After arriving in Nigeria, President Kirk joined the Rotary Club of Umungasi-Aba and its members asked if his club in California could help them with a water project in Umukalika, a town north of Aba. It is a community of 2,500 and had no source of potable water. The nearest water source was the Aba River nearly three miles away.
The California club donated $1,000 and President Kirk arranged for humanitarian aid from the Church. The Aba-Umungasi Rotary helped facilitate the project.
The well was dug and is providing water for the community. The tank has three taps at about waist level and one tap high up so that the women can keep their containers on their heads as they fill them with water to carry back home. The inauguration program was attended by Rotarians, Church service missionaries and community leaders.