Getting a Well Cleaned Up

It is hard to imagine that a small thing can turn out to be such a challenging task. Yet you must not give up even a small task when you believe in it until you see the end of results. The day we got the well cleaned I felt a great satisfaction.

Water is life. After the earthquake, the Bungamathi area had a serious shortage of water. We organized the distribution of drinking water to four different locations in this area. When I was touring the disaster area in Bungamathi, I used to pass by a water well many times. One day I stopped by and peeked into the well. The water was very dirty. I wondered why, while having such shortage of water in this area, nobody is cleaning this well. There were bottles and all kinds of junk in the well. Yet, every time I passed by, I saw women using that dirty water to clean clothing. I was confused and asked myself how could they use dirty water to wash clothes.

I asked my assistant monk why nobody is cleaning this well. I heard many stories why it had not been done yet. I requested several times to my project manager to organize cleaning the well and for three weeks I was not able to make it happen.

One day I was having tea with Cap. Arun and officers in a small army camp in the area. I told Cap. Arun of my frustration and asked him to help me to find a way to clean this well. He called the government officer who is in charge of this area and set up a meeting for me. I found out that stories I heard were not true and there seemed to be other reasons why the person I had appointed hadn’t been able to do it; the reasons I am not able to discuss here.

The local government officer cleared the way for me to clean the well. I asked my project manager to organize the project and get it cleaned. I was glad that I was persistent and I did not give up until we were able to get it cleaned. I was happy to meet the women who did the clean up work of the well and offer them a lunch and also pay the total cost for cleaning the well.