A prayer for clean water

"We never gave up hope," said Ngandu Kabongo, the water committee manager for a sprawling village in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, known as Luputa.

"Hundreds of children die each year from contaminated water. For 15 years we've struggled to find a way to bring clean water to our village. We prayed very hard for an answer."

Luputa is a remote outpost teeming with 214,000 people. Most are subsistence farmers. There are few commercial buildings and scant municipal services — only a sprawling marketplace where people gather to sell what food, textiles and merchandise they can.

Most houses in Luputa measure about 16-feet by 16-feet. Made with mud brick and thatched roofs, they provide basic shelter for an average family of seven. Few possessions are inside — a small table to prepare food, a few cooking pots.

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