The Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch includes an article today about a group of engineers who are designing water pumps to be used in the Central African Republic. The story, about Design Outreach, quotes a number of Grace Brethren people, including Greg Bixler, Abe Wright, and Jim Hocking, the founder of Integrated Community Development International (ICDI), a cooperating ministry in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. A portion of the article appears below. Click here to read the complete story.
Group’s goal: clean water for Africans
Greg Bixler of Blacklick is part of a team getting ready to unveil a shiny, new product just in time for the Christmas season.
He hopes it will bring smiles to the faces of hundreds of girls and boys — by giving them the gift of water, and perhaps saving their lives.
Design Outreach debuts its “second-generation” water pump this weekend, with plans to install two in the Central African Republic next month. Bixler, the company’s chief executive, said the pumps are designed to reach deeper into the ground and last longer than many currently in disrepair across Africa.
“We see ourselves as humanitarian problem solvers,” said Bixler, 32, who co-founded the nonprofit about three years ago with a goal of taking on “big impact” projects to help the poorest of the poor.
“The water pump was our first major problem. Our goal, our hope, our prayer is that we can successfully launch this water pump, make a small amount of revenue from it and use that small amount of revenue to fuel other projects.” … Jim Hocking, Integrated’s chief executive, said that many groups have drilled wells across Africa, but about 60 percent don’t last longer than a year or two. Goals are to install standardized pumps with replacement parts that are easier to get to remote villages, and to continue to train villagers on maintenance and crop production so they can fund their own pump systems, Hocking said.