Solo's story

Solo, aged 13, and Ze, 12, (pictured right below) live in rural Madagascar, where being a girl means one important thing: being strong. Why? Because every day, Solo and Ze must lift their body weight in water and carry it home up a steep and difficult trail. Solo no longer goes to school; as the only girl in the family, her life is dominated by collecting water for her family.  

"Ze is my best friend. We’ve been friends since we were born. We like to play mothers. We have one doll so we take it in turns. I would like to have a sister because I am so busy with housework, I would like to share the work.”
Solo and Ze from Madagascar playing with a doll.

A painful journey for water

"The walk is very difficult. It’s narrow, with plants all along the side of the path that are spiky and hurt our arms."

"I have been trapped by the coarse grass, because I couldn’t see it and fell over. I hurt my knee and then I broke my jerry can.”

Not fit to drink

"The water is yellow and sometimes there are bits in it. There are insects and leeches."

"When you are thirsty, you just drink it and sometimes it makes you sick. We get stomach ache.”

Help change Solo's story

Every day, 700 girls around the world die from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. A simple handpump could save their lives, and take away the burden of collecting water – so they can go back to school and look forward to the future. Find out more about our approach to tackling the water crisis for Solo and Ze >