Gangamaya19 Jul 2016 | Nepal
Gangamaya Karki is a 70-year-old farmer is a farmer from in the Sankhuwashabha district of Nepal. "We used to walk hours with the break of the dawn for a pot of water,"she told photographer Mani Karmacharya. Since our partners installed a tap close to home, life is a little bit easier.
"Now I can go to there, wash clothes and bathe. And when I cannot walk and feel lazy, I ask help from the family to bring water to my home."
Juliana Msoffe is a midwife at Kiomboi Hospital. “Water is life. We need to have safe clean water for the staff and also the patients. Water is a challenge here.” The labour ward only has use of municipally provided water for one hour each day. This isn’t enough.
Mirembe, 32, is pregnant and has been waiting at the hospital to give birth for over a month. There is no family with her at the hospital and she has to collect water by herself, often from the river. She has previously lost two children but isn’t sure why they died. “The water from the river is smelly, but we have to use it to wash. Women who have just given birth use it too and wash their clothes in it. It will never be safe to use.”
Hadija14 Dec 2015 | Tanzania
Earlier this year Hadija gave birth to a baby boy named Kefas, after her grandfather, at Kiomboi hospital. 24 hours after returning home after her delivery Kefas had a fever and the umbilical cord wound had puss in it. After four hours of being back at Kiomboi hospital and being diagnosed with neo-natal sepsis, Kefas passed away. Hadija’s grandmother comforted her at the hospital before they brought the body of Kefas home.
A baby born at Kiomboi Hospital to Maria Shaluwa Wilson. Starting their life without safe, clean water is not something a new born baby should have to do. Diseases like sepsis can occur easily in an unsanitary environment where the doctors and nurses are unable to wash their hands between deliveries.
Zaituni14 Dec 2015 | Tanzania
Zaituni, 29, arrived at Kiomboi Hospital in a lot of pain before giving birth to her baby. She continued to bleed heavily after the delivery of her fifth child, Mariam. She had to use dirty water collected from the river to clean her baby due to the lack of water at the hospital.
Margaret works in the labour ward at Kiomboi and starts work at 6am. An incinerator is used to burn a lot of the waste from the hospital but Margaret explains it doesn’t do a good enough job and sometimes she suffers from chest pains after using it due to the dust.
Mwasha gave birth to her third child, Holo, at Kiomboi Hospital. All of her children are girls. Holo wasn’t in the right position for delivery, so the medical team at Kiomboi did a caesarean section to deliver her. Mwasha suffered with a case of sepsis. “The wound was very painful and I had a stomach ache. I was given medication and had injections.”
Daniel works in the ward for women who have had complications during giving birth. He has worked here for 11 months. “In the last three months there have been 12 cases of neo-natal sepsis. Three of those cases ended in fatality.” Daniel keeps a precise record of cases at home. “I feel really bad when a baby dies due to sepsis because it is a condition that can be avoided if we had better conditions here.”
Yenge14 Dec 2015 | Sierra Leone
Yenge lives in the village of Vaama, which didn’t have access to safe water at the time we met her. She had already lost two of her children due to diarrhoeal diseases. Yenge believes this was caused from drinking dirty water from the river. She said she didn’t want to have to give the same water to her new born baby and other children, but at that time she had no other choice. Since this case study was recorded WaterAid has delivered safe, clean water to Yenge’s community. However, millions of people still face the terrible circumstances and choices highlighted above.
Uchiya14 Dec 2015 | Ethiopia
When we met Uchiya in 2013 she was heavily pregnant and struggling to complete the 20 minute walk to collect water. The water source for her community at that time was down a treacherous, hilly path, especially difficult when pregnant and carrying a 20 litre jerry can of dirty water. “I am always falling down.”
Maria14 Dec 2015 | Nicaragua
Maria, 19, from Nicaragua, is 8 months into her pregnancy. Water for her household is currently collected from an unprotected well, but Maria has to use the river to wash herself and her clothes. The river water is dirty, especially after it rains. “It may also have some bacteria in it.” The walk down to it from Maria’s house is hilly and she risks slipping and falling whilst on her daily trip to it.