Helene explains what it’s like for her: “The river is far from here, we spend many hours to go there and back. The water is very bad, especially in rainy season, that water gives us diarrhoea and disease.”
How would you feel knowing every time you drank a glass of murky water from the river it could be riddled with disease? Or had no choice but to give it to your child?
Helene adds, “Our hospital is very far from here. Sometimes people die going to the hospital because it’s so far. My child had malaria and diarrhoea so I went to the hospital.”
Helene works hard in the field to save enough money in case of sickness. But between farming and the hours spent walking for water, she doesn’t have time to get her produce to market to sell it!
The weight of water is not just how heavy it is. It’s also the cost. Sickness, injuries, work hours lost, and invaluable school time missed.
“The walk to the river isn’t safe, last year there were men hiding and attacking women,” - Helene says.
She adds something even more disturbing: “Sometimes I used to come here in the dark, because when I get back from farming there is no water... They can kill or take body parts from people, they make people frightened.”
It will make all the difference in the world for Helene. “If we had clean water it would change our life,” she says, “We can stop going to the hospital… Having clean water would mean diarrhoea would reduce, my children would be clean and they would go to school.” And that’s the true weight of water.
Walking hours for water stops girls from attending school or working.
Women and girls spend 200 million hours collecting water each year. Imagine what would be possible if girls spent that time in school instead!
Having access to clean water is a powerful way to help whole communities break free from poverty and transform lives for good.
This is all possible with your support.