Life is easier with water
Asmare Arega, 80, is a nun who lives on the outskirts of Burie town. Asmare used to live in a plastic house until the community banded together to build her the home she now occupies.
Asmare's late husband, who died 40 years ago, left her with eight children. Sadly, three of her children had died, and her surviving five children do not live with her. Except for one of her daughters, who is ill and lives with her own family, Asmare has no contact with the rest of her children. “I have been through a lot and have survived many things, but I don't want to complain. I raised my eight children on my own by selling lemons. Three of my children perished, and I haven't been able to contact the other four. I have no idea where they are. One of my daughters is bedridden, and I communicate with her,” said she.
Besides selling sorghum to make a living, Asmare is also the one who takes care of the house chores. One of her daily activities is to collect water. She explained, “I used to walk a long distance to fetch some water from the Yeser River, even though it was filthy. It took me a long time to even bring five litres of water from the river because there is usually a long queue.”
I had to be very careful with the five litres of water so that I didn't run out too quickly.
However, as Asmare is aged currently, she couldn’t do as much as she used to. She couldn't walk the 2 kilometres down the river while carrying the 10-litre jerry-can on her back. She was forced to rely on her neighbours to bring her water because she was unable to do so herself. It wasn't easy for her to burden her neighbours with this task. She couldn't get water whenever she wanted it, therefore; she had to wait for someone to help her.“I needed to look after myself, and one of the most pressing concerns I had was running out of water. But now, my body has given up, and I can't seem to walk that far, let alone carry anything. When I became unable to walk to the river, my neighbours began to assist me by bringing me water,” she added.
Recently, all of that changed when Asmare was provided with tap water in her compound by WaterAid through its Strengthening Systems for Scaling-up of Multi-Village System for Resilience Project. “Thanks to you, I now have access to water within my compound. I am extremely grateful. I no longer have to wait for anyone to bring me drinking water; I can get it whenever I want. I'm still amused by the tap every time I see it, it feels like I have the world in my hands. Life is easier now. I am happy,” said Asmare.
Thanks to you, I now have access to water within my compound. I am extremely grateful.
Strengthening Systems for Scaling-up of Multi-Village System for Resilience is a project for the piloting of multi village systems, advocacy and communication funded by UK People's Post Code Lottery (PPL) - Climate Action Fund. The aim of the project is to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities (pro-poor and marginalized household) in Bure Zuriya District and Burie Town administration on Climate Change through climate-resilient WASH initiatives. The intervention will focus on strengthening and scaling-up of a resilience Multi-Village System.