No more water woes
Helme is a 65 years old widow residing on the outskirts of Burie town, with her only child Amaru. Helme experienced daily problems as an elderly woman living alone. She had to do all the household tasks on her own because her daughter Amaru is still a small child who needs to be looked after. “I lost my husband years ago and I didn’t have a place to live in. I was homeless and lived in a plastic house until people from this neighbourhood built me this house. I currently live with my daughter Amaru who is now 7 years old. I make a living by selling pots made of clay,” said Helme.
The trip to Yeser River is extremely tiresome and most times unfruitful. During the winter, I used to walk all the way to the river, and it would overflow, and I couldn't collect any water.
Helme faced several difficulties, including a shortage of potable water near her home. Helme had to walk 2 kilometres to a river called Yeser to fetch water. There was no one else to watch after Amaru, so she had to bring her daughter along on these long journeys. Helme added, “It became difficult for me to walk over to the river, fetch water, take care of my daughter and do the household chores as I used to. The trip to Yeser River is extremely tiresome and most times unfruitful. During the winter, I used to walk all the way to the river, and it would overflow, and I couldn't collect any water. Over the years it has gotten worse. It never used to overflow as it does now. Even though it is very difficult for a child to walk 2 km, I had to take my daughter with me as I can't leave her behind in an empty house.
I fell into the river as I was trying to fetch water and my daughter had to jump into the river to save me.
The river has recently been intensely overflowing. As a result, getting water from it has become practically impossible. Helme and her daughter had found collecting water dangerous because of the heavily overflowing river. Helme recalls bad moments, “During the winter season, I would repeatedly fall into the river due to the overflow. Once though I fell into the river as I was trying to fetch water and my daughter had to jump into the river to save me. Luckily there were young boys near the coast washing their clothes, they took me and my daughter out. It was a very traumatic experience for my daughter. If it wasn't for those boys, we would not have been alive.”
Thankfully, Helme's difficulties are no longer an issue now that she has access to clean tap water in her front yard. She is among the 5,800 people who are supported by WaterAid through its Strengthening Systems for Scaling-up of Multi-Village System for Resilience project.
I am so grateful and happy that I get to give my daughter clean drinking water.
Helme gladly said, “Gladly, it's all over now. Now I get to walk out my door and get clean water at any time I want. I am so grateful and happy that I get to give my daughter clean drinking water. I am glad that I don't have to walk all the way to the river anymore. More importantly, I don't have to risk my daughter's life. Getting access to tap water near my home has made a significant difference in my life and that of my daughter's. I am overwhelmed beyond words.”
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 project aims to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities (pro-poor and marginalized households) 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.