Imagine walking for hours in the hot sun to your water supply—a dirty pond that you share with monkeys and other animals. Once you’ve collected 10 to 15 litres of water you begin the long trek back home. On the way, you’re at risk of rape, abduction and animal attacks. Not to mention the toll the load takes on your body, day after day.
And if you’re a young girl, you're probably missing school to fetch water, because the process takes hours.
There was a time when this was reality for women and girls in the Tiya community, in Ethiopia.
“We used to drink water with green algae and worms floating in it,” says Mulu Geremew. As a result, most of the community’s income was spent on medical bills.
Yeshi Ayele shares that her close friend miscarried twice due to carrying heavy loads of water says, “I remember how it caused her so much pain and grief.”
The unclean water also affected people’s hygiene. Fetching water was so taxing that people would limit their use of it – choosing not wash their hands.
Relieved from Diseases
Thanks to generous donations, World Vision installed a number of different water points and washbasins to make the collection of water safer and easier for people in Tiya. The organization also set up committees to help manage water resources for the surrounding communities.
As a result, the clean water supply in this area has gone from three per cent to 60. Waterborne diseases have decreased and better hygiene practices are keeping residents healthy.
“After World Vision supplied us with this clean water, we are relieved from diseases," Zinash says, "Rather than the eight hour walk of the past, I can finish fetching and washing and return home within 15 minutes.”
While the Tiya community celebrates, an estimated 40 per cent of Ethiopians still don’t have access to water that is safe. You can help today, by sponsoring a child in Ethiopia, or in another country.
With files from Feleseta Kassaye.