By Marie Paule Koona; Edited by Leanna Cappiello
A common problem in Niger is the lack of accessible, clean water. This issue can affect many things, including going to school. Because they’re responsible for helping with chores around the house, lack of water resources are especially hard on girls.
Due to the Boko Haram conflict, many families and communities are left vulnerable. World Vision has been working on humanitarian aid and sustainable solutions, including access to safe drinking water.
Goumsou (15) and her friend Aissa (17), in escaped their village in Nigeria from the Boko Haram attack, settled with their parents in an internally displaced people’s site in Niger. But without any nearby safe water source, household chores quickly became a burden for the young girls.
As first-born females, Goumsou and Aissa’s job is to bring back water, no matter how far away the source is. “Being the eldest, it is my responsibility to help my mother in the household chores and to set an example for my younger ones,” says Goumsou.
Every day, despite the sweltering heat, the two girls carry a 20-litre jerry can and walk 10 kilometers from their home to get water. "We had to get up very early and even that did not guarantee we’ll have water. There was often a long queue, which increased the waiting time,” says Aissa. It’s unfortunately common for household chores to prevent kids from being in school.
World Vision’s mission was to construct boreholes in a more accessible location, right on the site, to provide easy access to clean and safe drinking water. “The proximity of water is a great achievement. Water helps us today to do laundry, dishes and especially I am happy to drink clean water,” says Aissa.
The construction of the borehole also enabled these girls to have more free time to participate in social activities, such as learn about children's rights, hygiene and the importance of education. “There’s no need to walk miles again, water is next door and I have time to participate in my apprenticeship training,” Goumsou says.
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