In celebration of World Water Day, we’re sharing some of the ways that World Vision provides clean water. We currently reach one new person with clean water every 10 seconds. In doing so, our actual work varies depending on the needs of the community and the type of water that’s available. We also always work to empower communities to take ownership of the water systems which helps ensure that the water we provide is sustained long after we’ve left. Here are five examples of our work:
|Guale carries clean water home
“My life now and before is like heaven and the earth. Incomparable!” says Guale, a 15-year-old girl in 8th grade, who aspires to be a successful business woman. Guale and her family live in Gondar, a historic Ethiopian city located 730 kilometers (454 miles) north of the capital of Addis Ababa.
Guale says, “Being the middle girl in the family, I carried a burden on my shoulder. I used to have a hectic life, filled with routine tasks expected of me. I live in a large extended family and all females in the house work tirelessly,” she says. “I would wake up as early as 4am and together with my mother, sister and niece we go to fetch water from the spring or manually dug borehole. The time we get back home is determined by the number of people who have reached there before us,” said Guale. “And once animals are out, it was difficult to get water because they make it dirty. I and my family drank this water all our life and we have always been sick for a reason we never knew until recently,” she said. Until World Vision entered the community, Guale and her family lacked clean water or an awareness about sanitation and hygiene.
The production of crops has been the mainstay for the people of Shunganu village, a small remote sandy area in Western Zambia. While many people grow cash crops as the main source of livelihood, Harriet Sikumbi, a 40-year-old widowed mother of five, has focused her energies on gardening.
Harriet is a passionate woman with a great zeal for gardening that dates back to her childhood. “I have always loved gardening. Since childhood, that is where my heart is,” she says.
|Shuda (left) and her friend Meskerem drawing water
Bowolicho village is located in the Hula Area Program operation area, 231 miles south of Addis Abba, Ethiopia’s capital. There was a dire need for water in this area. Schoolgirls of all ages use to walk a half hour to draw water from an unprotected source called Bansa spring.
The schoolgirls who attended school in the morning left home as early as at 6:00am and walked in a group to the unkept spring. The water they found was not safe for their health. Keeping their jerry cans in two or sometimes three lines and waiting for turn was the day to day experience for them. They walked back home for another thirty minutes and upon getting home, they cooked for family and handle other activities.
Last year, we announced a new audacious goal of providing clean water to everyone, everywhere we work in Rwanda by 2022. This article provides an update on that effort.
Our commitment to Rwanda is complementary and flows out of two other high-profile commitments that we have made for World Vision’s water programs. The biggest goal is to reach everyone, everywhere we work with clean water, which is 50 million people, by 2030. This is consistent with and shows World Vision’s commitment to help achieve the UN Sustainable Goal 6.0 of universal access to clean water and sanitation by 2030. To ensure that we stay on track, we set an interim goal of reaching 20 million people between 2015 and 2020. We’re on track towards both of these and have reached 10.4 million people with clean water in the first 2.5 years.
|Nathalie works on an art project during school.
Abandoned by her parents at 3 days old, Nathalie (9) continues to thrive in so many difficult situations. She was born a twin with a rare neuro-muscular skeletal disorder. “Nathalie’s parents abandoned her at birth because she was born with arthrogryposis condition (curved joints). Her parents left her at home and decided to take the healthy baby. The parents moved to another region and left her in the house alone before she was even one week old,” says Valentine, Nathalie’s adopted big sister.
“I lost my pregnancy because my village had no proper water source,” says Kanyanga Muyenga, a 25-year-old woman from Western Zambia. Kanyanga is a young, single mother of two adorable children, a 10-year-old girl named Nyambe and a 17-month-old boy named Masheke. She lives in a small remote village called Chimopu, located on sandy terrain north of World Vision’s Luampa Area Program (AP). Kanyanga has lived in her village her entire life. To make ends meet, she grows cash crops like cassava and corn.
Instead of celebrating adolescence, 19-year-old, mother of two, Malita, recalls days filled with pain and societal seclusion, which resulted in her dropping out of school. Malita remembers that she and her female peers had to endure taunts and stigmas at school where there was no support as they went through adolescence.
Easy and sustainable access to clean water changes everything. Once World Vision provides a water source in a community, we want to make sure that the water continues to flow.
Through independent evaluations, we have learned a key predictor of long-term sustainability of the water points is to have a water committee that takes ownership of the water point. Critical work of the water committee is to charge a small and affordable fee so that there are funds available for ongoing maintenance and repair. World Vision has an excellent record of long-term sustainability of water points because we are able to walk alongside communities for an average of 15 years to ensure that the water committee is self-sufficient.