It is hard to imagine, but nearly a billion people worldwide live without clean drinking water. 40% of them live in Africa South of the Sahara, where every day people walk several hours just for a Cup of water. For example, Kanze, Kahindi lives in the desert in Eastern Kenya, and it has already passed the tens of thousands of kilometers for one of the most basic needs in human life.
Kanze, Kahindi lives in Africa, in Eastern Kenya, sub-Saharan Africa, where, according to some estimates, 319 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Twice a day a woman left her little shack of sticks and stones and goes to the nearest place to find water.
“I go to fetch water from the age of seven. I have a bad back and not only she — a woman complains. I’d be a lot healthier if I hadn’t had to walk for water”.
The only source of water is a muddy pond, polluted by the excrement of animals and humans. Kanze takes water out of the pond morning and evening. Every day she runs for 20 kilometers, which is more than seven thousand kilometers a year. And you know what? She’s doing it for the last forty years, and this means that it was already about three hundred thousand kilometers.
It’s hard to believe, but Kanze not alone. A billion people worldwide do not have access to clean running water. In Africa alone, where the burden of collecting water often falls upon women and children, about forty billion hours per year spent collecting water.
Tune Moro teaches math in a rural elementary school. According to him, the time spent on collecting water is a time in which children could learn to read and write, earn money, or to take care of his family. He says that every day 70% of his students go for water instead of studying.
And water, the collection of which they spend so much time, is not even clean. Every day from diseases associated with dirty water kill nearly two thousand children. As Kanze, Hannah Nyala grew up, gathering water for the survival of his family, and was often ill. Now she works for a Christian organization “World Vision”, trying to improve the situation with water in one of the poorest districts of Kenya.
“I’m trying hard to reverse the situation, because she faced these difficulties. For five years I walked six kilometers to fetch water,” says Hannah Nyala.
Since 2008, World Vision drills wells and wells, as well as paving hundreds of kilometres of water pipelines to deliver water to tens of thousands of families in this desert region.
“When we got here, only 18% of local residents had access to clean water, but now their number has increased to 62%. This is great progress for such territorial communities”, says Hannah Nyala.
Soon the village Kanze, Kahindi for the first time will have access to clean water. World Vision is preparing a new borehole with a solar battery, which will bring water to many families. The village is a big celebration.
“We are saving thousands of lives. We will also change the lives of many children, because now they will be able to go to school,” says the driller Francis Juju.
Such changes have occurred in the life of Fatuma Rumba, after she had access to clean water. She used four hours a day walking for water, while “World Vision” has not drilled a well in her village. Now, to get to crane, you need only a few minutes. The rest of the time the woman spends a small vegetable garden that feeds her family and the surrounding community.
“You take water for granted, but we have it weight in gold. Now our children are clean, healthy, and they can go to school,” she says.
To carry the water, requires not only much time but also a lot of physical effort. For carrying water Kanze, Kahindi uses a bright yellow plastic canister. A fully filled canister holds 20 liters and weighs about 20 pounds. And with such a canister ordinary woman in Africa runs about 25 miles a day.
Experts say about the water crisis, which threatens the future of hundreds of millions of people. However, organizations such as World Vision and others, are working tirelessly to facilitate access to clean and safe drinking water to those in need. Hoping that eventually this access will mean education, income and health, particularly for women and children in Africa and around the world.