Clean drinking water is vital for everyone. It’s easy to see how drinking dirty, contaminated water can make people sick and spread disease. However, the impact of not having clean water is bigger than just health. Not having clean, accessible water can take away people’s safety and dignity.
This was the case in Baye Village community in Zimbabwe.
Two women walk to meet our team at a newly installed borehole. They come with their buckets, from their homes nearby, to collect water and tell us about what thenew borehole means to them. With some help from Showers of Blessing Director, Boniface Mpofu, they share how they used to walk seven kilometres from home, with their children, to collect water.
“[They had to walk] all the way, seven to eight kilometres, to the river and then also in addition to the laundry, they had to carry some water back home. So, it was not just the water, it was the water and the laundry,” Boniface explains.
However, this was more than just a long walk for laundry. The women and children also have to bathe at the same river.
“Their dignity is compromised because in most cases they bathe in the open, more or less just hiding behind the bushes.”
Imagine, having to bathe in a public river with only bushes to give you privacy! There are open concrete tanks near the river.The women would go into the tanks and bathe there, using them to screen themselves from people passing by.
Not only is bathing in the open embarrassing, but it’s also dangerous.The river is infested with crocodiles. “So more than anything, that was the biggest threat that they were encountering,” Boniface said.
When they bathe in the river, they fear a sudden attack from the crocodiles. The women said, “It really was a very big problem for us”.
Bathing in the open is embarrassing and puts the women and their children at risk from animals like crocodiles, but also at risk of sexual abuse if they’re discovered. Unfortunately, without access to water close to home, they had no other option.
A borehole gives more than clean water to drink. It gives people the means to stay safe and keep their children safe as well. Having enough water close to home, means that people can bathe at home, where it’s safe and private.
A borehole was drilled closer to the women’s homes! Now they can collect the watersafely from the borehole, and bath eat home with dignity. “They are happy...because they don’t worry about the dangersthat the children were encountering,” Boniface told us.
Thanks to Showers of Blessing and your support, the women are “at peace, they feel free because they’re using the water from nearby. It’s cleaner water so it’s something that has really changed their life immensely.” The access to water has also helped the women start vegetable gardens at their homes, meaning more nutritious food for their families.
You can help give safety and dignity to people without access to safe water.Take the Safe Water September Challenge, and drink nothing but water, all September.The money you raise will support these life-changing projects that give safety and dignity to people in need. Sign up now!
The Showers of Blessing Trust (OSBT) project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).