Carrying water on their backs, Charity and her mother travelled to the river each day to find water—a journey that took hours.

 

This is their story.

 

“My name is Charity. I am 12 years old and I live in Narok County with my parents and four siblings. I go to the local primary school, and my favourite things to do are read and draw.

We used to get water from the Ewaso Ng’iro River. I would accompany my mother to the river to fetch water. We went to the river at least once a day, and walked down into a valley. Climbing back up the hill was the hardest task, and sometimes I would fall down the hill several times before making it to the top. We did not own a donkey, so we used our backs to carry the water home. When we needed more water at home, I would miss school in order to fetch water. Some days, the water was too murky to use, so we would go back home without any water. Since animals used to drink from the same water source, the river would often by highly polluted with animal waste. People in my community would get sick from consuming the contaminated water. Some children in my school suffered from skin diseases as a result of not taking baths due to a lack of water. Other students discriminated against them, which really lowered their self-esteem.

The new water project has made learning easier for me. Now, I am able to concentrate on my studies without going to the river to fetch water. Children in my school are now able to take regular baths and their skin diseases are fading away. It only takes me about 10 minutes to fetch water, and my family’s health has improved. I have learned in school about the significance of clean water, and have shared with my family all the knowledge and skills I have gained. They are keen to practice what I share with them.”

-Charity, student

This testimonial has been adapted from a translation.