For 15-year-old Hannah, the worst part of her day is the long walk to fetch water. Every day after school, she and her cousin set off carrying their empty water jugs. It takes almost an hour to reach the borehole, the closest water source to their home.
Along the way, they are catcalled and harassed by many men loitering in the street. It’s worse when they are on their way home. Carrying over 20 pounds of water each, they can’t quickly escape the unwanted attention. Walking together provides them some protection, but Hannah is always terrified it won’t be enough.
Hannah’s story is all too common. The burden of fetching and carrying water in many developing countries fall almost exclusively on women and children. Young women like Hannah are particularly vulnerable during their daily walks for water. And it’s for their sake that we are committed to providing better, safer water access.
Unfortunately, Hannah’s water crisis goes far beyond the danger she faces on the road to the borehole, even though that alone is reason enough to act! In addition:
- Hannah has to pay for the water from the borehole, which her family can barely afford.
- Hannah’s teeth are rotting and discolored due to the harsh chemicals in the groundwater she drinks.
- Hannah is constantly getting sick and missing both school and Life Center lessons due to drinking the dirty water.
Hannah’s life has never been easy. Her mom has a mental health disability that prevents her from working or taking care of Hannah on her own. Hannah’s aunt and uncle are willing to help them, but with so many people relying on her uncle’s small income, their financial situation is dire. They struggle to afford even the basic necessity of water.
Thankfully, Hannah’s water crisis is solvable. We have a church partner near Hannah’s home, which is always looking for more ways to share the Gospel and meet the needs of people in their community. With your support, we can help them build a rainwater tank at their church!
A water tank at the church will mean a much shorter, safer walk for water for Hannah and her cousin. But it will also give church leaders so many opportunities to remind Hannah how much God loves her. I can’t think of a better way to transform lives – both materially AND spiritually!
Through our church partners, we can also provide families like Hannah’s with household water filters, that will purify even the dirtiest water, removing dirt, bacteria and harmful minerals. We showed Hannah how these worked, and explained that filtering her drinking water in this special bucket will prevent the discoloration of her teeth and keep her healthy enough to stay in school. She could hardly believe us – but would love a water filter of her own to see if it’s true!
Hannah’s story demonstrates how impactful the gift of clean water can be. Safe, sustainable access to water is something we take for granted; but for Hannah, it would transform her life!
Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to help children in need. If you’re interested in providing clean water for children like Hannah, click here.