Water is life in Ikungula

7th November 2015

Here is a typical day in the life of an Ikungula house Mama and how she uses water.

6am (12am) – Sunrise, Mama gets up, goes to collect water – 2 buckets, 5 minutes walk.
6.30am (12.30am) – Mama lights the fire and puts water on to boil.
7am (1am) – Washes clothes and hangs on line to dry.
7.30am (1.30am) – Mama has a wash, heats more water for the rest of the household to wash. After washing her hands she puts on water for breakfast (Ugali, chai and porridge)
8.15am (2.15am) – Washes dishes from breakfast.
8.30am (2.30am) – Fills household’s water bottles for the day. Brushes teeth. Goes to collect more water – 2 buckets, 5 minute walk..
9.00am (3am) – Leaves for the day of work on the farm and collects fire wood. Drinking water used throughout the day. Livestock drink from the river and irrigation system that runs from the mountains to the village.
6pm (12pm) – Mama comes home from work, washes floors and sweep.
6.30pm (12.30pm) – Lights fire. Prepares food-rinses veg, peels potatoes, soaks beans etc.
7.30pm (1.30pm) – Washes dishes before use. Cooking dinner – boiling potatoes and beans. Water boiled for chai. Hand-washing before eating.
8.30pm (2.30pm) Mama washes the dishes after food. Then heats water for the household to have a wash.
9.30pm (3.30pm) – Brushes teeth. Mama goes to bed.

Despite this seemingly plentiful supply of water, the taps are unreliable and often do not work. As a result, people often have to walk further to collect water, taking more valuable time out of their day. Two separate water companies supply the taps in question. One of these companies provides water that is totally untreated, the other provides water that is actually over-treated. Both can make villagers ill as people do not always boil water before drinking or cooking. Team Ikungula have now been in the community for three weeks and have so far provided tippy taps for hand-washing at the school, taught some lessons on sanitation and hygiene and worked with our project partner SAWA to fix the water supply to the latrines there. We have also organized several action days and taught adult groups about the importance of boiling water before use, the six stages of hand-washing and the three bowl washing system.
On one of our community days, our team followed the river back up the mountain to see its source as part of our research into the local area. Over the next three weeks we hope to further educate the community regarding sanitation and hygiene and also the importance of conserving the water they have.

Youth Economic Empowerment Tanzania