25th March 2014
World Water Day was on the 22nd March. This was a great opportunity for our groups to raise awareness of water and sanitation in their villages. With this in mind, we asked the Charlie groups to consider the importance of water for development in their communities. First up we spoke to Charlie 1.
From our time here in the community of Mayamaya we have found and experienced that water is the main source of all basic tasks in everyday living. The water source here is unreliable and is expensive for the locals, as we found from the information we gained from our action research we carried out in Phase One. The majority of the households we surveyed do not purify the water which they drink, which leads to various health issues. Women are mainly responsible for the collection of water in their households; which in a lot of case involves hours of time (six hours being the longest) walking to and from to a water pump or distribution point and carrying water home to their families on a daily basis. When carrying out the surveys with these women, we asked them what they might do with their time if it wasn’t so taken up with the responsibility of collecting water; and got answers such as “spend the time working on crops and livestock”, enabling them to increase their family income and benefiting the economy. Others said they would use the time “to rest” or to “visit family members”. Children are also often responsible for water collection and in many cases this is what is preventing them from attending school and gaining an education.
Community football match held on World Water Day
It’s easy to see why development cannot even begin without a clean water supply close to home. Lack of clean water causes illness and ultimately death. Infant mortality rates are high in villages such as Mayamaya and we have met many families that have lost children. Collection of water takes time away from education, agriculture and business, all routes out of poverty and ways the local community could be improve their standard of living. We have all realised the importance of what we take for granted in the UK.
Local womens group drumming as part of Charlie 2's World Water Day celebrations