In rural Zimbabwe, getting water isn’t easy. People living in one village walk 7km to the Ngezi River to fetch water. The water in the river is not clean, but it is the only source available. They fill heavy 20L buckets to carry back home.
Marisa has grown up with this hazardous walk as a part of her everyday life. But now she is older, her age has made the walk a struggle. When she makes the long journey, she can feel pain in her chest. She can only manage to carry 5L of water back with her. She can’t manage the trip any longer.
She has no choice but to send her children down to the river. While they are gone, Marisa is anxious. She is afraid that they may not come back alive. Along the walk, there are many wild animals they could encounter, and the river is home to crocodiles and hippos. This journey to the river must be made every day.
Last year, Marisa became sick. She was rushed to the hospital, and was told she had cholera, from drinking river water. The doctors told her that she should not drink the water without boiling it first. Her worries grew – scared that her children would be thirsty enough that they would not wait. Scared that they would get sick, and not be as lucky as she was to recover.
But now, Marisa fears are being eased. Just 500m from her home, a borehole has being drilled. There will be safe, clean drinking water for her community. She smiles brightly as she says, “We are very happy and thankful that we have clean drinking water which will also be enjoyed by our grandchildren.”
“Even if I send my grandkids with the cart as they used to, I can get more water easily,” she says. “And even start a small vegetable garden. I will not starve again as we now have water on our door step.”
The borehole is being dug because generous people like you have supported Safe Water September. Because of the money raised, Showers of Blessings have been able to provide seven bore holes for villages like Marisa’s. 1 in 9 people still live without access to safe water close to home (WHO, 20171). We want those people’s lives to be changed like Marisa’s was.
“As we speak, I have even sent my grandchildren to go and get a bucket,” she says with a smile. “So we can be first to taste the water.”