Gertrude, 10 years old, Uganda
Gertrude walks four kilometres every day carrying two very heavy jerry cans full of dirty water. She has to collect water for her parents, two younger sisters and younger brother.
Just a Drop is just about to build a well and pump in her village so she will have clean water in the next few months.
At the moment Gertrude has to walk a long way every day to get the dirty water which she takes back to her family. Gertrude faces dangers such as a busy main road and also kidnapping on her way to collect water every morning and night. Her parents don’t let her younger siblings go to help her because it is too dangerous.
Gertrude says: “I am really looking forward to getting the well. I will not have to walk as far and maybe then my brothers and sisters can help. The jerry cans are so heavy and I get very tired from having to carry them so far every day and night. It will also be good to have clean water, as the water I get now is dirty and sometimes makes me sick.”
Gertrude loves school and when she grows up is looking forward to becoming a teacher.
One of Margaret’s teachers was killed by a crocodile by the river whilst collecting water.
“We had very little to eat at school and we were always getting sick. During the rainy season, the water was always full of soil, so we couldn’t drink it. One of my teachers was attacked by a crocodile on his way to collect water from the river and this made me very scared.” Margaret is just one of over 250 pupils at Lpus Leluai Primary School, whose life has improved as a result of a new well and water storage tank, which supplies clean water to her school and local health clinic. “Since Just a Drop built the well, I am able to wash my hands before lunch and my friends and I are much healthier. We can also plant trees, potatoes and tomatoes in the school garden. Without clean water, nothing can survive, so I am very happy now!”
Anya, 6 years old, Mongolia
Anya’s home is in the middle of the desert, where clean drinking water is in short supply.
The little water that is available has to be shared between not only 40 families and their animals, but also a number of nomadic herders who often pass through with their camels and horses. The area also attracts tourists, so the demand for water is extremely high.
To help Anya and her community, Just a Drop built a well which now delivers clean, fresh water to everyone in the area. The well has become central to community life and has even meant that a new health clinic can be built, for which clean water is essential.
“My little brother died from a disease that he got from drinking dirty water. My sister and I often visit his graveside. I am happy that we now have safe water to drink, so that other children in my village will not become ill.”
Prema, 11 years old, India
Prema and her family had to get washed by the roadside and drink dirty well water before their community was supported by Just a Drop.
Drinking dirty, unsafe water and getting washed in public were just two problems faced by Prema and her family before Just a Drop provided support to Manpura Village, India. Prema also had to be careful to avoid scorpions and snakes when she went to the toilet in the field next to her house.
With help from Just a Drop, the people in Prema’s village now have clean, safe drinking water and private toilet and washing facilities. This means Prema no longer misses school because she has to spend time collecting water, or because she is ill from drinking dirty water. It also means she can use the toilet and wash in private.
Prema says, “Having clean water we can drink whenever we want is great; it makes us healthier and life much easier. It is also good that we can wash and use the toilet in our own yard, which is safer, nicer and private.”
As Prema is now able to go to school she is hoping to complete her studies and go on to college to do a course in computing.
Benjamin Mwita, 16 years old, Uganda
Benjamin is one of many children living at the Hope Children’s Centre in Kampala.
The water he used for cooking, washing and drinking came from a small, stagnant pond over 4kms away from his school. He was often forced to miss school due to illnesses and many of his classmates also became sick with malaria or diarrhoea from drinking the dirty water.
Just a Drop built a new water well at Benjamin’s school which is now benefiting all of the children at the centre, as well as the local community.
“When we had bad water from the pond I had dysentery three times and each time, I missed one month of school to have treatment and recover. Now, I don’t have to walk long distances to collect water and I feel much safer with this new, clean water.”
Rohini, 14 years old, India
Rohini’s father hopes that all of his children will live in their own homes one day and most importantly, that each house will have its own private toilet.
Rohini lives with her mother and father, two brothers and two sisters. The family’s plot is located in an agricultural area, next to a bamboo forest and a large pond.
Drinking dirty water and having to go to the toilet in public were just two problems faced by Rohini before Just a Drop provided support to Jagsaya Village, India. She also wondered why her family didn’t have their own bathroom like so many of the people in the television programmes she had seen.
With help from Just a Drop, the people in Rohini’s village now have clean, safe drinking water and private toilet and washing facilities. This means Rohini can now use the toilet and wash in private. Her father, Harishchandra, is delighted that his daughters have access to these new facilities:
“When my daughters get married, I am going to insist that they all have good facilities in their new homes. My eldest daughter is now engaged and her fiancée was pleased to see that he was marrying a girl who came from a proper home”.