– In a place where age counts, being the last born can create hardships.
Each day as the sun rises, Mutanu – the youngest child in a family of six – clings anxiously to her donkey as she lets the older children past her place in the queue. It is already very hot as she finally reaches the scoop hole. The water is brown. She quickly fills her jerry can and mounts her donkey again. She wishes that collecting this water wouldn’t make her late for school.
In the afternoon, after school, she collects her donkey again and goes back to the scoop hole. The walk itself is half an hour each way. “This means no time to do my homework”, she says.
In a place where collecting water is essential to survive, the youngest is sometimes left behind and high levels of absenteeism are often the result of the search for water, especially during the dry seasons. This was a stark reality for children like Mutanu, and despite the meaning of her name – ‘joy’ – her surroundings often made her feel very sad.
Now, thanks to the new water tank which was built at Mutanu’s school, she has one less barrier to survival and can pick up her education again. She says, “With the new tank I will no longer have to fetch water from the scoop hole. But most of all, we will have better health and a cleaner environment.”
Mutanu can now reclaim her joy!