Mar 07

From Water Scarcity to Community Empowerment in 6 Months

Imagine, for 20yrs you have had to buy water from a truck that passes through the village once a week. You have to have enough 20L containers (that way you can carry them either on a wheel barrow, on your head or in both hands), for the whole week. Now, add a family of 3 kids and a partner.

You need to do all the washing, cooking, cleaning, drinking from these water containers………….for 20years! You are with the rest of a village of over 5,000 people, all waiting in different corners of the village for the precious water truck to come through. You spend hours waiting, you try and get there early so that you can be ahead of the que, so that you will get water, before the truck has to head back to the depot be refilled. In the morning it is cold, I am talking about 0500, when it is very cold, and dark, and scary.

As the day wears on it becomes hot, and humid, standing in the sun. Yesterday it was 39C (102 Fahrenheit), still you are waiting for the truck. Then you have to start the journey back home, sometimes a couple of kilometres uphill with 20L of water on your head, in a wheelbarrow, or just carrying. Up to 5 x 20L containers. For a week, if you don’t have babies or a sick adult that needs linen changed daily.

Add to that you want a vegetable garden because you need to supplement your budget, as the money for food just evaporates as you have to spend money to buy water. Grey water is helpful but seedlings need clean water to grow and establish. Do you share your precious resource?

What about those in the communities that are too sick, frail or incapacitated to get their own water?

I am sharing all of this because the Cluster Level Association through the Self Help Groups have been able to get 6 dysfunctional boreholes repaired in 6months, what has been outstanding for over 20yrs. That is the power of this project. They are changing their communities and showing other communities what can be achieved through working together and demanding their rights in a co-operative manner rather than destroying infrastructure and causing chaos. Please watch the video below to see the awesome flow of water!

“AMANDLA! AWETHU!” These words were a popular rallying cry in the days of resistance against apartheid used by the ANC (African National Congress). In Xhosa and Zulu, it means “Power” and “Its Ours”. The women are showing how transformation will come from the grass roots and bring lasting change!

I love it, this is why I do this work. It is easy to come in and DO for people, it is much harder to train, show, encourage and watch others achieve. It takes longer, it is far more difficult, but it is far more lasting. This is why we do what we do with the children as well, lasting change. 

Thank you for being a part of the CHANGE!

We thank God for you! Seriously!

God Bless you