Healthier Lives through Clean Water
Access to water plays a vital role in the well-being of families. But in rural areas with widespread poverty, there is never enough water — especially clean water. Many people spend their entire lives searching to find enough, just to survive.
Because there is lack of clean water sources, many people wash clothes, clean equipment and fill containers with drinking water from swamps. For families that live in villages like Kabukuba in rural Rwanda, gathering this dirty water takes many hours. As a result, families lose valuable time, while suffering from waterborne diseases and hygiene-related problems.
“My children and I were always sick, and this would go on for days,” says 43-year-old Leonia. “Because our economic condition wasn’t good, I tried to use a home remedy, but it was useless. My husband had to take us to the health center which is miles away for treatment.”
Leonia’s sickness not only put her own health at risk; it also jeopardized the health of her 6-month-old baby girl. “When I was sick, I had to feed my baby with tea and sugar,” she says, noting how her milk supply decreased due to her own dehydration. “My child cried. The tea didn’t satisfy her. I was really sad that because of my sickness, my child’s future was in danger.”
Ultimately, even though she knew that the water her family and community depended on was endangering their health, they didn’t have an alternative.
As with so many of her neighbors, they didn’t have enough income to purchase clean water or to buy the fuel necessary to boil the dirty water to kill the bacteria.
“Then came a life saver,” says Leonia. Last year in August 2016, volunteers selected Leonia’s family to receive a SAM3 household filter from the Water Project. “That was the beginning of a healthy life for me and my family.” says Leonia.
Leonia reports that through the Water Project, many people like her are living healthier lives. This is due to the water filters that are helping poor people to access safe water. “If the help of such an organization were not available, I don’t know what would happen to the people. I hope the Water Project distributes more filters, so all families can enjoy drinking safe water.” she concludes.