The Problem Was Dirty Water

March 17, 2020

Posted by Amanda, Director of Outreach

The Problem Was Dirty Water

Nepo and Venancie have lived in the rural area of Gashora in Rwanda since 1997. They are both in their sixties. Over the years, they were blessed with eight children and six grandchildren. On the day that our staff visited them, two of their children were also with them.

Nepo and Venancie have had a SAM3 Household Filter since 2017, but they and their children remember very clearly their lives before the filter. Originally, they used to fetch water from a nearby lake. The water was green. Venancie remembers trying to scoop the green particles out of the water before using it to cook. But, they never treated the water before drinking it.

Then, the government installed a nearby tap. The water from the tap wasn’t green, but it still wasn’t clean. They noticed that their clean water containers would get dirty from the tap water.

Their water looking or tasting gross wasn’t the worst part.

Their kids and grandkids were often sick with diarrhea and you could see their bellies were round and full of worms and other parasites. Venancie also has struggled with a stomach ulcer. She remembers, “It would hurt in the stomach and when I would go to the hospital it would be hard to get better because it is the same water that we would use to take my medicine.”

Their son Celestin told us that he was used to drinking water from anywhere. He was often at the hospital but never seemed to improve. Celestin would be away from school for a week at a time. He started feeling discouraged, because he was always behind on his lessons and didn’t even want to attend classes anymore.

Then, the family received a SAM3 Household Filter.

Nepo and Venancie’s daughter Joseline remembered the experience of getting a filter. She clearly remembered the training on how to maintain the filter and all of the health and hygiene training that they received. She told us that the training made them feel confident to take better care of themselves and their filter.

After receiving the filter, the health of the entire family improved drastically. Celestin stopped drinking water that had not passed through the filter and developed a habit of drinking a cup of water every morning. It was only then that he realized that the problem was dirty water all along.

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