The Moompo Village’s water well was hand dug by its forefathers. However, since then, the well has yielded substandard water. “Drinking water from the well always causes serious stomach pains,” said village resident Evelina Mukoswe, 19. “Sometimes I fear for a miscarriage. Our prayers have always been to receive any help for us to have clean water.” Soon, a project will be put in place to drill a borehole within the community, which will give the 350 village residents access to clean water.
Curator’s note: The following is an excerpt of Evelina Mukoswe’s story as told to WaterAid staff on November 16, 2016.
Q: Describe for us the water situation in Moompo Village.
A: The situation is very bad. We still depend on a well which was dug a long time ago by our grandfathers. We have a challenge in dry season because the water in the well finishes up. In the wet season again, we see rainwater flooding our well and making it difficult to access clean water.
Q: How is the quality of the water? How does it look, taste or smell?
A: The water looks milky because of the mud. It is worse in the rain season as floodwater collects in there. The taste is not the way clear water tastes.
Q: What problems have you seen which are associated with the problem of water?
A: Drinking water from the well always causes serious stomach pains. Sometimes I even fear for a miscarriage. Our prayers have always been to receive any help for us to have clean water. Children and adults often times experience diarrhea. There are many problems.
Q: How do you find carrying water on your head?
A: It is strenuous. But what can we do? Sometimes I have a terrible backache but we need water for cooking and other uses at home. My husband sometimes helps.
Q: How long does it take you to collect water?
A: The well is not far from my home. Maybe 30 minutes. But of concern is the quality of water that we have. We just drink it because we have no choice.
Q: Do you know of any family that has lost a child due to diarrhea?
A: There are many deaths but I cannot confirm that they died of diarrhea due to bad water.
Q: How long ago did any of your family members suffer from diarrhea?
A: A week ago one of my children had diarrhea and ended up at the clinic. We end up spending our time attending to problems around water than doing any other thing.
Q: What are your hopes for the future?
A: I hope the baby I will be delivering could find clean water by the time it is born and by the time he is beginning to drink water.
Photo credit: WaterAid/Chileshe Chanda