Going home after school was never a good feeling and I always silently prayed my mother should disappoint me but she never did. The first thing she says to me when I get home is ‘Tomi, eat and let’s go fetch water.’
12-year old, Tomi (named after ActionAid’s former sponsorship officer), indeed dreaded the one hour walk to the stream to fetch water. The walk is even longer when her bucket or bowl has been filled. Regardless, Tomi was eager to take us to the stream. Although, she wanted us to experience the long walk she had to endure for 2 years, we choose to drive instead. It was a rough and dusty 7 minutes’ drive and if I had to walk, it would take me about 60 minutes too.
Tomi explained that during rainy season, the stream would be full and overflowing but at the time of our visit, it was in dry season and there were only stream holes – the holes are actually the deep ends of the stream that spring water. Evidently, they shared the stream holes with frogs and herdsmen who bring their cattle to drink.
I asked Tomi if she has ever been sick from drinking the water, I received a chorus response ‘Yes! Yes!, Me too! More than once!’ Tomi and her friends responded.
In 2007, ActionAid installed a borehole for Leketurum community and for 8 years, the community did greatly maintaining their primary source of clean water but the damage in 2015 was beyond their control and financial strength.
‘I danced and danced the day ActionAid came to repair our borehole. I am not lazy and I love doing my house chores but the long walk in the sun – to the stream made my mother called me lazy. I am happy those days have ended. I enjoy strolling down to the borehole which is opposite my house to fetch water. Thank you very much ActionAid.’ Says Tomi.
Leketurum community Activista, a youth group inaugurated by ActionAid coordinated by Titikus Babangida has constituted a water committee. ‘‘We now have a water committee amongst the Activista who mobilise the youths to go on weekend manual labour on farms within and outside the community for a fee. The money is put into a purse which we keep to maintain the borehole. The weekend manual work happens once in a month for now. For financial sustainability of the youth group, we intend to increase this to twice in a month so that we can save for our engagement with duty bearers – we don’t want to be held back because of finances when we see an opportunity to engage duty bearers on issues affecting us.’’ Says Titikus.
These and many more we were able to achieve because YOU care to give. As we commemorate the World Water Day, on behalf of ActionAid and its sponsored communities, we say Thank You!