Water (& endless possibilities…)
Namangolwa’s village is located three hours drive from the nearest town. The only sources of water near her home used to be an open well or stream. Neither were options she wanted to use. Using dirty water everyday for washing, cooking and drinking meant illness like diarrhoea and eye infections was common among families in the village.
We came to the village in 2004 and began our first safe water project. The Village Water Zambia team started by running sessions on hygiene, where Namanglwa, her family and community learnt how simple everyday practices like hand washing prevent bacteria from spreading.
Namanglwa learnt how to build her own private latrine and tippy-tap – a hand washing device. Both are constructed from materials found within her village – string, wood, grass – and cost nothing so every family can make their own, no matter their income
Then, new water point was drilled in the village. No more long walks to fetch water, no more collecting from streams or holes in the ground. Nwanglwa now had safe water to use, to wash her hands with and to drink at any time of the day.
In September 2009 we revisited the village to see how they were progressing and were welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd.
The villagers explained how, because of the well, disease has reduced in their village, and they no longer go hungry. They were able to set up 8 village gardens where they grow vegetables and bananas to eat and extra to sell for income.
With more time and energy they decided to pool their resources to build a school in the village. They even persuaded the Government to fund a teacher. To this day the school still teaches two classes of pupils in the morning and two in the afternoon.
15 years on Namanglwa’s village is still thriving. Her community is healthy, there is enough for to eat and their children have the chance to go to school. Safe water and sanitation was just the beginning…