Clean water in Zambia’s Luano District – Karen’s story

A woman collects water from a borehole and smiles at the camera
Written by Ashley Anderson, published on August 20, 2021 Sign up for eNews

In June 2021, Karen and her husband welcomed a healthy baby boy, Peter, into their family. Like all new mothers, Karen was overjoyed but also exhausted. This exhaustion was compounded by the fact that the borehole in Nkumbaisha, her village, had stopped working in May 2020. With a newborn in the household, Karen needed a lot of water every day for cleaning and washing.  

Karen holding a bucket of water from her villages borehole (after it was rehabilitated)

Without a functional borehole nearby, she had to fetch water from a ditch dug in the nearby marsh. Not only was the water dirty, but it was also dangerous for women and children to fetch water from the ditch as it was quite steep and slippery. Collecting the water required considerable physical strength to lift the heavy buckets of water out of the ditch, which was especially challenging for Karen while she was pregnant and for the first few weeks after giving birth. 

Before the borehole in her village was rehabilitated by Operation Eyesight, Karen had to fetch water from this hole in the ground

With support from Operation Eyesight’s donors, the borehole in Nkumbaisha was rehabilitated in July 2021. For Karen and many other mothers like her, this was a turning point in their lives and a huge source of joy. “Since May of last year, it took me more than two hours to fetch a single bucket of water,” Karen explained. “Now, I can access clean water within five minutes. I am extremely relieved! This will help us improve our hygiene and give me more time to focus on my son.”  

Karen smiles as she pumps fresh water from the borehole in her village that was recently rehabilitated by Operation Eyesight

Karen is relieved to know that she now has the ability to keep her family clean and healthy. Every day, she washes her baby’s clothes and prepares nutritious food for her family. The food is grown, washed and cooked with clean water and served on clean plates.   

Access to clean water leads to safer, healthier communities. Donate today to help more families like Karen’s get accessible, clean water sources near their homes.