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

A senior woman carries water in a large blue bucket, balanced on her head
Written by Ashley Anderson, published on August 20, 2021 Sign up for eNews

Every morning, Sarafina walked over two hours to fetch water from a small marshland three kilometres from her village. After being used by many people in the surrounding villages, the water would get muddy and the banks slippery and dangerous. To avoid this, Sarafina tried to always be one of the first people to get to the marshland, so she could draw the clearest water for her family. This meant she had to leave her house by 4 a.m. each morning.  

Before the rehabilitation of the Penti village borehole, Sarafina and the other women of the village relied on water holes like this one

Sarafina’s village, Penti, has a borehole that was drilled by the government in 2004, but unfortunately, the borehole broke down in December 2020. This forced the nearly 200 people of the village to return to drawing water from holes dug in the marshland. Not only was this difficult for Sarafina and other women in her village, but it was also dangerous. Several months ago, a woman was assaulted in the dark on her way to collect water early in the morning. 

Sarafina had to lay on her stomach in the mud to reach the water

Thanks to support from our donors, we recently rehabilitated the borehole, and the people of Penti have clean water once more. For Sarafina and the other women, the rehabilitated borehole has brought a lot of relief. No more early morning long walks to the water hole; no more fear of being ambushed in the dark; no more danger of slipping in the mud and getting hurt; and no more carrying heavy buckets of water for more than three kilometres at a time.  

After Operation Eyesight rehabilitated the borehole in Sarafina’s village, she only has to walk fifteen minutes with a heavy water bucket, instead of over two hours

“I am very happy that, once again, I can draw water from the village borehole,” Sarafina shared. “This makes life much easier for us. Now I can get water even at night because it’s near and safe. No one was ever walking to the water hole in the night because, here, a lot of danger lurks in the dark. Having a water source nearby is protecting women and girls from many forms of danger.” 

Sarafina pumping water from her village’s newly rehabilitated borehole

Access to clean water is critical to preventing bacterial diseases, such as blinding trachoma, and it also significantly reduces the burden on women and girls and leads to safer, healthier communities. Donate today to help provide clean water for more villages like Sarafina’s.