Provision of clean water in Zambia’s Luano District – Abigail and Natasha

Children smile at the camera as they collect water from a borehole
Written by Ashley Anderson Donate Today

Abigail and her two busy children live in the village of Kangwa. Unfortunately, in November 2020, right when hygiene was at the forefront of everyone’s minds due to COVID-19, the borehole in Kangwa broke down. The only other source of water was a stream several kilometres away from the village, but the water was often muddy and unclean. Abigail went from having her children wash their faces every day with fresh water to only being able to wash their faces every few days with water that had to be boiled and carefully conserved. Regularly washing your face with clean water is one of the easiest ways to prevent contracting trachoma, a bacterial eye infection that, if left untreated, can lead to irreversible blindness.  

To help support her family, Abigail’s daughter, Natasha, would often stop at Kangwa’s borehole and bring water home to her family after school. When the borehole broke down, Natasha continued to help her family by walking several kilometres each day to fetch water. Unfortunately, because this took so much extra time and energy, Natasha stopped attending school full time. In Zambia’s Luano District, where Abigail and Natasha live, there is a significant gender disparity in schools. Many more boys attend school than girls. When the borehole broke down, this gap grew even more.  

Our team in Kenya found out about the Kangwa borehole and made the arrangements to have it rehabilitated, through the generosity of our donors. In addition to fixing the borehole, our team also provided maintenance training to a committee of local community members. Now, if the borehole ever breaks down again, the committee will be able to fix it quickly and independently.  

Now that the borehole is functioning again, Natasha and several other girls in her class are back attending school full time. Abigail and Natasha no longer have to walk long distances or carefully conserve water. They can wash their hands, faces and clothing regularly, which puts them at a much lower risk of contracting bacterial infections such as trachoma.  

Access to clean water doesn’t just help reduce the spread of infection, it transforms entire communities. Click here to learn more about our work to provide access to clean water. If you would like to help us rehabilitate more boreholes – giving girls an opportunity to pursue their education and keeping communities healthy – please consider donating today 

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