|Thérèse's gift to the community|
|Thursday, 13 September 2012 00:00|
Thérèse Nahokamiye is a 60 year old widow from Burundi, still providing for three of her four children. Even though land is precious in the tiny country, Thérèse has given a piece of her land to the 350 people from her community so that a natural water spring on the land can be made safe to drink from.
The World Health Organisation recognises that 783 million people (11% of the world’s population) live without access to clean water.In Burundi access to clean water in some areas is below 50% of the population.1 In Bujumbura Rural province diarrhoea is the second highest cause of death for children under five in the province, affecting almost one third of children.2
Dirty water disables entire families and fuels the cycle of poverty that results from water borne diseases, meaning that children can’t go to school, and that adults cannot work or farm to provide for their families. Clean water is so vital that it’s often a source of conflict.
Although Thérèse’s spring is available for people from her community to use,many still collect water from a nearby river instead. It’s not clean, but it’s fast flowing and is easier to access than the spring which, at present, is just a small trickle. At local and regional meetings over the last 30 years the community
Now with Cord’s help, the clean water spring will be made safe and easier to use. Local people have gathered gravel, rocks, sand and clay ready for work to start. They have elected a water committee, which includes Thérèse, to oversee and maintain the spring once work is complete. Cord will provide the cement, pipes, roofing and pay for the labour work on the spring. Making the spring safe and providing drinking water is simple and costs less than £500.
Thérèse’ generosity in sharing access to her spring for the whole community has reduced potential conflict, and “I am very proud to contribute to keeping my community healthy,” she says.
Over the next three years Cord is planning to provide clean drinking water for 25,000 families through 400 springs in Bujumbura Rural province.
Help people like Thérèse and her community to help themselves by making a donation.
1National inventory of water and sanitation (INEA), 2007
2EPISTAT, Ministry of Public Health database