UNICEF Water Point
Children say that the water pump is everything to them, it’s like their “soul”. Since the Unicef-supported pump was installed two weeks ago, life has changed dramatically. Before children were travelling three hours to get water, over terrain so rocky that even donkeys struggled to climb the hills. One father says that life was often unbearable; if a family member died they’d have to keep the body for several days before being able to wash it as part of traditional funeral preparations. The children spent all their time travelling to find water, and therefore were unable to go to school. Many of the children were sick too, often having bouts of diarrhoea as the river they travelled too was dirty.
For one mother, Fatuma Abdullah, sadly the new pump came too late for her seven year old son, Anwar. His tummy pains were so bad after drinking dirty water that he asked his mother to tie his stomache to try and stop them. Fatuma says, “I think my child’s problem came from drinking dirty water from the river, and drinking the water that our cows drink. There is a severe water shortage here, its our main problem. The journey to collect the water was tough, even the donkeys sometimes miscarried due to the steep hills”. Her son is still alive but in a poorly way at home. She says at least she doesn’t have to fear that her other children will fall ill now though, families are “joyful” about the pump and the children are now able to go to school. Water Point, Lode Lamhffo Kabele, Sire Woreda, Arsi Zone. © UNICEF Ethiopia/2016/Ayene