In Ethiopia and many parts of Africa lack of access to clean drinking water or any water puts an undue burden on women. The numbers for the whole of the country are staggering. 42 million people don’t have access to safe water, more than 71 million lack access to proper sanitation, and over 9000 children under five die each year due to this lack of services.
However, it’s women and young girls that pay the heaviest price. Imagine a world where you or any woman, young or old, you care about needs to spend 6 hours each day walking to find something as basic as water. Now imagine that they are spending that time in the jungles or deserts of Africa along with all the wildlife that inhabit those areas. Hippopotamus, elephants, crocodiles, venomous snakes, large cats, predators of all kind. Frightening isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not as frightening as the worst predator they may face on their journey, man. Rebel militias and warlords that lurk in those same remote locations are responsible for the kidnapping, murder, and rape of countless women and girls who are doing nothing more than trying to provide clean water for their families. It’s truly a revolting scenario that they must endure every single day. Women and girls forgoing an education and training to better themselves and their families. Not being able to work to provide financial stability. Being forced to leave their young children all for the necessity of water.
All of this could be prevented with something as simple water storage tanks, or cisterns, or collection ponds. Construction and installation cost would be minimal and annual rainfall could fill most of these, while in the dryer seasons it could be trucked in. A solution this simple should not be overlooked and in some areas it has been implemented. However, the smaller communities that lack the financial ability go without and instead run the risk of experiencing the atrocities put upon them by their fellow man.
Photo Credit 2 Water.org