Access to water is easy? - Blog by Cyril Bekoe

Two weeks to go…

I woke up today and threw a few clothes in the washing machine.

Turned it on and then opened the fridge to get a bottle of water.

There were none left, so I turned on the tap and had a glass of water, while making a mental note to go down to the supermarket to buy some more bottled water.

Made me think how many times I had used water since waking up 2 hours before.

Before all of the above, I had taken a shower, shaved etc. All from the convenience of my home and quite simply by turning on a tap.

How wonderful.

Now take a journey with me to Ol Maisor.

There are no taps or water systems. Each day’s activities are primarily governed by gaining access to water.

For most people half of the day is spent in search of water and gathering enough for household use.

Before most children go to school, they have to fetch water for their families in order to ensure everyone can wash, have some breakfast and wash their clothes (never mind a washing machine) to name just a few activities.

There is no choice between drinking tap or bottled water.

That is not actually accurate.

There is a choice available to the community.

The community members can decide whether to drink untreated and contaminated water that most people find in shallow wells or to take it home, boil the water to purify it and then drain it to remove any debris.

When was the last time you had to boil water before drinking it?

Have you ever had to do that?

What about washing hands?

How easily can you find a tap and sink to do that?

I can wash my hands whenever I want and as many times as I need to.

I will not go on any further. For me this is what is amazing about the next visit to Ol Maisor by the Project Africa team.

For so long there have been a great number of William Hill colleagues wanted to see clean water at the Island School.

That my friends, has started, and this October I am so pleased to be part of the project team that will be making it happen.

I will tell you more about it in my next blog, but for now I will say the project will involve the harvesting of rain and river water which will be filtered and will provide a much improved source of water to the community.

Some of the easy advantages to point out are;

The risk of the community contracting water borne diseases will be reduced significantly.

The risk for children having to fetch water from the river near the school will be reduced. Many of the children cannot swim and so they would be at serious risk should they fall in the river

The community will not have to search for clean water,they will know exactly where to find it.

So for now I will say;

“Maji ni Maisha” – Water is Life

Cyril Bekoe