Every day it is the duty of women and girls in sub Saharan Africa to walk for miles to creeks, lakes, or rivers, most starting their journeys before sunrise, in order to obtain water for their families.
They endure poverty and untold suffering as a result of the lack of safe water. Women labor hours a day getting water, time that could be spent on gainful employment, gardening, and caring for their children and families— if they had safe water. Along the journey to get water, they often face dangers from predatory animals.
For a typical woman in Sub Saharan Africa, since she was a child and physically able to carry the container and walk the journey to a water source, her life has entailed many hours every day carrying water.
As a young girl, she would have missed educational opportunities that young boys have —all because of a lack of clean water. Education is valued, and girls want to be afforded the same educational opportunities that the boys have, but many girls drop out because their household responsibility to get water for their families requires many hours of their time each day.
Typically, the girls who are determined to go to school are able to attend less than half a day of classes. Then because there is no improved sanitation, many more girls drop out of school when they reach puberty.
Because their hours are spent obtaining water, young girls do not have educational opportunities or any sense of a hope for their futures. But having a well in their village changes that.
Can you imagine how having a hand-pumped well —a readily available source of fresh, clean water —would
improve the lives of women and girls in a village? Because it improves everyone’s lives, when a well is dedicated in a village, it is a community wide celebration!