The High Cost of Dirty Water: Rachel’s Story

Rachel draws safe water from Mkinga's tap

Water is a basic human need. But for 30-year-old Rachel Poul, it was an expensive one.

In the rural community of Mkinga, Tanzania, Rachel had just two options to get water for her family: She could walk at least two miles to collect water that was obviously dirty and then boil it at home, or she could buy pricey water from a water truck.

Rachel walking for water

She tried both. But even when she bought the water, with hopes of protecting her family from miserable waterborne diseases, they still got sick. The expensive water was clear — but contaminated.

So, Rachel combined her options. She bought from the water truck as often as she could, and then paid even more for the costly fuel needed to boil the water at home.

“It was difficult for the family because of this expense. We could have used that money to save for the kids’ school fees and other needs we have.”

— Rachel Poul

Rachel wanted to give her two daughters, 11-year-old Magdelena and 3-year-old Neema, a healthy life with the freedom to play, study, and dream big dreams.

Rachel, Geoffrey, Magdelena, and Neema Poul
Rachel, Geoffrey, Magdelena, and Neema Poul

She and her husband, Geoffrey, worked hard to create that life and keep Magdelena in school. Geoffrey spent long days toiling in a local mine to make gravel, while Rachel earned money by sewing. But they couldn’t prevent the family from suffering from waterborne diseases, which stole time and energy away from work and school. And they continued to pay a high price for contaminated water.

Rachel sewing

Then, with the support of friends like you, Water Mission showed up. We partnered with Rachel’s community to install a safe water treatment system that serves more than 4,600 people in Mkinga.

Water Mission Tanzania

“The tap is only a short three-minute walk from my house,” Rachel said enthusiastically. “Safe water is so much better. It is less expensive, and we no longer have stomach illnesses. We thank God for this!”

Access to the tap has completely changed Rachel’s daily life. But that’s not even the best part. Safe water is about far more than a cup of clean, uncontaminated water. It can transform lives by impacting a family’s health, income, education, and opportunity.

Rachel drinking safe water

That’s what safe water means to Rachel and her family. Rachel no longer worries about contracting dangerous illnesses from unsafe drinking water. She has more time to invest in her sewing business. And she gets to watch her daughters live healthy, vibrant lives.

GIVE SAFE WATER today and help us bring joy, health, and freedom to families like Rachel’s around the world.

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