For the people of Mkinga, Tanzania, collecting the day’s water used to come at a high cost. Women and children spent about three hours walking to the water source, filling their containers with dirty water, and journeying home.
Then, to make the water as clean as they could, families spent their limited money on fuel to boil the water. Since fuel is an expensive resource in Mkinga, parents were often forced to choose between buying fuel and paying for other necessities, like school fees.
And those sacrifices weren’t enough. Community members still suffered from waterborne diseases, contracting skin rashes and intestinal illnesses that made them miss school or work.
Yet this holiday season, they are rejoicing.
Friends like you funded a safe water treatment system in Mkinga. And now, its more than 4,500 community members have convenient access to safe water — along with more time, money, and opportunity as a result.
“Safe water is so much better,” Rachel Poul told us enthusiastically. “It is less expensive, and we no longer have stomach illnesses. We thank God for this.”
Thirty-year-old Rachel and her husband, Geoffrey, work hard to provide for their two girls. They used to walk for water every day, which took time that Rachel could have been working or their daughter could have been studying. Then, they tried buying expensive bottled water — but found that it was still contaminated.
With a Water Mission tap stand just minutes from their house, the Poul family is no longer forced to spend their time and money on dirty water!
Eleven-year-old Magdelena Poul used to dread collecting water. The three-hour walk was exhausting and left little time or energy for anything else.
And the trek was terrifying. “It was scary to be out alone. It was a torture-like feeling,” she said.
Now, she walks just three minutes from her house to collect safe water from the Water Mission tap stand. With big dreams to be a doctor or pilot, she’s excited for the time to focus on school.
“The best thing is that we can enjoy our lives so much more,” she shared. “I love school and am one of the best students in my class! With the free time, I spend much more time on my studies.”
The safe water system installed by Water Mission brought health and safety to Mkinga — and it also created peace. Neighbors of different faiths, primarily Christian and Muslim, used to argue because of the scarcity of water.
“The tap has brought a certain unity to us,” Rachel Poul said. “We don’t fight over water. The water has brought great interaction between us.”
Imam Silaha Mohamed, who presides over the local mosque, told us, “We were really struggling before safe water — there was little access to clean water, and it was far away. I don’t have the words to show my gratitude to the people at Water Mission for coming here.”
Bringing safe water to the communities that need it most is a tangible way we can demonstrate God’s love for every individual, regardless of religion, age, gender, or race.
“We no longer fear to have our children drink water,” said Hamis Mohamed, a father of three young children. “This is a very freeing thing for us. We use this clean water for everything.”