Women from Burundi’s Batwa community can now cook and wash with clean drinking water. An enormous change for the villagers meaning many diseases will be avoided.
“We are really happy that we finally have clean water”. Gloriose, one of the women from the Batwa community in the Rwamvura locality in Burundi’s Ruyigi province, knows that this is a radical change for her village. Before, the women had to walk for an hour to reach the neighbouring hill, carrying jerrycans that became very heavy when they returned filled with water.
Now that drinking water is available, life in the community has really improved. Not only because of the convenience of no longer having to walk as long as they had to before AMU’s Water Source of Life and Development project in Ruyigi began but also from the point of view of health.
Drinking water is indeed essential for health and quality of life. Drinking, cooking and watering with uncontaminated water means the prevention of many diseases. In fact, Gloriose herself said a year ago: ‘We would drink water from streams which is dirty and full of worms. And this resulted in a life that is not the best”.
Access to drinking water seemed like a dream then. Now, however, there is a fountain at the entrance to the village which has become a meeting point. Mothers can often be seen lining up there to fill containers while men can finally water their vegetable gardens with water that is not harmful to their health. These are scenes that would not have been possible a year ago.
And it also seemed difficult at that time to involve the Batwa community in the project since it was used to living in isolation but things slowly started to change.
The whole community worked together to achieve this. The men of the village participated in the excavation and transport of the materials. It was a collective effort that made people aware that drinking water, like health, is a common good.