Families Drink Black Water, Mud!

If all you had was muddy water, would you drink it? If all you had was black water, would you give it to your children to drink? Recently, I came across a video that a team member took at one of our projects. During the few seconds of watching the video, I thought the camera angle must have made the water look black and muddy. Two women stood collecting water from what looked like a hole or small pond by the dry river. The elderly lady leaned over with a cup and plastic bottle to collect as much of the muddy water as she could. Then handed the filled bottle to her lovely daughter to gently hold and allow the water to settle. As my team member got closer, she engaged in this dialog with the lady’s daughter Suzzy (stage name):

Dot: Where do you go to get water?

Suzzy: We get water from the holes like this.

Dot: Is that the only water that you have?

Suzzy: Yes, that’s what we’ve got.

Dot: Ok. So, in the dry season sometimes you have to dig deep?

Suzzy: Yes, that’s what we have to do.

Dot: Is this water not making you sick?

Suzzy: It makes us sick. But we don’t have a choice.

Dot: Oh my goodness! So, this is what you drink? But you must wait for that mud to settle, no?

Suzzy: Yes.

Dot: And then you think this?

Suzzy: Yes.

I’ve always wondered if anyone could survive without water. We know that our body composition is mostly water, how is it possible that humans can live without water? The women in this dry region may lack water but they are incredibly smart when it comes to finding ways to survive. They know it’s important to stay hydrated, even if it means drinking dirty water. This is not to say “Bravo” to them but it never ceases to amaze me how creative women can become when given absolutely nothing. Creativity spares lives. We all know that water is key to our existence, to our lives, to our health. Everything naturally depends on water. Why then is it that so many citizens are still without this essential human right?

Availability of water and its quality remains everyone’s responsibility. To combat this problem would require all sectors (private, public, government, non-governmental entities) to come to the table and address the elephant in the room. We’re doing enough talk. As you may know, talk is cheap if there’s no corrective action. My non-profit JB Dondolo listens to people’s needs and provides a solution backed by science and technology. The solution we provide is sustainable to prevent us from having this issue again. We are Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water, Sanitation, and leading Hygiene advocates.

Please ask your neighbor if they have a water issue today. If not, it is possible someone in your community has a need. You can put a smile on their face by delivering them water.