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“Since I was young I heard that water is the most precious liquid in human life, but in our village it was more like a poison, because it was dirty and the main cause of illness among the people. Today we celebrate the new borehole because we can drink safe clean water,” says Mami, 12, from Munhiba village in central Mozambique.
For many years Munhiba village was not a friendly place to live for children. All because they did not have clean and safe water to drink and use for cooking. She has seen her friends fall ill and dropping out of school due to lack of water.
“I have heard of several people in my village who died and others were hospitalized due to diarrhea and cholera because they used to drink dirty water. The water was collected from the lake or traditional boreholes dug in the river bed. The same sources were used by animals because they were not protected,” Mami explains.
Mami had to leave the warmth of the blankets early in the morning to face the danger of darkness heading to fetch water. She would come back carrying a heavy bucket on her head.
"It's not easy. When we brought water from there it was for drinking and cooking and was not enough to wash all our clothes," she explains, admitting that sometimes she went to the school wearing a dirty uniform.
The worst would be when she went to school so tired that she could not focus on what the teacher was saying. Some of her friends ended up dropping out of school.
“Some of my friends abandoned school because they had to go and fetch water for their families from the local lake located almost 10 kilometers from their homes,” she said.
Fortunately, the situation has dramatically changed since August 2017, when World Vision through Munhiba Area Development Programme, funded by Taiwan, built a borehole next to Mami´s home. Her performance at school even improved.
“This borehole changed our lives. I no longer miss lessons and my performance is improving,” she says adding that “I don’t have to get up so early to fetch water and I am no longer afraid to drink it.”