Access to water has a huge impact on children’s well-being –particularly on their education. This is because in many families in rural areas, children wake up early in the morning to collect water before they go to school so that their parents have water to use throughout the day.
Eleven-year-old Clarisse has four siblings, and is a Primary 2 student living in the Eastern province of Rwanda. Dressed in a star printed t-shirt, the little girl with a lovely smile narrates how access to clean water was a problem before World Vision provided clean water in their community.
Today, Clarisse wakes up early in the morning, takes a bath, and goes to school. This was different before access to clean water because she used to first collect water before going to school.
The reason Clarisse can afford to attend class on time today, is that clean water that is 300 metres from her house. Initially, she used to take a two hour round trip to the water source. This would make her late for school and, in some cases, even miss school because she would be very late for her class.
“Since I got access to clean water, my grades have improved because I fully attend classes now!”, says Clarisse.
She and other children today celebrate the good hygiene they have due to access to clean water. They now receive water to wash their school uniforms and bathe before they can go to school. Gone are the days when this was next to impossible because the little water they collected was only for cooking food and washing utensils at home.
“We used to wash our uniforms only over the weekend because that is when we had enough time to collect water”, says Clarisse.
Adeline, Clarisse’s mother also testifies the importance of water to her family and the entire community.
“We would get worried about the children’s safety when they went to collect water because sometimes they went in the evening”, says Adeline.
Adeline further adds that it was hard for children to maintain good hygiene at home without water. "The little water that the children collected would be used for cooking food. This lack of hygiene brought hygiene-related diseases like worms to the children", she says, adding that parents in her entire community cannot pull together enough words to thank World Vision for providing clean water to them.
“We celebrate this World Water Day full of life because water is life! A huge thank you to the sponsors who made it possible for us to taste clean water”, Adeline concludes.
By Charity Beza Uwase - Communications Officer