Water woes now a thing of the past for Evelyne's community

Evelyne - Burundi
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

With a big smile on her face, fourteen-year-old Evelyne collects drinking water at a water point at Kabanga Basic School during break, looking to quench her thirst.

Previously, Evelyne would have to make a 1 km journey to the nearest borehole during break for drinking water. The borehole was used by schoolchildren and community members. In her queuing for the precious resource, Evelyne would almost always return to class late. To add to the challenge, pumping water from the borehole was a task that required one to be strong. Because of this, Evelyne would need to wait to be served by others.

“Teachers were asking us to bring water from home to clean classrooms. The water was fetched from a river. I feared to be bitten by snakes in the nearby bushes”, Evelyne shares. Water from the river was dirty and was used by her family for drinking and in other home chores. Evelyne recounts that she got infected with worms three times and visited the nearby Kabanga Health Facility for medication.

Evelyne collects clean water within her school compound; she used to make 1 km to a borehole to quench her thirst
Today, Evelyne happily collects clean water within her school compound.

The misfortune that school children at Kabanga Basic School went through was similar to what other local entities operating in the area were experiencing. Renilde, Kabanga, a health facility supervisor, shares that every expectant woman coming for delivery was required to bring two jerrycans of water. According to her, even figures of people that visited the facility with water-borne diseases were so high.

“In this facility, we receive approximately 2,000 patients per month. Among them, approximately 1,000 were each month diagnosed water-borne diseases”, Renilde explains. “Most of them suffered hookworms and roundworms.” 

At Kabanga healthy facility, expecting women were requested to bring 2 jerry cans of water to help in sanitation
Renilde further shares that since the Kabanga community was blessed with clean water, figures are decreasing. “There are around 300 patients per month”, she says.

Since World vision took cognisance of the ordeal that Kabanga community was going through, the organisation helped construct a water network that is benefiting approximately 9,000 people.

Today, what Evelyne and her community members used to go through is something of the past. “The water we drink is clean, we have no longer to queue for it, and we clean our classrooms at ease”, says Evelyne whose parents also draw clean water at the school water point.

Apart from there being enough clean water for drinking and cleanliness of classrooms, the sanitation is not left behind at Kabanga basic school. Jean Bosco, the headmaster, reveals that latrines are cleaned with water anytime they feel it needed. “Students have gained back the time were losing queuing for water”, he says. The school has approximately 1,100 children.

To ensure the water infrastructures last longer, the school has initiated a water school committee. The committee is tasked to watch over any behaviour that would lead to damaging the infrastructure and report any damage so that it is fixed in good time.

“The water is ours; it was provided on due time. I will do what is within my responsibilities to keep it flowing in this school”, vows Jean Bosco.

Kabanga community members enjoy drawing water and washing clothes near their homes
Kabanga community members enjoy drawing water and washing clothes near their homes.

Near Kabanga Basic School, a health facility and community members were given administration of three other water points. People who used to spend up to three hours at the borehole appreciate the water brought by World Vision. 

“Water is in sufficient quantity, the quality is good and there is even a facility that enables to wash many clothes at once. I used to clean my house once a week, and now I do it whenever I want”, Euphrasie, a community member appreciates.  

World Vision staff looking at a damaged borehole that Evelyne used to go to for water
World Vision staff looking at a damaged borehole that Evelyne used to go to for water.