A young boy drinks water from an outdoor clean water tap
21 MARCH 2022

World Water Day

Access to water changes lives

Water is vital to our everyday lives and often something we take for granted but water not only keeps us alive but enhances our lives in many ways from the food we eat to our health and even our education and work.

785 million people globally don’t have access to clean water and many school children walk an average of 6km a day to get water that often is contaminated and unclean.

The impact water has on our lives can be seen in a rural village in Mozambique where World Vision funded a water supply system.

Every morning, children would walk several miles to the nearest river to collect water for their homes and school.

The water they were collecting was unclean and was making many villagers unwell. The lack of access to clean water in the village made accessing basic healthcare difficult as the hospital itself didn’t have clean water and children were unable to attend school full-time.

But fortunes changed for this community when they got a new water supply system supplying water to the school, the hospital and the community.

Let us introduce Gilda…

A teenage girl laughs as she washes her hands at an outdoor clean water tap
Gilda's days have been transformed now she can access water near home

Gilda's story

Gilda is fourteen years old. Before the water supply system was installed, she used to walk to the river every morning to collect water for her home as well as a five-litre gallon jerry can which she would have to take to school with her.

Every single drop of water was important for her personal hygiene as well as other vital tasks. “The water that we brought to school, not only was for washing hands but also to help prepare the school meals that we eat during lunchtime, and also clean the dishes,” said Gilda.

If a student couldn’t bring water to school, they would have to return home during their breaks which meant a lot of students would skip school.

Now the water supply system has been installed, and they have running water permanently, at the school Gilda and other students give themselves time to properly was their hands. “When we arrive at school, we wash our hands before entering the classroom, and also before and after we eat our porridge,” said Gilda.

Isac Téssiua the school principal at the local primary school has also said that thanks to the water supply system: “Students now come to school on time and don’t skip classes as much as before we had the clean water.”

Having a water supply system at her school has meant Gilda can focus on her education more, it also means there is less worry about her health.

women and children walk along the road in Mozambique, carrying buckets of water on their heads
Women and children would walk miles each day to collect water

"We were at a critical point"

Access to clean water has not only benefited school children but the wider community.

Osvaldo Arcanjo is the director of the village Health Centre. Before the water supply system was installed, life at the health centre had become dangerous.

Imagine the desperation of a patient with a burning fever from malaria or a pregnant mother, in hospital, without access to clean water.

But this was the harsh reality in the Health Centre where sick patients used to have to bring water from their own houses that they had collected from the river.

“We were at critical point”, admits Osvaldo, adding that “cases of diarrhoea were very common because a considerable number of villagers used the water from the river to satisfy their basic needs”.

With clean water now being at the hospital, visits are increasing, and more people have access to basic healthcare.

World Vision is reaching one new person EVERY 10 SECONDS, and three more schools EVERY DAY, with clean water.

Clean water is improving children’s lives

Access to clean water in the community is improving children’s lives, allowing them to access education and stay healthy.

This is a success story but according to Water Aid, a third of people in Mozambique still don’t have access to clean water.

Without access to clean water, children and communities are stuck in a cycle of poverty.

That’s why every 10 seconds, we reach one new person with clean water. Like food and healthcare, water is one of the essentials that children need to break free from poverty – and so together with our wider work in communities, children are equipped to do exactly that.

This world water today, we are encouraging people to walk 6km to raise money to help children like Gilda.

Have a look at our fundraising resources and get your school, church, work or friends and family involved by walking or running 6k.

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Do something fun and help more children access clean water every day

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