I could hear the chink, chink of metal hitting dirt as I sat down on the afghan covered chair. Leaning forward to look out the door, I could see the men by the road, digging trenches.
These trenches are the first step necessary to lay the pipes and bring the water from the borehole to the new kiosk that we’re building on Pamela’s land.
Pamela lives directly on the main road, centrally located within the village of Kadiju. A water kiosk on her land means bringing potable water to a greater number of people in the community. Her generous offer will impact thousands of lives.
Sitting back in the chair, I focused my attention back onto Pamela. In a community where growing your own food is essential to survival, land is a precious commodity. I wanted to know why Pamela gave up a piece of her land so that we could build a water kiosk. She gave me a smile and answered.
“Giving is as good as receiving. You cannot receive without first giving.”
She cannot tell me her age nor does she remember when she was born. But she does know the ages of all four of her children. Her youngest, Donato, is 10 years old and not her child by birth. His mother gave birth to him in Pamela’s house, shortly before leaving him orphaned. Despite being recently widowed with three children still in the house, she took Donato into her family.
Pamela’s days are spent in the garden, exhausting work for a woman who believes she is over 50. The majority of her income is made through her land, growing vegetables to sell for income and keeping goats for milk.
But vegetables need water, as do goats and children, so several times a day she must walk over a kilometer to a hand pumped station at an old borehole, pump water and then bring it home.
She admitted that it is very exhausting and becomes more difficult as the years pass.
The breeze blew in through her open door with the scent of dirt and goat, causing me to sneeze. She laughed. I smiled ruefully before asking her how she expected the access to clean water to affect her life. The answer was so simple, and it never would have occurred to me.
Without any irrigation systems, all of the vegetables Pamela grows are hand-watered. During the dry season this means walking to fetch enough water every day for the entire garden. If the water was closer, she could grow more produce to sell. With Donato’s school fees to pay and a leak in her roof to repair, water will mean a change in her whole world.
Pamela knows so much about giving, and I hope that with kiosk she will soon know much about receiving too.
Help Pamela bring water to her community by building a kiosk on the land she so incredibly donated. Donate and help us reach our $2,000 World Water Day goal!