In Shambarai, Tanzania, Giliad knows better than anyone the difference that access to clean water has made to life in his community.
Giliad has three decades of experience as a water technician and he’s a long-time resident of Shambarai, where a World Vision Area Development Program supported by Australian child sponsors drew to completion this year.
He had been closely involved in our efforts to ensure families in Shambarai have access to clean, safe drinking water.
“Water is everything. Water is life,” says Giliad.
“Without water you can’t do anything – animals or human beings.”
Through sponsorship, a borehole has been dug in Shambarai and a pumping system installed to bring clean water within easy reach of around 24,000 people. The pump can move 68,000 litres every hour.
Giliad said that before this, many people dug traditional hand wells, but the water they collected was dirty and carried waterborne diseases.
“If the community members continued to use hand-dug wells, there would be more malaria and cholera. Even if boiled this water was dangerous.”
Giliad says the changes he has seen since the arrival of clean water have been dramatic.
“People can now safely use water. There are no more diseases,” he explains. “This water project touches children because now they don’t have to walk long distances [to fetch water].”
Because families in Shambarai now have reliable access to water, they are no longer migrating from the area during the dry season to search for it. Among other benefits, this has led to a big increase in the percentage of children aged below two that health workers have been able to immunise against killer diseases – more than 90 percent.
Giliad added that the water project, along with other development activities supported by Australian child sponsors in Shambarai, has also helped to change people’s attitudes to things like education and the environment and it has empowered them to create change.
“Community involvement is important as it creates sustainability. These are our projects.When World Vision leaves, the community will be sustained because the community own the process.”Story: Margaret Spencer
Images: Mike Amos/World Vision