Without clean water, Emmanuel’s future is at risk
On a vast, barren plain in rural Kenya, eight-year-old Emmanuel kneels down next to a narrow, open irrigation ditch. He reaches into the dirty brown water to fill up his jerry can.
He knows that drinking this water is harmful. It’s filled with rubbish, animal waste and bacteria that can cause deadly diseases, like diarrhoea and cholera.
“The water is dirty,” Emmanuel says. “Sometimes it makes me sick.”
But he has no other water to drink. Emmanuel’s family have no money to buy clean water so their only option is to collect this dirty irrigation water for drinking, cooking and washing.
It’s taken Emmanuel an hour to walk to reach this water. It will take him even longer to walk back home, as he has to rest several times from carrying the heavy container. It’s a gruelling task, and the dirty water will only last them a few days before he has to do it all again.
Emmanuel’s sister couldn’t find work today. With their parents gone, 22-year-old Eunice does her best to look after Emmanuel and his brother.
But without a steady job, most of the time her struggling family has no clean water. There’s no money for food, clothes, medicine or school fees either.
Sometimes they have to choose between buying water or food. Other times choosing to buy water means Emmanuel can’t afford to go to school.
For Emmanuel, clean water would change everything.