Clean water's crystal clear connection to better education in Burundi

In Burundi, water projects have given kids a better chance at an education. As you sponsor a child in Burundi, we thought you might like to hear how.

“I was gradually becoming scared that I will grow older without successfully completing primary education,” says Vianney, 15.

Before clean water was brought close to his doorstep through the Source of Health Integrated WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and Health Project, Vianney used to be late to school on an almost daily basis.

As an only child, Vianney had to wake up very early each morning to fetch water for his family, and repeat this task each afternoon. To reach the nearest water source he had to climb up and down a mountainside, a strenuous effort when carrying a heavy water container. The amount of time it took to collect the water meant he had trouble doing much else.

Vianney was often late to school and regularly too tired to pay attention or concentrate once he was there. To make matters worse, the water wasn’t clean anyway and made Vianney, his family, and the community sick.

The area where Vianney lives has always faced an acute shortage of clean water. When it rains, polluted storm water flows directly into rivers – the community’s main water source.

In response, the project has capped a natural spring and piped the water into Vianney’s community, giving him and his family – as well as many others – access to clean water for use at home.

Now that the community has clean water, and has been educated about good sanitation and hygiene practices, there has been a reduction in waterborne illnesses.

Vianney, who loves learning and is very bright, is now able to get to school on time and stay alert once he’s there. And without the need to find water twice a day, he even has time to have some fun!