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Vicky's story

This is Vicky. She is a 50-year-old mother of three who lives in Kavwaya village in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now there are no cases of water-related diseases reported at the health clinic.

In Kavwaya village, the community was concerned as they were regularly getting ill from the water collected from their local, natural spring.

The community members met together to work out how to address the problem. So they decided to approach the local Salvation Army health clinic for assistance in tackling this issue. The Salvation Army helped them to construct a concrete protection around the spring to prevent the water from being contaminated before it could be collected by Vicky and her neighbours.

The community got involved in the project too. They collected stones and sand and helped with the construction. Vicky supported by cooking and providing food to those involved in the construction. ‘Now there are no cases of water-related diseases reported at the health clinic.’ Now that the community has clean water, Vicky is hopeful for the future. She is also well aware of the community’s ongoing responsibilities to maintain their protected spring: ‘I believe that if we as community members are serious about maintaining the water source then the future for myself, my children and the whole community will be good.

With your support we can give water and give life to other communities in this area who still lack access to clean, safe water. Read more: www.salvationarmy.org.uk/watershed

Mary's Story

Mary Mutua is 32 years old and mother to two children. Like most of the women in her village, Mary’s husband lives in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi where he does casual labour to support the family.

Mary lives in Misooni, a small village in Kitui, which frequently experiences droughts due to erratic rainfall. This means crop failure is a common problem for the community and they are forced to rely on relief food to survive.

Mary said, “Clean water is such a big problem here. Every day, I spend over two hours walking to fetch water which is not clean. I have tried to collect water in my small water container but it is hardly enough”. This lack of clean water means Mary’s children often become sick due to water borne diseases.

Mary’s life began to change when she joined The Salvation Army’s clean water and sanitation project and was trained on the importance of using every single drop of rain water, purifying and storing it for usage.

Mary now has a 1,500 litre plastic water tank that she will use to harvest rain water from her rooftop in the coming rainy seasons. She is part of a women’s savings group in her village and used her savings to contribute 50% of the cost of the tank and construction of guttering on her rooftop.

As the rain season draws near, Mary is hopeful that she will be able to harvest enough clean water to provide for her family. This will save her a great deal of time and effort in collecting water which she can utilise for other valuable activities.

Florence's Story

Thokoa in Mwingi, Kenya is home to Florence Mutambu, a 40-year-old mother of five children. Florence knows the value of water. She told us, “clean water is very rare in this village. I have always depended on purchasing water from my neighbour who is lucky to have a well. I purchase a 20 litre jerrican for KSH 10 and sometimes I cannot afford [it]”.

Florence’s life changed when she attended sanitation training at The Salvation Army Kavalyani corps which she attends every Sunday. She learnt the importance of harvesting, preserving and purifying rain water. She also learnt how to make soap which she now does to earn money for her family. Florence says the skills she has learnt have transformed her life, “in my community, factory made soap is very expensive since we live far from many soap industries. Many families cannot afford to purchase soap from the shops yet soap is important especially for hand washing”.

With the income from selling her home made soap, Florence was able to contribute 50% of the cost for a 3,200 litre plastic water tank with the additional support from the project.

Now less time is taken up in search for water, Florence is now able to spend more time making homemade soap and selling it to her neighbouring villages to support her children.