When I first visited Mawanga in 2004, I discovered the importance of water and gained a huge appreciation for the luxury of the kitchen faucet that provided my family with clean drinking water whenever I need it back home in Canada. So many families would have to walk miles to get to their well where they would collect their water and then carry it back home so they could use it for all their daily needs.
I wanted to experience what it was like to have to collect the water needed to bathe, cook, drink and wash clothes with. So I ventured out with a few of the kids with our jerry cans in hand to walk the distance to their well. Once we got there and filled the four jerry cans we needed, I told one of the boys that I wanted to carry one back. He humoured me and made me a banana leaf ring to put on top of my head. He helped me lift that jerry can onto my head and lead the way back to Pastor’s home, laughing at me for most of the way. I remember thinking, “I can’t do this. It’s too far! I am going to drop it.” But something in me kept pushing. I made it back to the house, sopping wet from the water that was leaking out of the jerry can, removed it from my head and proceeded to my room to take a few tylenol as my neck and back were sore from the load.
During my stay at his home, Pastor Paul took me on some home visits to some of the families in Mawanga. During these home visits, we also ventured to some of the wells that the families used to gain the water they would use for cooking, cleaning, bathing and drinking. The water in these “wells” was not clean and it broke my heart because I knew this was one of the reasons children and adults in Mawanga were falling sick.
Fast forward 11 years to 2015 when my husband and my two boys visited Pastor Paul and his family for a few days on our trip back to Uganda. We had the chance to see some of the wells that had been built by ROWAN over the years to help provide clean and safe water for so many people in the village. Did you know ROWAN has helped to build 10 wells to help thousands of people have safe and clean water to use every day? You can read about one of the wells being built here.
What can you do to help?
Take a moment and think about how you don’t really have to worry about running out of water, or falling sick because your water is full of bacteria and parasites. Aren’t we so lucky to have access to an essential need every day just by turning a tap on our sinks?
You can help ROWAN build another well and continue to provide clean water to so many families in Uganda. Donate to their clean water campaign and give more people a chance to experience access to safe water.