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Water - So Far Away

Sonal Shah | East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania)

A village community in Tanzania on their way to collect water.

Water is required in all areas of life – food, washing household items and clothes not to mention hygiene. But running water in East Africa is a luxury of the well-off and those in towns. Elsewhere the ubiquitous yellow containers provide water for around 41% of the population (according to reports from UNDP and water.org) from small scale providers either at kiosks or through delivery carts. The quality of the water is dubious and during the drought of 2017 people were forced to use any source including rivers. Each yellow container costs more than the equivalent running water provided by the urban city councils but few have a choice. The delivery is also not without dangers – the handcarts used often have to travel long distances on busy or dirt roads – and the weight of the water often requires several people to push/pull the cart. It is truly heartrending to see the daily struggles for water – of the cart carriers who struggle with the load, of the women trying to meet costs, of children whose job it is to bring the containers home.

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