“My school uniform had lost its original color,” recalls 13-year-old Martin.
The river water his family had to use was so dirty, it discolored all of their clothes and even changed the color of their food.
Martin spent an hour each day walking to the river for this contaminated water, which took away time he could have been spending on schoolwork.
Martin lives with his grandmother, 71-year-old Dafuroza, in Kamwenge District, Uganda. Dafuroza has seven sons and 10 grandchildren, and her home is in the center of four homes where some of her sons live.
“My grandchildren wasted a lot of time walking for water instead of concentrating on their schoolwork,” Dafuroza shares. “Members of my household suffered from stomachaches and other illnesses, and it cost money to seek treatment. We had given up on wearing white clothing because it lost its brightness when we washed it with the water from the stream. We spent a lot of time fetching water instead of doing productive work.”
The water situation was so bad, Dafuroza and her family were planning to migrate to the neighboring district.
In 2015, all of that changed. Defuroza got a tap fitted with a prepaid water meter next to her kitchen, which has a private connection to the community water system.