The Source of Our Water
by Erik Kelly, Solwezi, Zambia
In my community in Kanyama, the main water source is located at the bottom of a steep incline. Several years ago, two springheads were tapped to provide water that was then pumped up to the community through pipes. About a year after installation, the pump was stolen. People now gather water at the site.
by Megan Mann, Mapulanga, Zambia
The water that the surrounding villagers and I drink comes from a traditional water source or a scoop hole. The holes are located near a river about one kilometer from the village. After the community digs a hole, water flows in though small openings in the clay. Over time these holes can become very large and deep. They place logs across and stand on them to draw water.
The scoop holes are found by villagers, but all are at least one kilometer away. Women spend a good part of the day carrying the water back home. During the two months of dry weather, they draw water from the river itself because the scoop holes tend to dry out. The water is usually clear. Most use 22-liter containers to gather water. Twelve-year-old boys and girls are expected to carry this on their heads. I am lucky enough to own a bike so I tie the 22 liters to the rack and ride back to my home. It isn't easy to balance the water on my bike, and I've fallen in the mud and sand more than once.