Water is one of the basic necessities of life. Safe water is especially critical for children, who are the most vulnerable to water-related diseases. COOPI works in impoverished areas to provide potable water and adequate sanitation to decrease illnesses improve health and lessen the burden on women and children by reducing the distance to water collection points. In addition, sufficient water increases crop production and thus the ability of parents to adequately provide for their children with better nutrition and income from the sale of produce.
COOPI implements resilience programs in Dollow and Belet-hawa districts under the SomReP consortium. With funding from Australia-DFAT, COOPI constructed two Multi-use water systems in Dayah and Beeritir villages in Dollow district in 2017.bdid
Mama Abdiya Khalif Dacar a mother of 10 children, lives in dayah village of Dollow Somalia Gedo region in south central Somalia. She is one of the beneficiary of the resilience project, she tells us how much her life has improved after the construction of multi water use system in her village. On her way back from river after fetching water, explains the difficulties she and her family used to have prior to construction of multi water use system near her home. Mama Abdiya said:
Travelling for one hour to fetch water while carrying a jerry can of 20 liters on the back is not easy for us. We sometimes used to take only one jerrycan per day for the whole family which is not enough to us and during the rainy season we used to drink water from the surface instead of traveling such distance. I never thought I would one day drink clean water in this community, as this was impossible for us to do on our own, unless a miracle happened. These are the words of 48 years old Mama Abdiya, a mother of ten who shared the anguish she and many other women and children had faced over the years just to have access to clean water near their home.
According to Mama Abdiya, her dream, like that of many others, was to look forward to a day when she could rest from the suffering and pain caused by walking long distances to collect dirty water and frequently trekking to the clinic to seek medication to treat diarrhea. Villagers collected water from a stream that dried up during dry seasons and when that happened, Mama Abdiya and others had to trek for many hours to draw water from an unprotected river flow near the stream. “We have always longed to have access to clean water but where could we get it?” Mama Abdia asked. “We have been suffering so much from diseases like dysentery, Diarrhea, and bilharzias. Diarrhea was rampant among children because of drinking dirty water, but this is no more”.
Thanks to Australian government support, more than 900 people in Dayah, Abdiya’s home village, now have access to safe, clean water from a newly constructed Multi water use system through the SomReP project. The suffering of Mama Abdiya and other villagers has ended, and local children and women now have enough time to study and engage in income-generating activities since safe water is easily available.
We are really grateful to COOPI, SomReP and the donor for this project. This is why the day the water supply was launched, the entire community gathered to sing, dance, and eat all day to celebrate the blessing that we never thought would ever come through for us to address our sufferings,” Mama Abdiya explained. Before the implementation of Multi-water use system Mama Abdiya used to fetch water from the river which is 3km from her home.
Pictured above is the old water source Villagers used before the new multi water use system was constructed in Dayah village.
She now fetches water less than 100 meters away from her home.
Alhamdulilah now the water point is just 5 minutes from my home, I can take as much water as I need and I sometimes come twice per day and I am grateful for this as I now can take care of my family better” concludes Mama Abdia