We are less than half way through the dry season and the scoop in Bokola is essentially dry – it is no more than a filthy puddle. The scoop is also extremely dangerous; now over four meters deep with steep with sheer crumbling sides. At least three people need to work together just to get into it.
When the team went to visit the scoop on Monday with Florence Luster’s mother Grace and other community members we witnessed a 20 minute ordeal to get less than one cup of water, which was given straight from the ground to the most needy community member, a six month old baby.
This water source is shared by over fifty households many with young children.
Florence Luster is Grace’s daughter, and is mother to twins Earnest and Adrene who are just two months old. Falarousta and her babies are wonderful and above all, healthy. The dry season certainly helps to keep diseases like Cholera at bay, life is extremely tough. The lack of water means that Florence Luster hardly has enough water to drink in order to stay strong to feed her babies, let alone to be able to keep on top of nappy washing for two babies.
For Florence Luster fetching water is a daily challenge; most days she has no choice other than to take both babies and her other children to the scoop, often before sunrise. With Grace carrying one baby and her the other. Sometimes, if others are going to fetch water, Grace can stay at home with the twins, but most of days the whole family has to go to get water together. Other jobs also remain incomplete; Grace and Florence Luster’s vegatable garden project was abandoned due to the lack of water so food is scarce.
Grace remains strong telling Micheal that for as long as she can, she will continue to help her family in every way she can.
Water simply can’t come soon enough, the immediate future of these children could well depend on it – there simply isn’t enough for the community to drink.
Once the pumps are installed, Earnest and Adrene will be able to avoid the usual illnesses children can expect at six months when they stop breast feeding and are forced to take their first drink of filthy water. Both Grace and Florence Luster are optimistic of a much brighter future for the children, a future which you have helped to make possible.