“My prayers have been answered”: bringing fresh water to a community in Jubaland

Gabey Mayow Kalmoy, 33 years old, is a resident of Busle village, a small community of 2000 people in the the Gedo region of the Jubaland State in Somalia.  She is married and a proud mother of 5 children. She gives an account of how her life has changed tremendously since the implementation of the Busle Water Project through ACT member Norwegian Church Aid’s (NCA) Drought Response and Recovery Program. 

Life was very tough due to the prolonged periods of drought which made finding access to clean water a nightmare. The only shallow well in the area was destroyed by flash floods, leaving the river almost 3km away from her house as the only remaining source of water  

“You don’t know the value of water until your only source is dirty water from the river.”  Gabey recounts how she and her children used to walk for long distances just to fetch water, which was not safe for human consumption , but she had no other choice but to use the same water for her family and the livestock. Water safety was not the only concern she had.  Fetching water was also extremely dangerous, especially for women and girls. “We used to walk for almost 3km to fetch water. Some of us were pregnant while some carried babies on their back. Children were also sick on a daily basis with acute watery diarrhea. Life was really hard,” said Gabey.

According to her, the life of her family changed immensely after the water kiosk was built in May,2018.  

 “I had not imagined I would get access to such clean and sweet water before in my life. I felt like my prayers had all been answered” Gabey tells us with a big smile on her face. “Nowadays, I don’t have to worry about how we will get water for drinking and other household chores because it is available all the time.” 

 “I have not only gotten access to clean water, but I have learnt about proper hygiene for myself and my family. The hospital will not be seeing me for acute watery diarrhea cases any time soon.”

Gabey is very grateful to those who made this possible.  NCA and its implementing partner, NAPAD have helped her and the community with something extremely valuable. 

Although they still need to buy water, it comes at the very cheap price of $3 per month for a single household. Gabey says the system is sustainable and now she is able to focus on other priorities. She urged NAPAD and  NCA to continue implementing similar projects to ensure that other villages have access to sufficient, good quality and sustainable water.

Through the ACT Appeal SOM171 Drought Response, NCA and NAPAD were also able to build a solar powered water pumping system, a twin latrine at the village primary school, build  a connection of piped water to the Busle health center.  The also trained 30 school children health club members, 20 hygiene promoters,  and organized hygiene demonstrations and awareness campaigns for two villages.