On her way to hospital, in an open cart pulled by cattle, Marian thought she was dying from cholera. She remembers little of that journey, just flashes of pain as she fell in and out of consciousness. “I prepared to meet God,” she says. “I feared my children would be motherless.”
Like so many of her neighbours in Chinyama village, Zimbabwe, Marian had to drink water from a nearby river. “Our borehole had broken. The dribble of water we got was enough for a few families, not a whole community,” she says.
When an outbreak of cholera struck Zimbabwe in 2008, CAFOD took quick action to save lives. In Marian’s village, we repaired the borehole and helped local people get the skills and equipment to fix it in case of future breakdowns.
Setting up health clubs to pass on crucial information about infectious diseases was the next step. Today, local families teach each other about the importance of good hygiene. “Simple methods such as boiling water and washing hands are making a big difference,” says Marian.
Today, Marian says the dark days of cholera are behind her. “Now we have clean water, our lives are on the up,” she points to her immaculate garden where she grows fruit and vegetables to nourish her growing family.
This is the difference clean water can make. As Marian says: “clean water makes life possible.” Thank you so much for supporting our water appeal. Your generosity is already making a difference in the world’s poorest and driest places.
More good news. The Millennium Development Goal on water has been met, with over two billion people gaining access to clean water since 1990. But – and this is a very big but – we must not forget that even now 783 million people are still without access to clean safe water and a further 2.5 billion still live without toilets.
A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to our Lent Appeal so far! Your gifts, matched £1 for £1 by the Government, will give even more people access to clean water and transform the lives of the poorest people throughout the world.
If you haven’t donated already, but would like to do so, it’s not too late.
Together, we can end water poverty