Friday, March 22, 2013

World Water Day

Nearly two years ago I took an eye-opening overnight trip to a gorgeous area of Tanzania with my friend, Kezia. When we got off the bus in Babati, our friend, Darren, the project manager of the water project we were visiting, met us and took us for a quick meal of rice and beans at a small nearby restaurant. As soon as lunch was finished, we were whisked away up into the hill to witness a life drastically different from our own. A life so different, even, from the one we lived at the ADRA Tanzania campus, which boasted running water, sometimes-warm showers, and even wireless Internet.

Up in the hills surrounding Babati we saw newly-built latrine blocks and wells. We also saw people whose lives had just gotten easier because they could now just walk to the nearby well and pump their own water instead of having to go to a stream for their daily supply. We saw children racing to see who could get to the well first, and laughing as they worked together to make the pump work. We watched women and children joyfully lug their overflowing buckets of water back to their thatch-roof houses. And we realized how truly blessed we are in our first-world countries.

The gorgeous green valley surrounding Babati
New school latrine block on the left, old one on the right
Project workers examining the progress on a new well
Trying out the pump
Kezia giving the pump a whirl
Village leaders and project workers discussing the new well
Women coming to get water from the village well
Stopping to check out another well
Village children lined up to get water for their families
The children often team-pump to get their water faster and easier
Gabo, the project driver, helping the children pump water
Gabo demonstrated a mistake with the wall surrounding the well
Village leaders signing in for a meeting about the well in their area
Spacious well for a village and a school
Women carrying full buckets of water home from the village well

I am so grateful that I had the chance to go on that two-day trip and experience a new part of Tanzania, experience what life would be like without indoor plumbing, experience what life would be like without fresh water to drink or a clean place to go to the washroom. I will never forget the beautiful rolling green hills surrounding Babati, but even more than that, I will never forget the experience of seeing just how much fresh, clean drinking water can change lives and make people so happy.

Find out more information about World Water Day and learn how you can help villages like the ones near Babati.
See what ADRA's Beyond the 5 campaign is doing to help people around the world get clean water.

To see more pictures of my trip to Babati, visit my Tanzania mission blog.