Françoise Razanapamonjy: How Safe Water Can Save Her Life

I know also that having to fetch water before and after school has an impact on my children because they don’t really have time to study what they have learned in school. Instead they have to fetch water for us because most of the time I am used to being very tired after work and not able to fetch water anymore. So, I have to force them to fetch water for us. I really notice that this has an impact on their study as they have difficulty in school and are not entirely able to follow their learning and keep up.

“We don’t have any choice. We have to use and drink this dirty water every single day.” Françoise fetching water at their drinking water source. Morarano village, Miakadaza fokontany, Sabotsy Anjiro commune, Moramanga region, Madagascar. November 2014. 


“We don’t have any choice. We have to use and drink this dirty water every single day.” Françoise fetching water at their drinking water source. Morarano village, Miakadaza fokontany, Sabotsy Anjiro commune, Moramanga region, Madagascar. November 2014. 

I am really tired after work so I have to ask my children. The place where we used to fetch water is really far away and sometimes we even have to queue. This means that they spend their time fetching water and are not able to study their lessons anymore. 

We would love to grow some crops, vegetables or cucumbers near our village because it’s a very easy way to get money quickly. But we can’t do it because growing them also needs water. We already have problems with the water we drink so it’s hard to fetch water for vegetables and cucumbers as well. This is another of our problems. 

Having safe water here will definitely change our lives because we won’t be sick any more. I am sure that my children will be able to live a healthy life and keep studying. There won’t be any problems with diarrhoea and bloody diarrhoea if we have safe water. 

Also, if we had water here, it would definitely improve our lives because we could even grow vegetables and cucumbers nearby. We could water them because water would be in our village. So I really wish that we had safe water in our village. If we have water nearby, my children won’t have to fetch water far away from home anymore.

Françoise's child, Loni, five, with his classmate, Mbina, four years old, on their way to fetch water before going to school. Morarano village, Miakadaza fokontany, Sabotsy Anjiro commune, Moramanga region, Madagascar. November 2014.   

Françoise's child, Loni, five, with his classmate, Mbina, four years old, on their way to fetch water before going to school. Morarano village, Miakadaza fokontany, Sabotsy Anjiro commune, Moramanga region, Madagascar. November 2014. 
 

 As a mother, I have my hopes and dreams for my children when they’re older. I would love to see them becoming doctors, or something like that, and getting nice jobs. Then they can support me in life. But the lack of safe water is a serious barrier for us and especially for my children. When they get diarrhoea because of the water that they drink, I alone may not be able to keep treating them. Instead of earning money to pay for their education, we spend it to treat them.

Photos, caption and story courtesy of WaterAid Canada/ Ernest Randriaimalala

March 22: World Water Day

Today is World Water Day -  a day celebrating water.

Every year, World Water Day focuses on a different issue. 2015's issue is "Water and Sustainable Development", how we should consider water and how it is connected to achieve the future we want.

Safe, drinkable water saves lives. By 2030, we want everyone to have access to this kind of water.

748 million people in the world don't have access to safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world's population.

2.5 billion people don't have access to an adequate bathroom, one in three of the world's population.

More than 500,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. That's over 1,400 children a day.

This World Water Day, think of what water means to you. How will it achieve the future you water?

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What would you give up to collect clean water?

Aveda Earth Month does more than put into practice the Aveda Mission to care for the world we live in.  Aveda Earth Month puts our lives into perspective. We often take for granted how accessible clean water is to us in North America. In seconds, we can turn on a tap to drink water, wash our hands, and prepare and cook food. We can easily flush a toilet, take a shower and wash our clothes. These are basic human necessities we don’t often think twice about.

The truth is that one-tenth of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean water. Women and children spend hours a day, sometimes walking more than 6km, to collect water that is often unsafe. They put themselves in precarious situations, possibly facing dangerous men and thieves, and insecure weather and land conditions to collect water that is often not even safe to drink. The time and effort spent collecting water could be spent on critical tasks such as cooking and preparing food, attending to children, going to school or paid labour.

This Earth Month, think of what you’d have to give up for time to collect water. Maybe it’s time spent watching your favourite TV show, going to the gym or playing your favourite sport, spending time with your loved ones, or simply resting.  

Could you do it?

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