This is what it takes to get a drink of water.
Imagine if your entire day was spent waiting in line ... for water.
The women interviewed in the above video don't have to imagine. They live in the Ukambani region of Machakos, Kenya. The region has been facing hot, dry periods of weather, which means that water has become very scarce. As a result, women (the members of the family usually tasked with this responsibility) must walk miles to the nearest well for water. Sounds hard, right?
But only when you hear the women's stories does it really hit you just how *hard* it is.
Getting the water takes a painfully long time.
The reason it takes so long? Well, here's the math: 1 well + 100 people waiting at the well = a slow, tedious process that, when added to the travel time, takes up the bulk of a woman's day.
But the hardest part is the threat of violence.
Walking while female can result in very uncomfortable situations for women anywhere and no less in Machakos. While it is predominantly women who go on this journey, very young girls are also often in charge of bringing back water.
On the trek, there is always the lurking threat of wild animals — and, just as scarily, men who might try to rob or assault the women.
This is a deeply rooted problem that can be traced back to Kenya's droughts and the strong link between poverty and water scarcity. Spending so much time and risking personal safety just to meet a basic need shouldn't be a way of life for these women or any others.
And it doesn't have to be this way.
Kenya just started the first-ever African water fund. If the endeavor goes well, it will provide clean water for over 9.3 million folks. Funds like these can go along way to combat water shortage in drought-ridden parts of Kenya. Hopefully, there will be more.
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