|Traditional Datia Building - Prior to 1950's|
Khamar is a post intervention village therefore the work of WaterAid has been completed, we were told how life used to be, when the streets were full of rubbish and people openly went to the toilet in the land surrounding their homes, how the wells would contaminate with stagnant and polluted waters and how sickness would visit families frequently.
There was pride in the people as they explained that since 2008 they have worked with WaterAid to improve lives and secure better futures for their children. They started by educating the village people of the dangers of using their streets and surrounding land to go to the toilet, they worked hard to express that the sickness that visited them was due to these actions and keeping the streets clean would improve the situation. The village took action and began to clear the streets, dig holes to contain the waste and carve drains to remove the domestic and flood waters.
The infrastructure was then put in place to support the villages enthusiasm for a better life, WaterAid, local partners and villagers built dams to harvest rain water, toilets in homes, installed water pumps and eventually connected 80% of the village to home water supplies. The supply operates for just 2 hours in the morning however this is such a vast enhancement on life prior to WaterAid and local partners, the village people are able to fill containers in their own homes without walking to wells or hand pumps, they gain more family time or more time to work then land in order to financial support their families.
The supply of water and decent sanitation goes far beyond the basics, it really does open so many doors, enhance a very basic standard of living and provide dignity, something I am sure we have a level of empathy for.
|Wall art, outlining the benefits of WASH|
in the village school
This was just a short visit and one I walked away from feeling really good about the work that had been completed. I felt a relief that the intervention of WaterAid had left a legacy, one where people take ownership and responsibility, one where pride and dignity had been restored and one where any UK money donated was clearly worth every single penny and more.
Life here is different, I am seeing places that others simply never get the chance to due to there remoteness, and yet I am conscious at all times that these are people, just like you and I, they breath, they eat, they drink and they deserve the basic rights that we all take for granted. Next time you turn on the tap have a thought for those that cannot or those that treat water like gold, they are just an 8 1/2 hour flight away from you.