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This article originally appeared on PulseWire as part of the Frontline Journal writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, a World Pulse training program providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training to 31 emerging women leaders. Edits have been made to the original text for clarity.

To view other Voices of Our Future assignments in their original form, and to meet the correspondents, visit the VOF Assignments page.

A Constant Thirst

"It is only through government transparency and accountability that we will see access to adequate clean water become a reality."

contaminating the drinking supply. Outbreaks of different water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery are rampant in the compounds. These illnesses sometimes lead to death.

Since November 2008 more than 500 people have lost their lives due to cholera. It seems that every rainy season there is an outbreak of the disease. Cholera and other sanitation-related diseases like trachoma are the second biggest killers in Zambia’s children according to Inter Press Service News Agency.

According to the 2008 Global Corruption Report by Transparency International, 80% of health problems in developing countries can be attributed to inadequate water and sanitation, a problem that claims the lives of nearly 1.8 million children every year and leads to the loss of an estimated 443-million school days for children who are suffering from water-borne diseases.

Chlorine is sold relatively inexpensively, but the majority of Zambians live on less than half-a-dollar a day, and most would rather buy a pamela (a small plastic bag of millie meal) to feed their children than buy chlorine to purify their water. And, in rural areas, access to chlorine comes with challenges of transport and poverty.

Every year, money is allocated to the water sector but little or nothing has been implemented in poor communities to change this reality. According to Zambia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, the government workers installs the majority of boreholes on government officials’ private land, rather than making water available to the rural poor. This has lead to a number of groups creating innovative plans to address the issue. One group came up with an initiative to erect a communal tap after their community councilor refused to do so. They wrote a proposal to Care International, who funded their project. Today, the communal tap serves hundreds of people but lacks regular maintenance.

The government is the major drive of development in any country. It is only through transparency and accountability that we will see access to adequate clean water become a reality. Local and international leaders have convened to address this important issue, but monitoring and evaluations must be strictly followed to ensure that these plans are implemented. The international community, local communities, and politicians must continue to work with communities to make adequate clean water available. If only politicians would follow through on their promises, then we would see a drastic reduction in water born diseases and reduced deaths and hardship throughout Zambia and other developing nations.

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maddy's picture

Thank you

Thank you you wrote so well you got me to remember fetching water myself and yes I will not forget where I came from and I am with you in that campaign. Keep up the good work.

Dando's picture


this challege has continued in our developing nations. let us conitue speaking on this untill our voices are heard.

take care and best


vivian's picture

water is vital

Water is very vital to human life and for good health. it is still a plight for women who have to go extra miles to find water for the home. Women must contonue to talk until our voice is heard.

All the best


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

vivian's picture

water is vital

Water is very vital to human life and for good health. it is still a plight for women who have to go extra miles to find water for the home. Women must contonue to talk until our voice is heard.

All the best


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Amei's picture

Dando, your story made me thinking ...

If I had read this story when I was a kid I would not be able to comprehend how far you had to walk to fetch water. I can walk around my small island in two hours. We measure distance in minutes.

We (Maldivians) thought water was in abundance until they turned salty. Now, Maldivains in the capital island and some other highly populated islands pay dearly to have (desalinated) water which is essentional to life.

Yes, we must continue to talk, I can relate to your story.

Thank you Dando.

All the best from Amei :)

warona's picture


Yaa Dandoo

What you are sharing with us today is the truth my gal,we Africans most of us have gone through that,indeed water is essential to our living,we cant do anything without water.Wel it is always the case whereby women will be on the forefront having awakened up in the early hours as early as at 4pm at night,and they wil say a bird that wakes up early in the morning catches the fattest worm.

The village where i was brought up, i was raised up by my untie( elder sister to my father ) You know what she wil assign me to do, early in the morning i will be sent to draw some water at the village stand pipe because by then around here water was so scarce.So i had 3 bottles 25L on my wheel barrow,and already we had filled about 2 drums with water before the villagers arrive,while the 25L bottles were on the line.So this was the only time at night when water was available.During the day there was no water.

Dandoo now am greatful to our government who has seen it fit to have access to clean and sufficient water all the year around.I always look at the current generation how everything is in a golden plate for them.Despite all the goodies my government has achieved or done to its people the scourge of HIV is harrssing our communities,however i believe in my heart that the more we teach the root of all this will be uprooted and social welfare can be well achieved.Just look at Jehu in the Bible how erradicated and excecuted the duty that God assigned him he deligently did it without fail and all the people in that region were delivered from the wrath that of God.

You are a strong woman Dandoo, your background entails all, some does not know even how ground water tastes,all they know is drinking water from inside their homes, anyway we dont blame anyone they are blessed and may this blessings carry them even unto their next generations.

I really appreciate you, you are a soldier keep glued to your instincts, you never be disappointed my dear.THROUGH IT ALL YOU LEARNED TO STAND - and today you ve shared with us .Thank you.

Cheers, llong suffering pays,be blessed gal


"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Hellen's picture

This is real & Well done

I like what you have written galfriend! This is what women & girls are passing through every day. Keep it up!!

Hellen Muloli

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