The hope water can bring

21 Apr 18

World Water Day is celebrated and acknowledged each year on March 22. Lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation facilities are still issues many vulnerable communities experience around the world.

Caritas supports many water and sanitation-focused programs particularly in our work across the Africa region. Here is a story from Mozambique, highlighting the hope that water can bring to the lives of the most vulnerable.

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Ryall and her daughter. Photo credit: Ivy Khoury, Caritas Australia

Ryall and her daughter. Photo credit: Ivy Khoury, Caritas Australia

Integrated Rural Development Program

In Mozambique, Caritas Australia’s partner agency, Caritas Regional Gokwe, run the Integrated Rural Development Program.

One of the key outcomes of the Program is improved access to water and sanitation facilities to vulnerable communities. For example, around 450 participants in the areas of Chiaquelane, Manjangue and Chinhacanine have access to improved water supply through the program.

Water is crucial to better sanitation, and this program has already impacted approximately 30 families across these communities, improving their sanitation conditions and reducing the disease rate from 30% to 0% by constructing household latrines.  

Ryall's story

A mother and grandmother, Ryall has had so much responsibility on her shoulders for a long time. Her husband and two of her children have passed away, and she cares for her eight grandchildren, working hard to ensure that they are fed and receive an education. Ryall also has a disability, which has begun to cause her some pain over the years.

The drought in Mozambique has also made it difficult for Ryall to maintain her crops. Her village did not have sufficient access to water.

In 2014, Ryall became involved in the Integrated Rural Development Program and the experience transformed her life.

When Ryall joined the program, she was trained in conservation farming and able to produce a variety of crops like tomatoes, maize, cassava, onions, beans. Ryall attends the community meetings regularly, developing more skills and gaining knowledge on how her family can be more self-sufficient.  The training Ryall has undergone has also helped her use her resources more wisely, which is helping her feed her family.

“Since I arrived [to the program] I now have water, a garden and now there is a health centre where I can take the grandchildren for treatment,” says Ryall. “Before I would walk 25 kilometres to Mabalane to get medical treatment. Now I only walk 2 kilometres and am so happy to have the health centre.”

“I want to thank Caritas Regional Chokwe and Caritas Australia for helping me and my family,” says Ryall.

“I am so glad that I am able to share my story with you so that you can tell the people of Australia how grateful my family and I are for your help. I thank God for giving me hope and believe that I will be able to continue to care for my grandchildren.”