Selina is an elderly woman working as a nanny for the matron at Tuale Primary School in Isiolo County, Kenya. At 77 years old, Selina should be at home resting but because of hardships and water scarcity, she has depended on casual labor for her livelihood. Her duties at the school are babysitting, cooking, cleaning and doing some laundry for the matron’s baby.
Before the rainwater system was developed at Tuale Primary during the summer of 2022, Selina was responsible for fetching water in addition to her normal duties. Spending many hours at the river reduced the quality of her work and she often had to carry the small baby to the river to get some water for basic cooking and cleaning. The water she fetched at the river was contaminated, resulting in health issues for her and the family she works for, as well as the broader community of 4,000 people.
Now, with the new water system, I find a cheerful Selina relaxing at the doorstep waiting for the baby to wake up. She’s happy that now she has access to clean drinking water and she never goes far for water. “At a time like this, I’d have to dash to the river before the baby wakes up, and hope I will not find a big queue”.
According to Selina, water is life. The beauty around her has been brought about by water.
She has fewer duties, more time to look after the children, and give them more attention. Selina also observes that the kids at school shower more often and their clothes are always clean and bright now.
I asked what her one wish would be and Selina said,
“My only wish is for our community to get more water and have more settlements; then elderly people like me can rest.”
Well Aware together with its partners and donors are working hard step by step to actualizing this dream. To meet more Faces of Water like Selina, follow along on our social channels below and click here for more stories.