We Have Broken Ground in Muhaha
All of our projects are of course significant, some of them just feel a little extra important. Muhaha is one of those projects.
Given the significance of a groundbreaking today, it is worth taking just a moment to list out a few of those reasons why this is such a significant event for us.
Jeff (our CEO) first came to the area with friends from GoodDrink in March 2019, just before turning on the taps in Kicuzi. There they met Edwin, her parents and her six siblings. Some of you may remember the walk Jeff did with Edwin, how he joined her high up in the hills, and learned about life at 6,000 feet in a modest, mud-built home. That walk left Jeff emotionally and physically exhausted as he learned about the reality of life for Edwin and her community.
Over 88% of the people in Muhaha rely on agriculture as their source of income and the majority of them earn less than $1-2.50 per day. It takes an average of 30 minutes to collect water in one round trip and most families need to make 2-3 trips per day just to get the bare minimum amount of water needed for daily living. That’s almost 3 hours a day just walking to fetch water! And since that water is not from a clean source, Edwin’s community is often in need of treatment for waterborne diseases which they do not have adequate access to. Without that treatment, children under 5 can easily lose their lives to these kinds of diseases. This is a hard reality for many in Muhaha.
Learning all that he did on that walk, Jeff came home and that World Water Day in March shared the story of Edwin. You – our community – responded generously, and so began the fundraising for Muhaha.
However, a few months later in August we found out one of our key local partners was not willing or able to come through on their portion of the commitment. Because our model is dependent on everyone contributing a small amount, we were forced to pause Muhaha and change to Kogabi quickly. It was terrible for us to know that Edwin and her community would have to wait even longer for the water we had promised.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 and we were discussing delaying this project even more, one of Jeff’s first thoughts was of Edwin, and how these big world events, that she has no control over, further affect her daily walk for water.
Then so many of you stepped in.
In September 2020, we were able to start with KOTA, and now today we’re breaking ground right there with Edwin and her community so that very, very soon, her family will receive that clean water promised.
This is the final phase of a three year journey and project: in our 30 years of history, this is the finest, most sustainable programming we’ve ever done with the most extensive wash training, soap making workshops, and delivery of handwashing kits. It also involves the addition of an extra school of 617 students receiving water, and latrines because you gave even more than expected in the midst of COVID.
Thank you for helping deliver on that promise of clean water. When all is said and done, 16,000 people will have access to clean water!! We can’t wait to celebrate the completion with you.