In March I visited Kogorogo a small remote village, 6500 feet above sea level that is part of the KOTA water project. There, I met a young man named Godfrey and his family.
Godfrey Kiiza, 31, is married to Katuhame. Together they raise two sons; Ankunda, who is seven and Andinda, who is four. They describe their occupation as “peasants,” people that live off the land – finding whatever food they can, planting beans amongst the banana trees.
They welcomed us into their home, insisting we have a meal with them, cooking food that was reserved clearly for special guests. Partway through our visit, Godfrey changed into his best clothes. He said that it was the first time a Muzungu (a white person) had ever come to his home.
Godfrey and his family were keen to share their stories with us.
Stories about their daily struggle as sustenance farmers.
Stories about family and how they now care for their intellectually disabled nephew Immanuel who was deemed unfit for school at 6 years.
Stories about their hopes for the future.
After our meal, we joined Immanuel and Katuhame on their walk for water – 10 minutes uphill, then down again to where a stream had pooled.
Though being able to gather water in such a short amount of time is considered ‘lucky,’ it is in no way safe to drink with fecal matter, pollutive sediment and harmful bacteria all present. Yet, it is the water they wash their hands with, drink from and prepare my meal with.
It is the water they know.
Facing a life of uncertainty, Godfrey and his family still welcomed me in – a stranger – with such extravagant generosity. An act in itself that symbolised a shared trust and hope. Facing uncertainty with COVID-19, so many of you gave generously, reciprocating that act of trust and hope. Because of this, KOTA has begun.
Soon this family will receive clean water for life as part of the KOTA project. Soon we all will share in a bit more of “…on earth as it is in heaven.”