By Hina Gul, Human Resources Manager, SAWERA
In the village of Turlanday, Union Council (UC) Dheri Zardad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, children run errands during school recess.
They carry messages, fetch supplies for the house – and till a few months ago, walked 15 minutes to get water.
With a short recess most children would be late for classes; as 11 year-old Ubaidullah explains,
“We would have to get water from a house which is far away because there a motor pump is installed. This would take about half an hour even if we ran. I would always be late going back to class and my teacher would scream at me.
“But what could I do?
"Purda, Dirty Water
“My father goes to fields to work, and the women in our house can't bring water from the house because of purda (hijab). The open well we had in our house was very muddy and even smelled foul.””
The local activist in the village explains that SAWERA came to their village and the community got together and decided that their top priority was solving the water issue.
For this purpose, a resolution was addressed to SAWERA to benefit the village with a hand pump. To choose the locations, members of the community, which included women and children, were consulted, and it was decided that a communal plot of land at the centre would be the site.
Under the supervision of SAWERA five hand pumps were installed, costing Rs 41,500 each and benefiting about 200 households.
Ubaidullah says he is very happy that there is now a hand pump in his village, “This is so close to my house – even my little sister can now carry water from here to the house. Even in our school, a hand pump has been constructed, so now we don’t have to go out of school in the sun to drink water.
“This water is cold and clean and it doesn't need to be run through cloth to remove dirt.”