13 separate plane rides, 22 different hotel/lodge moves, three countries, 65 water projects visited, countless handshakes, 7 different languages, zero mosquito bites, hundreds of miles on bumpy dirt roads, 40,000 more people with access to clean water.
Our travels have come to an end as we wrap up in Tanzania. Our two partners in the country are St. Paul Partners and KINNAPA. Our partners in all three countries where we work are invaluable to What we do. They know the culture, language and need. At each village, we are greeted with Karibu Sana and learn the Swahili words of safi magi (safe or clean water).
Although the country is somewhat tropical feeling, it is also very dry in the regions where we work. Clean water access in the district of Kiteto is only 35 percent and, in the more rural areas, as low as 18 percent.
We are shown one current source of water which is a brown, dirty lake. Another is a swampy pond. It’s difficult to believe people drink the same water that is used to wash clothes and water the livestock.
The last project we visited was a well providing water to a settlement of Masai. They are traditional pastoralists and historically move with their animals. Although rich in livestock their lands are extremely dry and lack even surface water resources.
We are tired, but also encouraged by the great work of our partners. There is more work to be done and as Water to Thrive prepares to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, we have a goal to complete 1,000 wells total which would mean a record number in one year. It would also mean clean water has been provided for 600,000 people since 2008.