Tomorrow will be my day of fetching water.
Mom says I'm old enough now. This way, she can use that time to work and make money for our family. This is a big deal for me because I'll have to miss school. Mom told me about all the things I have to be careful of and what to do if I come across any trouble. I won't be going alone like mom sometimes did, and Miremba and Masiko are also coming, so that's not so bad, and I'll still have Namazzi to ask about school. The way to the watering hole is about half an hour, and the going probably won't be too difficult (if you discount the heat) because the jerrycans are empty. But coming back, we'll probably have to stop at least once. Mom made me promise not to drink any water when we get there, even if I'm really thirsty, because the water has to be boiled over and over, and mom says that it still won't be as it should. Just last week, Dembe's youngest brother got diarrhea, and mom says it was probably the water. She knows because the other children who got very sick with diarrhea all got it from the water. Anyway, I wish I could just go to school and play like some of the other children. It's a new responsibility, and I like that mom trusts me enough to send me, but it's very tiring and dangerous, and I wish I didn't have to go.*This account is fictional. However, it's based on facts about the current reality for many young girls in rural Uganda.
We are an ally to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities dealing with matters of access to Health and Water and the protection of the right to maintain traditional ways of living in harmony with Nature.