By: Mohammed Hammie
Media for community empowerment has met Mr Alfonse Michael Gwawa, an 72-year-old man from Kikwawila village in Ifakara, Tanzania, who has been using water from the well he has dug himself since 1982.
Mr Alfonse said water is scarce especially in the dry season, so he has to wait until the spring, but the water he gets is not clean and safe, he drinks it with his family because they have nowhere else to get water.
He says he has been living in the village since 1982, and has been using wells for drinking water. He says from 1982 until today 2020 he has never drunk clean water from the tap.
“I’m so disappointed and I’m not sure if I will drink clean water from the tap because I have asked the government a lot to bring us water but nothing happens, my age is gone, I am too old, I will die without drinking clean water ”He said.
Mary Alfonse is the daughter of Mr Alfonse she said, she has been drinking water from well since she was born, and she has never tested water from tap. “Also our neighbors use this water, they thank my father for digging the well, and it’s their only hope”
Marry says that her family use the water without boiling it and no one has ever experienced any health effects, although she has never had any education about boiling water since she was born and found her parents drinking the water without boiling it.
When I asked Mr Alfonse what he wants the government to do about the water problem in his area, he said: “I ask the government to bring us tap water or modern well water, so that for the rest of my life I have left here on earth, I can even drink clean water. I beg for water support.”
The village’s chairman Mr Hamadi Kondo Magengele has admitted the existence of water challenge in his village and has called on the government to solve water challenges especially in rural areas as many citizens suffer from long-distance access to water, and even the water they get is not clean and safe.
Media for community empowerment through Claim Your Water Rights campaign supported by End Water Poverty, conducting a radio program named My Voice (My voice), with the intent of engaging citizens, amplifying their voices and holding government accountable for solving water crisis in rural areas.