Bwenda is a full hour-and-a-half walk from the nearest source of water. Women – or more often, young girls – were spending up to three hours a day making an exhausting trek from the lofty hillsides of Bwenda to an unfiltered pipe at the bottom of the valley, and back again.
Sometimes the cost of water was so great that it simply wasn’t worth it. One widow told us that the energy she used to get water would be more than she would get from the food it would allow her to prepare, and there were days where she instead chose not to eat.
While the reality was serious and heartbreaking, today everything is different. After hearing of Bwenda’s need, coffee drinkers poured out support, providing more than enough for not one, but two water catchment systems to be constructed in the heart of the village – one for general use, and one exclusively for the village school.
Today, both systems are up and running, providing clean, accessible drinking water for an entire community, restoring time and energy, and enabling a more prosperous future.