Photo from Flickr/rowan.simpson
I'm not especially fond of getting up early in the morning, particularly when it's cold and dark. But women in some parts of the world have to get up at 3 am just to fetch water, before the rest of their day starts.
Some have been doing this from the age of six, going to the water source several times a day. They may have to queue behind other women if they arrive late. There is a limit to the amount of water they can carry so they have to do without in other areas - wear dirty clothes, miss out on having a vegetable garden.
WaterAid, along with a local organisation, is helping to bring water closer to people's homes. There are several systems but the most common is a pipeline gravity fed from springs and streams into a storage tank, then filtered before use. Local materials and low tech solutions are used so that they can easily be repaired and maintained. The local people pay about 25% of the costs.
As a result, there is more water and clean water, while women are freed to to other more productive things. There is time to work, time to look after their children. Safe water transforms many aspects of lives.
You can read about another WaterAid project, in Africa, on Yummy Biscuits.