Thursday, 2 July 2009

The dangers of water

We probably all know that many people in Africa, usually women and children, have to collect water from rivers, several times a day. Not only is it incredibly time consuming, the danger is that the river water is often contaminated and can spread diseases.

But there is another danger - wild animals.   Agnes, who lives in Malawi, has a terrible story to tell of the day she was attacked by a crocodile.

Photo from flickr/Ramy Alaa
"When the crocodile caught me, I started screaming as it was trying to pull me into the water, and then my two sons rushed into the river – they had a spear in their hands and they put this into the crocodile's mouth so it eventually released me.

"Then they rushed me to the hospital as my hand was broken. I had a deep wound here, so I had to go back to the hospital three times to try and get them to repair it."
It has left her with a terrible injury, unable to work, and terrified of fetching water.  Fortunately her village is one where WaterAid has installed a safe water point.  Not only are the risks of disease reduced enormously, people no longer  have to risk meeting a rogue elephant along the way, or a crocodile by the water.  Children now have time to go to school, and women can work.

Agnes' story from WaterAid
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  1. I wasn't aware of that danger... Hope Agnes is doing somewhat well today...

  2. How horrible. I have heard of this danger before and it is never easy to read about it. This is everyday life for some and I am sorry for thier demise!

  3. That certainly is scary. Crocodiles in that area never even occurred to me. I hope Agnes is doing well now.

  4. Did not know either - what a shame. Hope for the best for Agnes!

  5. It's amazingly sad, isn't it, the things some people can't take for granted in this world of ours. Am glad WaterAid has helped her village.

    Have to confess that living in Africa for two years actually made me less admiring and more skeptical of many charities. So much so that I'm disinclined to give money to charities operating far away and out of sight (and more so to those closer to where I live).

  6. Water Aid appears a necessary charity. I was aware of the dangers, more folk die from hippo's than from anything else! I will avoid saying 'Hippo Hippo Hooray' as this upsets some.

    Some charities are indeed poor on the ground. I have heard some sad stories.

  7. @Mar, thankfully Agnes seems to be doing very well now, in spite of a badly disfigured arm. She was one of the luckier ones.

    @Dorothy, yes, horrible. Even when you know about it, it somehow comes as a shock.

    @Shutterbug, I've always thought first of the dangers of disease. Scary is right.

    @Renny, thank you!

    @YTSL, I can understand your scepticism. I never quite know how I really feel because giving to charities operating closer to home will leave African charities without funds from wealthy nations.

    @Adullamite, I think WaterAid is one of the better charities. I certainly hope so.

  8. Great Article, found the clue, thanks. Glad they have a Safe Water Point now.


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