Toleshi Bane (WaSH)


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Toleshi Bane, a 35 years old lady, is one of the beneficiaries of Jarso WaSH scheme. She lives in Gudane Kobo village and has 8 children, of which three are girls and five are boys. Only three of the children are enrolled in school. Tolashi is illiterate like most women of her age in the area. Her family leads their life through farming and animal rearing. Although life in rural context is tough mainly due to lack of social and economic infrastructure, the lack of potable water supply is among the most challenging one. Toleshi said, “My family used to drink water from unprotected source, sharing with animals and which is very impure”.

Due to the unprotected water source used by the family, mainly her children have been seriously affected by water-borne diseases (like diarrhea and typhoid). It was also difficult to properly care for her family’s personal hygiene (including washing clothes, taking shower and practice critical hand washing) since most of the water collected is consumed for drinking and food preparation. She says, “During those days despite the purity, we don’t get water especially during dry seasons. Most water sources dry-up during dry periods”. Toleshi outwardly speak that she has to regularly take loans, which she had to suffer again of its repayment, in order to get her sick children treated.

Toleshi was the responsible person to collect water from where ever the source is and she also holds most of the reproductive activities, she hardly takes rest. She had to walk for at least an hour for each pot/Jeri-cane and she usually consumes at least three pots a day (three hours per day). She says, “What worsens the situation is that the road is uncomfortable, very hilly (tiresome), difficult especially for pregnant and aged women and leading girls for teasing by boys”.

“Now thanks to Gurmuu and HEKS we are drinking potable water at maximum distance of 60m from water point with considerable price of 0.25 Birr per 20 liters.  After-all, I assure you that I prefer to pay 1.00 Birr for same service than the then energy, time and medical expenses incurred. Moreover, we are responsible to collect water for domestic use only while washing clothes and taking showers were possible (no need to carry to home). Unlike the past, my husband and my children can also support me in this water collection”.

Photo: showing Toleshi fetching water from the water point carrying her twin daughters

Although the project is intended for the whole Jarso community, Toleshi has special moment of the scheme. She says, “When I gave birth to these twins, I whispered why God burdened me with such terrible life. Later, when the water point becomes a reality in my own village, I began to feel as the most lucky community member ever. You can imagine what could have happened had I still be fetching water from that distant source! Now, thanks to God, we do use clean water not only to drink but also to wash our body and clothes. That is why I always witness this water helped me more than my relatives and other community members!”