The first few tasks we do in a day all involve water – brushing our teeth, showering, preparing breakfast. Imagine having to walk 6 km first thing in the morning to complete these simple tasks. For millions in Madagascar, that’s a reality. This is how Raoly spends her morning every day. This is her daily water journey.
Raoly’s day starts at 5 am. After tending to her children, she picks up her plastic green bucket and makes her way up a long road and then down a steep and unpaved hill. This is the beginning of her 3 km trek to collect water. Raoly is not alone: most women in Madagascar spend up to 3 hours each day collecting water.
Like millions of women worldwide, Raoly is responsible for the dangerous and streunous #WalkForWater in her household. She is constantly exposed to the risk of physical injury, precarious weather conditions, and sexual assault. Her unpaved walkway has no consideration but her determination sees no end.
After a 1.5 km walk, Raoly makes it to her closest water source – a dirty and contaminated water hole at the edge of a small pond. The water is brown and infested with parasites but it is the only water Raoly has access to. It makes her and her family ill with nausea and diarrhea but she has no other choice. We can change that.
Seven months pregnant, her incredible strength combined with years of conditioning enables her to hoist 20 kilos of water atop her head.
Raoly struggles to lift the bucket, but graciously and almost acrobatically stabilizes it for her enduring journey home. No one should have to experience what Raoly goes through to fetch water, but 663 million people worldwide still do.
Raoly’s trek home after collecting water is long and exhausting. Carrying a full bucket of water is more than she can physically and mentally handle, but she perseveres because, right now, she has no other choice. Raoly walks this walk 3 times a day and spends up to 3 hours a day doing so.
After a 3 km journey to fetch water, Raoly is home to care for her family with the dirty water she collected from the nearby water source.