Seeing as a child the hard work required to carry water from a well to bathe, cook, drink, and wash everything – I grew up appreciating and respecting water – and its bearers. The injustice of it’s careless endangering, and the need for present and future generations for life-giving, healthy water greatly concerns me. As a Winnipeg mother, grandmother, minister, it is a gift to be a part of this project that celebrates people’s actions to restore and protect our world’s precious water.
“Everybody hop on,”
Baruti calls, as the children start the merry-go-round. Round and round they go till Kagiso gets dizzy. The laughter doesn’t stop as they pause to let her off. And then away they go again.
Kagiso calls as she runs off to find her mom in the vegetable garden. She proudly asks to help carry water from the storage tank that she and her friends were just helping to fill as their merry-go-round powered the ‘PlayPump’.
She is glad her mother doesn’t have to walk the 5 km. for water morning and afternoon, and has time for other things, like growing her favourite vegetables. Kagiso loves school, and remembers the times she could not go, because she also was needed to carry water for her family or school.
Running to the tank, Kagiso looks up at the large poster with the reminder on it to wash their hands to prevent sickness. She thinks about the days she missed school, or listened to the cries of her little brother when he was sick. How wonderful it is now to have clean water to drink, and enough water to wash.
She has heard her mother say that the PlayPumps were invented in Africa by Africans for Africans. Kagiso wonders what she might be able to invent to help her village.
Suddenly she hears Baruti calling his father.
“Come quick, Papa. The ‘PlayPump’ is stuck.”
He’s glad his father is one of the village men trained to fix it.
But Baruti never wants to sit still and already he’s calling the children to come play tag while they wait.
One of the men tests the water for bacteria while the children run. They draw a sample from the borehole that goes deep enough into the earth to provide safe drinking water.
Soon the men have found the necessary parts that are provided free of charge for the pump. And the merry-go-round is ready to go again. They call the children back and the laughter and water once more bubble up.
Talking Water Project|Bev Ward (2013)