Caregivers like 75-year-old Sikora (pictured below) have seen the devastation caused by HIV and AIDS and water-borne diseases. She lost two daughters from diarrhoea yet faces the future with determination.
Each year she got older, Sikora found it harder to care for her grandchildren and with the arrival of Covid-19 her worries increased. Every month she would attend the meetings of her local association of caregivers, finding comfort in the support of the community. When she could spare a few coins, she invested in the small savings scheme they ran, knowing that one day she might win the annual lottery for one of the new tanks.
Imagine her joy in January when she chose the piece of paper with the word ‘Tank’ written on it. She may have been sad for the caregivers who would have to wait another year, but she was so happy that her prayers had been answered. Her family would be that much safer from the virus that threatened the community.
“The demand for safe water increased tremendously. Suppose there were no such rainwater tanks in this water-scarce remote area, life would have been impossible. By now many of us and our children would have perished of Covid-19,” says Eva, a caregiver.
In February, the Centre for Community Solidarity (CCS) provided the materials and supported the local people trained to build her new tank – just in time for the March rains and ahead of the second wave of Covid-19.