Tesfaye Berihu, 17, is the first born from his two brothers. In the rural areas, the responsibilities of fetching water lie mainly on mothers and girls. Since Tesfaye’s mother is severely sick and he has no sisters, the responsibilities of fetching water for his family of five now lies solely on him. It is not so common for young boys living in the rural area to take these kinds of responsibilities for their households.
In Tesfaye’s community, everyone fetches their water from a much-polluted open source where animals such as Donkeys, cows and oxen also take their drink. Women and girls wash their hair and their clothes on the upstream of this polluted water source. Additionally, detergent chemicals add to the pollution, along with accumulated algae and sluggish substance in the area. Tesfaye feels so bitter every single day about his life when he comes to fetch water from this contaminated source. He goes there at 5:30 am in the morning, when the contamination of the water from people washing their cloth and hair in the area is at a minimum, and fetches two Jerry cans for his family. He explained the situation he is in as a “bitter reality”, which he accepts as many people have in his community. Even though he always hoped to get the privilege of clean water one day, he thought this hope was too far to grasp.
To his delight, Tesfaye’s hope has now become a reality! He got what he has been hoping and wishing for, something that will change the course of his life-Clean Water!