Nour Hammad, The Regional Office in Amman, Jordan
December 17th, 2023
“What kills more severely than the hellish heat in our valley is water extinction,” Wedad groaned to her donkey.
The weary nine-year-old girl expressed her distress to the donkey, tirelessly patrolling from side to side in search of the endless queue of people longing for drinkable water. From an early age, Wedad grappled with the challenges posed by WASH’s inferior infrastructure, a weak healthcare system, and the remote distance from the district center within her community.
The dilapidated and erosive pipelines in her district merely conveyed water from a disease-ridden tank that deteriorated yearly. The consequence was the spread of diseases within her family due to contaminated water. This setback in her childhood forced her to forsake her human friends, drop out of education, and sacrifice her safety to secure out-of-disease potable water for her family. Thus, nights and long days were spent guiding her solitary nonhuman friend, a donkey, to the remote water source, returning with only a tiny amount of water to sustain her family’s health.
However, the flicker of humane initiatives sparked within the Building Foundation for Development (BFD) under the auspices of Vision Hope International e.V. (VHI) in Yemen. BFD resolved to end Wedad’s miserable life by launching a water rehabilitation and construction project in the Hajir district of Hadramout, as part of the Improving Livelihoods and Strengthening Resilience for the Vulnerable Population project (LDCP) funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
This intervention aimed to provide easy and safe access to potable clean water, allowing Wedad to reunite with her friends, resume her education, and restore a sense of protection within her family. The eroded pipelines were replaced with high-quality ones to ensure efficient water conveyance, and the contaminated tank underwent thorough rehabilitation to deliver out-of-disease water to homes swiftly.
Today, the fatal routine has faded, as has the sickly atmosphere in her village. Wedad now has the opportunity to join her human friends at school, spend quality time with her family, and reclaim her lost childhood. She joyfully hugged her donkey and exclaimed.
Unlike our miserable days, I can patrol back and forth with my friends to our school, where I join the queue of eager students. I hope never to return to our patrols and the nights of doomsday.