Mr. Huang is 61 years old and lives in rural Yunnan with his wife. Their 4-year-old granddaughter also lives with them as her mother has gone out to find work in the capital city of Kunming and is only able to come back to visit from time to time. Huang said this situation is quite normal in their village now; young people prefer to go out for migrant work because of the community’s lack of reliable water and income sources. The elders in the village need to take care of their grandchildren when their parents go out for work.
In past couple of years, Huang and his wife have had to carry water every day from the village’s only drinking water source, a ditch at the center of the village. The water flow was very low in the dry season, so they needed get up early in the morning to wait in line to collect water. This was their routine around 5 times each day. In the rainy season, the water they collected was muddy. This unsafe open water source exposed the Huang family and all of their neighbors to a greater risk of illness and disease.
Huang told us that their village committee has been applying to the local government to build a new drinking water system for a long time. They were so happy when they heard that CWEF would help their community build a drinking water system. The Huang family raised 400 RMB and contributed labor work for the project, which was completed in July 2014. Huang and his family have benefited significantly from the water project. They no longer need to get up early in the morning to wait in line to carry water, and they’ve saved a lot of time to focus on farm work. They have more time to rest, and now they can take a shower after finishing work every day, improving their hygiene and overall health. They plan to grow more vegetables and raise more livestock. They believe they will not only be able to save more money, but they will also be able to improve their granddaughter’s nutrition. As their financial situation gets better and better, they hope their daughter won’t need to go out for migrant work anymore, and their family can all live together again.
They didn’t know how to express their appreciation for CWEF’s help, but they promised to conserve water and try their best to protect the system. They hope everyone in the village can remember this gift they have received, and do more things to help others.