Joyce Musembi is 40 years old and a mother of four from a small village in the extremely hot and dry county of Makueni in Kenya.
Women in Joyce’s village would often have to walk distances of 10km to find water, which would take all day, with women walking together in groups for their own safety.
As a way of making ends meet, Joyce moulds bricks and her husband is a casual labourer, who leaves early every morning to look for work.
“It’s not easy to get a permanent job and this means doing casual labour and in most cases my husband comes back home empty-handed.”
Joyce’s brick-making business is a way for her family to earn much needed income. However, not having a close-by source of water was hard, as it is an essential requirement for the brick-making process.
With the help of Water Can partner, Just a Drop, Joyce and her village now have access to a source of clean water. Joyce is part of a new Self-Help Group, who completed construction of a rock catchment. Before the project, Joyce spoke of how hard it was to find water, as due to the hot climate, water sources would dry up very quickly.
As a result, the health of the whole community has improved, and the women no longer have to walk for hours to find water. Instead, they have more time to look after their families or earn an income.
The support has proved beneficial in other ways too. When members of the community collect water from the rock catchment, Joyce’s Self-Help Group collects a small fee, which has enabled the group to pay for their children’s school fees. They’ve also been able to set up an income-generating loan project, enabling women to start or develop small businesses, as a route out of poverty.
Joyce’s brick making business has benefited from a source of water in the community, and she has recently taken out a loan to expand the business.
“The money I get from bricks I use to buy food, pay school fees for my children and anything else I need for my family. Sometimes when the returns are good, with the excess money I buy a goat!”
Life in Joyce’s village is now brighter for the whole community, with improved health, quality of life, and opportunities for education and work. The community is now able to look forward to better prospects, as they begin to lift themselves out of the poverty trap.
At Water Can we work with hard-to-reach communities across the world to enable and empower people like Joyce by providing access to water resources that are sustainable and lasting.
All you have to do is ‘tap’ to donate. By doing so you will be helping us to transform lives, improve health and provide opportunities for the families and individuals that we work with.