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Angela’s Story – Improved Access to Safe Water in Zambia

3 July, 2024 | David Warnes
Categories: Case Study, Climate Change, Safe Water, Zambia

“This support is really helping us Angela, reflecting on improved access to safe water in her village in Eastern Zambia. 

Angela using a rehabilitated borehole.

In September 2019, a broken borehole was repaired in Eastern Zambia. This was part of a CO2balance and ROCS partnership project which has rehabilitated 160 boreholes, providing easy access to safe water for more than 45,000 people in Eastern Zambia. This project is ongoing with water safety being ensured by frequent water quality monitoring. Improved water cleanliness is recognised by users like Angela, who noticed a reduction of disease in her family. 

“We used to walk a long distance” says Angela, describing how she and other households lost an average of  approximately 2 hours per day walking to collect water from distant unprotected boreholes. These distances meant Angela was often unable to collect and carry enough water for bathing or washing clothes and took time away from other important things like working in the fields or studying.  

Additionally, the water Angela collected from the unprotected borehole was polluted due to littering and animals drinking from the same water. This resulted in many health issues – “people especially children were experiencing diarrhoea diseases”. This is a particularly common issue considering recent anthrax and cholera outbreaks in Zambia in late 2023 and early 2024.   

With the borehole being so much closer to the village, personal hygiene has improved – Angela is now able to collect enough water to “easily wash and bathe [her] children”.  The time saved from no longer needing to walk long distances to collect water has also enabled Angela to develop her family farming business. By growing and selling kale, Chinese cabbage, sugar cane, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, she has improved food security for her family, as well as generating additional income used to purchase a bicycle and television. 

As demonstrated by Angela’s story, our safe water projects play a vital role in transforming communities: health conditions are improved, time is saved, and new livelihood opportunities are realised.

Read more about our Zambia projects here.