The water situation in Baraka

Every day, the water situation in Baraka is an annoying and tiring matter. Is it possible to live without water? We will show you the harsh reality we live with every day, and how we deal with the water situation in Baraka.

From 1992 to 2000, it was very difficult in Baraka to obtain any water at all, because we had no hydrant in our neighborhood. However, water is an indispensable source for human life. In order to our daily needs, we had to walk more than 300 meters one way just to fetch water. Sometimes we had take on this journey more than five times a day. It almost felt like were spending all of our time traveling from one country to another or walk around the whole world.

For years we lived in this ordeal. As children we would help our parents by fetching water. Sometimes there were days when there was no water at all due to water cuts. On those days, when we had no access to water, we would sit for hours desperately waiting to fill our vessels and our empty bottles.  We would return without water in despair, completely exhausted from the fatigue of the long march, our clothes soaked in sweat, our bodies covered in dust from head to toe, disappointing our mothers when we arrived empty-handed. They had been  anxiously awaiting our return, so they could begin their household tasks. But to no avail.

The first fountain terminal we had in the area was set up by Jacques Bignucour who was responsible for ENDA TIER MONDE and has done much for Baraka. The entire population was happy and very motivated for this first change. We searched for pebbles by side, we collected sand for the construction of this faucet. The work filled us with joy because the terminal would decrease our living troubles for years.

Today the water situation in Baraka has changed a bit through social connections. Thanks to lots of official aid from everywhere, the population of Baraka now has two fountain terminals, providing the daily water supply for different families. But unfortunately, the people still face problems every day, from morning to night, when it comes to water.

Due to the lack of patience between the people who meet at the standpipes, there is sometimes even shoving and occasionally squabbles about the water. Every morning from 10 o’ clock, the fountain terminals are full of people, who are waiting to refill their vessels after having exhausted their reserves from the day before. There are always long lines of women in Indian file impatiently waiting for their turn to fetch water. There are women who chatter from left to right, children crying on the back of their mother, and others who play around the well. Having filled their buckets, they must put them on their head to bring them home.

This is very difficult.  Due to the lack of funds, we still do not have running water in our homes. For every little tasked, the water must be carried by hand to the house. The water should be within reach for all of our needs. But without running water, we are obliged to wash only once a day to save water. If we want to do the laundry, we must gather a lot of dirty clothes using as little water as possible outside. The same goes for the dishes.

In short, throughout the years there have been a few changes on getting water Baraka, but life in this neighborhood is still desperate. So much time is lost just by carrying water and waiting in line for it. Additionally, the situation of the pipeline and sewage system is always a source of debate.

This text was written by the three bloggers of Baraka: Ousmane Ly, Aissatou Sow and Dieynaba Ba.

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