We believe that “Water Justice” — a person’s access to clean water for survival, drinking, fishing, etc.—is a human right, and water allocation and management must be provided in an equitable and sustainable way. Therefore, working for Water Justice is a powerful part of Trees of Peace, Africa’s (TOP Africa) peace building activities in our community.
Due to issues beyond their control, the people of Zimbabwe have limited access to clean water. This forces people to get water from unclean sources, making them more susceptible to dysentery, cholera and typhoid. As we work to promote peace and justice, we believe this also includes helping people remain healthy, and TOP Africa has been offering clean drinking water to Harare urban communities in Zimbabwe since 2018.
In July 2021 a serious water crisis hit the town of Norton, on the outskirts of Harare. TOP Africa received a One Great Hour of Sharing grant which provided water to 100 families for 45 days. Children and women are primarily responsible for gathering water for the families, hence we provided 10 000 liters of water trucks each week to this group.
Women and children started gathering at the water collection points as early as 5am on the first day. The water truck arrived at exactly 8:30am to sounds of ululation (howling with joy!) and clapping of hands. I could see tears of joy as women with babies strapped on their backs filling the water in their 20 liter water buckets. Seeing women with babies on their backs, one water bucket on top of their head and another bucket in their right hand left me with tears. We thank God for raising the biblical Esther and Joshua for such a time like this.
TOP Africa recognizes that providing this water is a temporary relief effort, and we are hoping to drill a permanent electric water borehole. The borehole will help us monitor the quality of water and provide clean drinking and cooking water every day with minimal costs. Access to water is a basic human right, and even though it’s a struggle in Zimbabwe, one lady rightly says:
“We thank God for this precious liquid! We don’t know about tomorrow but we appreciate today’s miracle as we take one day at a time.”
Thank you for the water miracle!
Christina and Lance Muteyo