It’s been an amazingly productive and enjoyable phase here in Buruni on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project. It felt great to be a part of the construction and completion of Tandas Number 2 behind the church, as well as the completion of the dam above the village. It’s been well worth hiking up there every other day to lug bags of cement and grit through the jungle alongside the locals. Many times, we worked hidden from the heat of the day at the dam site waterfall and walked back in the pouring rain. Spirits have been so high all throughout our 3 weeks here. Nevertheless, what really sticks in my head as the most delightful day was when we connected the pipes down to the individual houses of the community.
Children and their parents and a few grandparents followed along as we unrolled the pipes towards their homes. Before we directed the water into the half inch tap pipes we all took the opportunity to splash about in the full flow of the water gushing from the main pipe. At one point, an elderly woman protested getting wet, only to grab the pipe and take aim on the people around her with joyful enthusiasm.
It struck me as we walked back, with wet boots and clothes, casually chatting with local youths and taking photos, that water is such a major thing we take for granted at home. The illuminated faces of people here who have never lived with a simple tap of running water until now are an array of smiles that I’ll never forget.
Words by Eleanor, photos by Larysa
11 Dec – Alpha 1 Opening Ceremony
16 Dec – Closing Ceremony