A typical day for Enelesi meant waking up at 4am to fetch water from a nearby community.

“Sometimes they would refuse to sell us water so we would go to the stream. Because of this, diarrhoea cases were very common in my family. Our children would be late to school after fetching water. Throughout the village, hygiene levels were low because no-one had enough water to have a hand-washing station by their latrine.

This all changed when Enelesi’s village received access to water services last year.

Enelesi at the new water point
Enelesi’s life has changed since her village received access to water services last year.

“It makes me feel rich!’ She says. “To know I have water is the greatest thing that has happened in my life.”

Now that there is a water point minutes from her house, Enelesi can get water whenever she needs it.

Not only is Enelesi benefitting from the new water system, but she’s a part of making sure it’s maintained sustainably as the village water committee president.

“My responsibility is to ensure the water point is functioning every day,” Enelesi explains. “I also make sure all water users are paying their tariffs and I hold monthly meetings with the community to address any issues concerning our water point.”

Having women in leadership roles isn’t very common in Enelesi’s community, but she thinks it’s very important for a woman to be in her position.

Enelesi is now the village's water committee president.
Enelesi is now the village’s water committee president.

“Other women in our community relate to me easily because I understand the challenges women face when it comes to fetching water,” she says. “Women are responsible for the day-to-day activities that require water. As women, we can take leadership roles and help build strong and responsible communities.”

A typical day for Enelesi no longer means waking up early to walk hours for water. Instead, she spends her days leading her family and community toward a better future.

In 2017, with your help, we reached over 48,000 people in Malawi through our clean water programmes. Working with partners on the ground in a district wide co-ordinated approach, we’re helping to build the early foundations for a sustainable water service in Blantyre and Chikwawa (when Enelesi lives).

The One Foundation‘s vision is a world in which everyone has access to clean, safe water, forever. You can read more about our work in Malawi on our project pages.