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Clean water means a bright future

“The children will now have a future. A better life with no sicknesses since Oxfam has brought us water nearby.”

— Miriam Mbewe, Zambia

When the new water taps were turned on for the first time, Miriam was the first person to rush over, eager to fill her empty buckets with clean and safe water.

Soon other community members joined her, elated by the sight of clean drinking water. The atmosphere was one of overwhelming joy.

“It’s a happy day for us. Right now our problems will be no more,” Miriam says, smiling.

Miriam is a mother who lives in a rural area of Lusaka, Zambia. Here, families struggled to find drinkable water. Water shortages were a feature of everyday life and many families resorted to fetching water from dirty, shallow wells in the ground, which collected water when it rained.

But these wells are easily infected with bacteria and spread infections and waterborne disease, including deadly cholera. 

“A lot of people used to get sick with diarrhoea and get skin infections,” Miriam says.

“It was very difficult. It was very painful and heartbreaking. Taking your child to the clinic and not having water at home at the same time.”

But thanks to Oxfam supporters, we installed a new water station to give Miriam’s community access to clean water. This brought joy and relief to the people who live here, because they no longer need to fear that each sip of water might bring cholera and other diseases.

Now, whenever she needs clean water for her family, Miriam just turns on a tap.

Miriam is happy knowing her children will never have to risk disease by drinking, or bathing with, dirty water. 

“The children will now have a future. A better life with no sicknesses since Oxfam has brought us water nearby. Now we are able to draw water there and the children can bath any time they feel like bathing,” she says.

Miriam wants to thank the Oxfam supporters who helped tackle poverty and disease in Zambia, so that families like hers can have clean, safe water every day.

“Please continue doing what you do,” she says.

“They should continue with the same spirit and God bless them. Thank you very much for supporting us.”

Miriam and her three children


Photos: Georgina Goodwin/OxfamAUS