Early last week on my way to the mountain, Mr. Lukhele, one of the men helping with the project asked me to pass by his house to get a wheelbarrow and buckets to help with the building. As I entered the homestead I was greeted by his wife who was busy making brooms she was preparing to go and sell. She was very excited to se me, on her way back to give me the stuff we had a rather interesting exchange of words. “My child, I don’t know how you did it. You thought like a man!” she said. “Thanks ma, but I don’t understand what you mean when you say ‘I thought like a man’. Even women do think like this” I replied. “No, my child, only men do things this big. You have really surprised us.” I knew I didn’t stand a chance if I was to argue with her about gender hierarchies. So, I just said thank you and left. She had not been the first women who had said something similar. A few days earlier my mother came back from home and told me a women had stopped her on the way to thank her for me bringing the project. She said that I had done something that a lot of men weren’t able to do. It really got me thinking about how this community needed women empowerment. That maybe women were sitting in their homes with big ideas that could potentially develop the community but cant voice them out because ‘only men come up with big ideas’.
In the latest meeting that we had on Saturday, I sat down with the committee and it was decided that instead of having the 20 homes that were originally proposed to help with water, we’d have twice the number of homes. This change was made because a lot more homes needed help with getting water easily. But because this change will hurt the budget for the project, it was decided that each homestead will buy its own tap, so that there is enough money for pipes to reach the additional homes hat have been added.
Work in site is still progressing well, although this past week there was a little less participation than with the previous week. Since we decided on having two reservoirs, the digging for the first one is done. We are now halfway done with the digging coming from the second reservoir to the other side of homesteads.
I also must mention that I am proud of myself and my friend who is interning with the project. During the week we had to participate with the community members in carrying bricks to the mountain because there wasn’t a road for cars to carry them. It was a long distance, about half a kilometer, with the additional difficulty of the steepness of the mountain.
Photo: showing some of the pipes and tanks to be used for the project.
Photo: showing the almost complete water reservoir.
Photo: showing the built stand for one of the tanks. This is where the tank is going to be placed once the digging is done.
Photo: showing us covering one of the connected pipes to the ground.