Water had a very special place in the lives of Mayega’s children when it needed collecting from Lake Victoria.
At the Children’s Centre some rain was collected off the roof and stored in a tank. But Mayega is in a very dry area, so visits to the lake were necessary. All the children made the 50-minute trip twice a day, carrying buckets according to their ages.
School days had similar demands. The oldest 400 hundred children had to bring a bottle of water for the toilets. If children wished to drink during the day they needed to carry their own supply. Children walk up to 7 km to get to school. Sometimes the supply for the toilets ran out and children were sent to the Lake, interrupting their learning (a round trip of about an hour).
The risks of collecting water from Lake Victoria; Bilharzia is endemic, and attacks from hippos and crocodiles are possible. The water at the lakeside is also dirty.
Having a piped water supply is safer and provides more time for school work and play.