“For us, finding clean water has always been a problem, but now we are happy because we have water available for everyone. And we can use it to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If it weren't for the water, we would have suffered from the explosion of Coronavirus infections. "
This is how Anastacia, mother of nine children, describes what is happening in the rural village of Mokongwo, Kenya, where the main source of livelihood is the breeding of goats, sheep and cows.
Anastacia is a small farmer and is responsible for feeding her whole family. She joined the Disaster Management Committee (DMC) to help her community understand how to respond to natural disasters, such as the droughts and floods that are constantly affecting her region. Today Anastacia is working with us at ActionAid to support her village against an unexpected disaster: the Coronavirus pandemic.
Together, with the other women of her village, she is responsible for spreading and promoting the hygiene measures they need to adopt, as well as distributing soap and disinfectants, and above all, ensuring the supply of drinking water for the community.
“On a typical day, I wake up at 5:00 in the morning and prepare my children for school. Then I take care of the other housework and agriculture. Growing here was not easy because the ground is very rocky and I had to remove stones for a year to prepare my piece of land for the first crops. Our area has been hit hard by the effects of climate change, the rains are scarce, very irregular and make it difficult to plant seeds in time in order not to lose the crop. Without water we cannot survive, without water we cannot defend ourselves from the Coronavirus " explains Anastacia.
“Today everyone calls me a leader, an activist for women's rights. This is because I discovered my skills through ActionAid's resilience training courses. With the trust gained, I support the rights of women and girls in my community. On our shoulders there is the weight of great responsibilities, but we still live as if only our presence and effort were accepted, but never our voice. For example, when I started my husband would not allow me to attend women's group meetings. Until I was elected as deputy secretary and the situation has changed.”
Anastacia continues, “The trust that the whole village has towards me as a woman leader has an important value today, it is the women in the front line who are working to stop the Coronavirus. I am respected because I have knowledge, information and lessons to share to save everyone's lives. "
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