Notes to broadcasters
Water is an important and basic requirement for human survival, and is usually regarded as “life.” However, availability and safety of water are two important factors for a good life. Access to clean water is crucial, especially these days when we are facing the effects of climate change. In many places, especially in rural areas, the little water available is usually not clean, and is distant from village settlements. Children are the most vulnerable in such situations. Inadequate access to safe water, along with poor hygiene practices, results in sickness and even death among children, due to diarrhea and other sanitation-related diseases.
Women, and to a lesser extent children, are primarily responsible for fetching water for household use, transporting it home, storing it until it is used, and using it for cooking, cleaning, washing, and watering household animals. When there are water shortages, women and children suffer, as they must spend up to six hours per day walking to fetch water, which may be unclean. It is important that broadcasters realize these problems and address the issue of water and sanitation.
This script from Tanzania shows the collective efforts of farmers in a village where water shortages have been a problem since the village was formed in the 1960s. There is no water source in the village; women and children (especially girls) walk nine kilometres to fetch water. The water collected is unclean, because the source is simply a low piece of land where water has collected to form a pond. Since the pond is also used to water livestock, the animals trample in the water and make it dirty. Water-borne diseases are very common in the village.
After suffering for many years waiting for the government to supply water in the village, the villagers decided to work collectively to solve their water problem. They dug a small pond to harvest run-off water during the rainy season. They can use this water for about three months after the rainy season ends. Also, the village government collects money from every household to cover the cost of drilling shallow wells so that clean water can be available in the village.
This script can be adapted to any rural setting where water and sanitation is a problem, where the community or village has not received any assistance from the government or a non governmental organization, and is forced to rely on their own efforts.
This script is based on an actual interview, conducted with a villager leader in Tanzania. To produce this script on your station, you might choose to use voice actors to represent the village leader, and change the wording in the script to make it suitable for your local situation. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interview, and that the program has been adapted for your local audience, but is based on a real interview.
ScriptSignature tune in, then out slowly
Contributed by: Emmanuel and Lillian Manyuka, Radio Maria, Tanzania, a Farm Radio International radio partner.
Reviewed by: Alan Etherington, independent consultant in water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, and ex-WaterAid staff.
Interviews with the Village Water Committee leaders.