The joy of tasting clean water for the first time
Eight-year-old Egodine lives in a small community in northwestern Burkina Faso, where there is no easy access to safe water or electricity. So, when she heard her Compassion centre was digging a new borehole at the church, she was excited to watch every step of the journey.
The day I heard about the new well
One day at the centre, I heard a special announcement from Ezeckiel, the centre director, that made my day. He told us the centre would receive a new borehole which will give us clean water and handwashing facilities.
I didn’t know what it would look like, but my friends and I clapped and danced! I was so excited there was going to be a new borehole not far from my home. I learned that a borehole is bigger than a house and it stores clean water that people can fetch easily.
My aunt Nina and I used to fetch water from a well and the river when it rains, but it was not clean. My village needs a borehole because it is difficult to get clean water. Those who have money can buy clean water in town because they don’t want to drink dirty water from open wells. But we had no choice.
Getting a new borehole means my aunt will fetch water easily at the centre, and I can drink clean water and wash my hands to avoid diseases.
The day that construction began
On a Friday evening, I heard big trucks driving towards the centre. I ran to the centre with my friends to watch them. The strangers came from the capital. They looked tired and dirty because they spent three days travelling. Ezeckiel said they were from the drilling company. They needed to rest and start the drilling early on Saturday. I was excited because Saturday is a centre day, so I could watch them work.
Workers building the borehole for the community in Burkina Faso.
I didn’t know how long their work would take, but I couldn’t wait to watch them. Children, adults, and the tutors at the centre were all happy to see the trucks and the long blue pipes they carried.
The day of the drilling
Early in the morning of the drilling day, many people stopped by the centre to watch the drillers working. There was smoke in the air as the machinery dug into ground. The drilling was not easy. The workers were covered in red dust and mud.
The workers drilling.
The more they dug, the more the earth became wet. We were all in a hurry to see the first water. But around noon, the team had a break. The tutors struggled to keep us away from the place of drilling—we were all excited to see! It looked like a market day because many villagers came to watch. People were very excited about the construction process.
After we had lunch and the activities were over, we didn’t want to go home. I stayed with my friends and many children stayed longer than usual. The mud was running over the main gate of the centre. After a few minutes, the mud became water that was getting cleaner as they dug.
I clapped and shouted with joy. My friend was next to me, and later my aunt Nina came to take me home. I was amazed to watch the drilling of a borehole for the first time.
The day we got water for the first time
Several weeks later, another team came to fix the water tank and the taps. I woke up in the morning, washed my face and feet, had some millet porridge, and put on my shoes.
Egodine using water from the tap for the first time.
It was a centre day, and I joined my friend to visit the borehole. We were very happy that the long wait for clean water was over.
When we arrived at the centre, some children were playing near the church and the cooks were busy in the kitchen. The tutors welcomed us into the classrooms for prayer. From the window, I saw a woman filling a bucket from a tap and I was amazed. The cooks usually fetch water from the old well by the church a day before the centre days.
During the teachings, Ezeckiel showed us how to use the water taps. He said that there is a place for handwashing as well and we will be using all the facilities from now on. It was easier to fill a bucket at the water tap than at the old well.
When I drank the water for the first time, it was light, fresh, and tasteless. I thanked God for the new borehole.
I thought, “We are now like people in town!” Everyone is happy that the centre gives us clean water like in the big cities.
The day we celebrated!
The church leaders and our parents met around the borehole to celebrate and give thanks. The pastor prayed for the borehole and blessed the donors. The tutors showed people how to use and take care of the water taps.
There are so many taps! There are two taps by the roadside where people in the neighbourhood can get water. There are eight in the church compound where children can wash their hands and drink water during our days at the centre.
Ezeckiel said that we will even start gardening next to water tank.
The chief of the village planted a special tree to celebrate and dedicate the borehole, and I am happy to be one of the children allowed to water it. A committee was appointed to follow up the use of the borehole to make sure that everyone cares for it and keeps it clean and working properly.
People no longer need to buy drinking water in town. I’m happy to carry my small can of clean water home, walking with my aunt Nina.
To all of the donors who helped us—may God bless you for giving us a new borehole and clean water!