Photos and story by Scott Harrison.
It didn't look at all like a spring, but it was. When we visited Gasi Spring, it was a mud pit, visibly contaminated by human feet and animal feces. But at the eye of Gasi spring, for only a split second before mixing with the muck, the water came out of the ground clean and clear. Pristine. Yet instead of getting at that pristine water, the women and children of Gasi huddled with yellow and blue Jerry Cans to gather the deadly mix of contaminated water.
We immediately committed to fund the project, and asked our partners to expedite the work to get Gasi the clean water they so desperately needed. Hundreds of you donated. Hundreds of you gave and with your help, the mud is now gone. All it took was $4,000.
The solution at Gasi Spring wasn't a freshwater well, but instead a spring protection system. A concrete box gathers and protects Gasi’s pure water, then pipes it to a nearby water point where the women and children collect it from taps. The spring, as it turned out, produced so much water that our partners were able to build a community shower, a clothes washing station and a separate cattle trough for the animals.
A local health extension worker named Gedey was appointed to live in the village before Gasi had clean water. Her job was to educate the mothers here about good hygiene and sanitation practices. But she told us that was nearly impossible. She'd attempt to teach the women about washing dishes, and they'd say "what's the use?". They'd just be cleaning it with water that was full of parasites anyway.
We met Gedey at the opening ceremony of Gasi's new spring protection tank. With excitement in her voice, she took us around to nearby houses, saying, "Look, they're starting to build dish racks!". At first we didn't understand. And then it dawned on us: there's a reason now to keep the dishes off the floor. They're finally clean.