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National Geographic highlights WaterAid's work

The "Burden of Thirst" feature explores water scarcity in East Africa.
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Mar 15, 2010
She has never dared think that someday life could change for the better - that there could arrive a metal spigot, out of the end of which gushed dignity

Tina Rosenberg

writing in April 2010's National Geographic Magazine.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tina Rosenberg writes about how the water crisis in East Africa affects women, and what can be done to help communities establish their own sustainable water supplies.

Her article is accompanied by stunning photographs by World Press Award-winning photographer Lynn Johnson, who traveled to Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania to witness how the burden of water collection dominates women's lives. The article showcases WaterAid's work in various regions of Ethiopia, highlighting a program in the arid Konso region which is using innovative sand dam technology to establish a year-round supply of safe water.

Tina Rosenberg poignantly reflects on the difference that access to safe water will make to the life of Aylito Binayo, a mother of three from Konso who has to leave her young children alone while she spends eight hours a day fetching water. Ms Rosenberg writes: "She doesn't dream. She has never dared think that someday life could change for the better - that there could arrive a metal spigot, out of the end of which gushed dignity.

Lynn Johnson's photos feature the construction of a spring-fed gravity flow water network implemented by WaterAid that has brought safe water to the market towns of Ticho and Kella and surrounding villages in the Oromia region of Ethiopia for the first time ever, along with dramatic images of women walking to fetch water across barren landscape in drought-stricken Kenya.

The April issue of National Geographic is available on newsstands from March 30, 2010. Visit NationalGeographic.com to read the article.