Giving birth on the roadside with two cans of dirty water
Thirty year-old Tewabech Kutambo from the village of Lahyte in Konso, Ethiopia rises early every day to begin her two-hour walk to the Orbole riverbed in search of water.
Before the recent birth of her baby, the walk became increasingly difficult as her due date approached. But she could not stay home and rest. She had no choice.
During the dry season, Tewabech and her children must dig deep holes on the bank of the Orbale river to find enough brown water to fill their cans. This takes hours every day and leaves no time for other work, school and play for the children.
It takes a few hours to collect water. We go before the sun rises and come back when it is high in the sky. I cannot stop going to the river even if I am pregnant.
One day, pregnant and carrying two heavy cans of water, she felt pain. She knew her baby was coming.
She gave birth to her little girl Kutaynesh Kuna on the side of the road alone and scared with only the filthy water she was carrying to wash herself and her baby.
With little rest, she walked home cradling her newborn daughter while some young girls carried the dirty water.
Your gift to WaterAid today could help bring safe, clean water to families like Tewabech’s in some of the poorest communities around the world.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be a challenge for any woman, but without clean water it’s unimaginable. Access to clean water would give Tewabech time to rest, nurse and care for her daughter.
WaterAid works in Ethiopia and 26 other countries helping communities to plan, build and manage safe water supplies that ease the burden on women like Tewabech and give their babies a better start in life.
Tewabech and her baby daughter Kutaynesh Kuna survived this challenging birth without water, but they need your help.
Donate now to help us build more wells like this one for communities in need.
Photos: WaterAid / Anna Kari