Pregnancy without clean water
Pregnancy and childbirth can be a challenge for any woman, but without clean water it’s unimaginable. In Ethiopia, it’s not uncommon for women to give birth by roadsides or on a riverbank while searching for water.
They not only have to worry about raising a child, but those first moments begin by cleaning their newborn with stagnant and contaminated water.
I have pains in my back and maybe my child will come too soon if I continue to carry those heavy cans.
Etalem Tinishu is 32 years old and lives in Lahyte, Ethiopia. She has
four children and is six months pregnant. She has no choice but to make
a two-hour journey to the river many times a day to collect heavy
cans of dangerous, contaminated water which she uses for drinking,
washing and feeding her children.
Each day she worries about her unborn child. She confided: “I have pains in my back and maybe my child will come too soon if I continue to carry those heavy cans.”
Etalem’s priority is to find water for herself and her children but she also needs water to grow food and keep her precious few livestock alive.
She shared: “In the dry season there is no water. I worry because sometimes they are so thirsty they drink any water they can find and they get sick.”
Together with WaterAid, you can help mothers like Etalem around the world improve their own health and that of their children. In the coming weeks you will meet Tewabech Kutambo and Orke Otta – other women who have courageous stories to share about how they managed to balance pregnancy with the reality of life with no water.
By making a gift today, you could help us bring a precious water
supply to more of the world's poorest families.
Etalem walking down the steep riverbank.
Etalem's children have no choice but to drink river water.
Photos: WaterAid / Anna Kari