GOING TO SCHOOL IS EASIER FOR LETICIA
“I had to go every morning and fetch water before going to school…”
That is what Leticia, Eleventh grade student at ‘’College Aquaben” a school located in Libreville town, Gabon, told us and went on “…My parents noticed that it was affecting my education, and I had to stop doing that and instead my parents took charge of it”.
It was 31st October and our Water Youth Network colleagues Younoussa and Ntsika visited this school where around 21 out of the 50 present students face difficulties to access water. The visit was not casual, it happened, because African Water Week took place from 29th October to 2nd November and our members visited this town to participate at a workshop in the college along with our partners from GWP.
There Younoussa had the chance to speak with Leticia who also told him: ‘’It was one of the elected deputies in my community who took the initiative to build two water pumps (modern borehole). Now they only pay for its maintenance, which is minimal and a low cost so everyone is able to afford. Because of this, my parents and I don’t need to wake up early to go and fetch water. We can now focus more on our daily activities’’. However, this issue does not only affect Leticia but it is also impacts almost a half of the students from that class who are not connected to the country’s water distribution due to their parents’ lack of financial means to cover the cost of that.
Although there is a lot to be done in Libreville to foster access to water for everyone, Leticia deeply believes that education is key to solving water problems as she emphasized: “I am working hard in school now so that my children and family don’t have to face the same situation”. It is that motivation that has led her to become the first student to join the ‘’Environment Club” in her school and said she will focus her university education in the water-related domain as well.
Younoussa was so amazed by the exchanges they had, the motivation of students to know more about water and especially their eagerness to share their daily challenges. But the most brilliant side of this story is that by the end of the session, eleven students went straight to register in the school’s environment club and requested our supervision, something our members promise to follow up. As this project was initiated by the youth organization RECOJAC the Water Youth Network will work together with them. And who knows – you’ll probably find more information on RECOJAC in the YouKnoW! Organisations section soon.
Keep posted, because YouKnoW has many stories to share!