Down and Dirty


Taking advantage of any water she can find, 5-year-old Cheru washes in a filthy mud puddle where animals also drink.

Cheru would like to keep clean, says Monica, her mother. The little girl stops to wash off her arms, legs, and face when she goes to the waterhole. But the only water she can find is dirty; that’s why she’s often sick, and always dirty. 

Recently, Cheru was ill. “She was very sick,” says Monica. “We took her three days in a row for treatment. She’s been better since.” Still, Cheru has a runny nose, rheumy eyes, and a deep, congested cough. 

“Headaches and stomach problems are very common here: that’s brought on by dirty water,” Monica says.

The statistics are grim: nearly 1,000 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. 

With water so scarce, Cheru doesn’t know the comfort of a warm bath or a glass of cool, clean, safe water.

Photo©2016 World Vision, Jon Warren

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