In March 2018, Ophelia lost two of her grandchildren. They died of cholera and diarrhoea as a result of drinking dirty water.
January to May is the dry season in Liberia and clean water is a scarcity in Monrovia, the nation’s capital with a population of 1.5 million people.
Ophelia had filled her empty plastic containers at a well five miles from home. She saw there were dead rats in the water but still believed it to be less dangerous than the St Paul River which is full of untreated sewage. “It was the saddest time in my life,” she remembers. “We were all suffering from stomach cramps and illness and many people died.”
Ophelia was still mourning the loss of the children when she was persuaded by a relative to move to Blackie Island Community. There she had access to a water well in the neighbouring district of Iron Factory, funded by donations to Blythswood’s gift catalogue.
Newly constructed in 2018, the well has a closed top and a large hand pump, ensuring that the water is kept clean.
Thanks to gifts from Blythswood supporters like you, the water is free of charge to residents of three districts with a total population of 21,000 people. Ophelia says:
“Life is much easier now for me and my family.”
Photo above: The well provides clean water free of charge to thousands of people in Monrovia