Water: Source of Sustenance

Global Press Journal reporters document how their communities collect, use and manage water to make a living.

Water: Source of Sustenance

Brenda Leticia Saloj Chiyal, GPJ Guatemala

In Salquil Grande, a community within the Nebaj municipality in Quiché, Guatemala, Ana Bernal, 11, learns how to effectively wash her hands to maintain personal hygiene while also conserving water. Water has been scarce in this community, and heads of local families have been making an effort to educate their children on efficient hand-washing at school and at home.

Gamuchirai Masiyiwa, GPJ Zimbabwe

Dzidzai Masasa, of Mabvuku, a suburb east of Harare, Zimbabwe, waters her garden, which produces rapeseed, covo and other leafy vegetables to feed her family or to be sold in her community. The suburb has not had running water for more than five years because of old pipes, so Masasa uses water from her home’s well.

Janviere Uwimana, GPJ Rwanda

Shadrack Byukusenge, 8, draws water from the Sebeya River in Rugerero, a sector in Rwanda’s northwestern Rubavu district. After heavy rains blocked the pipes that carry water to his village of Rushubi, Shadrack walked 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) to retrieve water from the river.

Janviere Uwimana, GPJ Rwanda

For the residents around Lake Kivu, days begin and end with the water. For fishermen, taxi boats and those working in the hospitality industry, the lake provides a living. For visitors, it provides a chance to relax and enjoy good company and a spectacular view.

Mayela Sánchez, GPJ Mexico

Omar Álvarez, 19, waters plants that adorn a median on a road in the Benito Juárez delegation in central Mexico City. The delegation contracts the tanker truck to water plants in the area, says Álvarez.

Adriana Alcázar González, GPJ Mexico

Micaela Vázquez Ton, 38, and her daughter Teresa Martínez Vázquez, 14, carry water in clay pots from a nearby well in Chilil, a community in Chiapas, Mexico. The well is a public resource for the whole community, and families turn to it during the dry season or when the water pipes are not working and local springs don’t have enough water to go around.

Yam Kumari Kandel, GPJ Nepal

Farmers plant rice in the Terai lowlands of Gularia in Nepal’s Bardiya district. The crop-planting season coincides with the monsoon season, which generally occurs between June and September.

Nadia Kanyere Karasisi, GPJ DRC

A ferry prepares to carry passengers and goods across the Congo River from Kisangani to Lubunga, a district in the city of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese government provided the ferry to carry basic goods between Lubunga and the other five districts of the city.

Marie Michelle Felicien, GPJ Haiti

Gina Saint Fleur, 40, does laundry at the river Diegue at Pèlerin 5, in Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. For eight years, Saint Fleur has relied on washing laundry as her main source of income, and her clients are saved the time of doing the chore themselves.

Yam Kumari Kandel, GPJ Nepal

Laxmi Chaudhary, 20, holds her 1-year-old child, while her 3-year-old child watches as she collects water in Bardiya District, Nepal. In Bardiya’s indigenous Tharu community, in the Terai plains, some family members cook food and bring it to others who work in the fields.

Patricia Lindrio, GPJ Uganda

Meddie Gabula carries Joel Wamboka to a boat on Lake Victoria in Jinja, Uganda. A three- to four-hour boat ride is one of the only forms of transportation for goods and passengers from Jinja to Buvuma Island, the largest in a chain of islands that make up Lake Victoria’s Buvuma District, home to almost 90,000 people. Gabula carries passengers and goods from the shore to the boats and charges 1,000 Ugandan shillings (about 28 cents) for an adult, 500 shillings (about 14 cents) for a child and between 1,000 and 3,000 shillings (28 cents to 83 cents) for heavy produce.