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This year Polygon decided to support WaterAid, an international non-for-profit organization who are determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Without all three, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With all three, they can break free from poverty, unleash their potential and change their lives for good. Children grow up healthy and strong, women and men start small businesses, whole communities start to thrive.
Clean water is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Clean water is an enabler that gives people the chance to survive a changing climate.
The village of Kakounouso in Mali is a good example of this. Just a few years ago, 29-year-old Fatimata and the other residents of the village lacked sustainable access to water. And without sustainable access to clean water, there was no way for them to cope with the climate crisis plaguing Mali and the world. Fatimata and the other residents saw their crops dry out every time the rain did not fall as it should. They experienced how the drinking water in the wells drained every time drought struck.
But clean water has reversed developments in Kakounouso. The organisation WaterAid has installed a new solar cell powered water system in the village. The water system supplies Fatimata and the others with clean drinking water, and also water for the farms on which the community depend for food. But that's not all.
As part of the project, WaterAid has also helped organise a women's cooperative in the village. The women are responsible for monitoring the water levels in order to be able to adapt and plan the water use based on their readings. Fatimata is most responsible for monitoring water levels.
"Because I monitor the water levels, we can make sure that everyone has clean water without any disturbances," says Fatimata.
Clean water in the village has turned the lives of Fatimata and the other residents around. Now they are no longer as vulnerable to drought and lack of rain. According to Fatimata, it is not possible to exaggerate the great importance of pure water in her life.
"We can not stop talking about the importance of water. Without water we can not work, we can not grow. And we need clean drinking water to be able to stay healthy, ”says Fatimata.
This Christmas, we are proud to support WaterAid's vital work. Together with them, we ensure that more villages like Kakounouso get clean water. Together, we turn the world around.
Learn more about WaterAid’s amazing work here: www.wateraid.org
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