Emmily washes dishes in Zimbabwe
Emmily washes dishes in Zimbabwe

The first time I got water from the tap I was ecstatic. I do not know how to describe my happiness; it is impossible.”

Emmely is doing the washing up in Zimbabwe

Getting fresh water running

The first time I got water from the tap I was ecstatic. I do not know how to describe my happiness; it is impossible.”

Emmely is doing the washing up in Zimbabwe

What we've achieved together

  • 1985

    Oxfam worked with Surrey University to produce the Delagua water testing kit.

  • 1976

    The famous Oxfam Water Tank, first deployed more than 40 years ago, is now used all over the world.

See more achievements

The introduction of solar-powered water systems in Zimbabwe means women like Emmely now have access to fresh running tap water close to home.

Emmely's story

Our water source was far away, especially considering our old age. Since the introduction of clean water, we can do a lot... there has been a great change. We used to fetch water twice or three times daily. If we carried two big containers in a wheelbarrow, once in the morning and once at the end of the day. If we were carrying the containers on our heads then we would go three times a day.

Fetching water would take about 45 minutes. When we got to the water source we would wait for the container to fill up. This would take about 20 minutes.

Aurelie Marrier D'Unienville / Oxfam

65 year-old Emmely carries a water container as she slides down a river bank

The difference water makes

The first time I got water from the new tap I was ecstatic. I do not know how to describe my happiness – it's impossible. But we were thrilled to have clean water.

Aurelie Marrier D'Unienville / Oxfam

How Oxfam is helping bring water to rural Zimbabwe

  • Oxfam is funding solar powered water systems in Zimbabwe.
  • Women like Emmely now have access to fresh running tap water close to home.
  • This frees up time for things like earning an income and seeing friends and family.

Since the introduction of clean water, we can do a lot — fetch water, prepare the cattle for ploughing, fetch firewood, tend to the garden and do laundry whenever we want. We are now very happy. We can even leave our chores for a while. There has been a great change.

It is such a joy to have water tanks and the solar powered system. We are still rejoicing even now and we will continue into the future.

As long as I am drinking clean water, I see a bright future for myself as an individual.”

Emmely

Getting safe clean water flowing worldwide

Emmily celebrates

Thanks for your help

See how your donations are helping communities like mine.

40years

Oxfam has worked in Zimbabwe since 1980. A key element of our work in the country is to empower women and help them lift themselves out of poverty.

10water points

and 15 laundry facilities are being installed in Bubi, Zvishavane, Masvingo Rural and Gutu districts.

48%

A 2011 report found that less than half of Zimbabwe's rural population had access to safe drinking water (Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey) .