“I was forced to drop out of school to fetch water in June 2019. The rainy season made my toughest chore even tougher; I couldn’t make time for schooling. It was impossible to travel 14 km back and forth on foot in slippery mud and still attend education,” says Saliya Umer, 16 years old, previously OOSC, enrolled In Hawo Primary School. Saliya Umer was born and raised in the Hawo community. A community where water isn’t the sole issue, but touches far more critical areas of the community’s life. Water literally means education for many girls.


“I can certainly say the major reason behind girls’ dropout and inefficiency in school is a water issue. If you take me, I have lots of at-home responsibilities, ranging from cleaning the house and serving the meals to laundering and fetching water. I have managed to do all of it except collecting water, which I was expected to fetch twice a day at times. I used to be redundantly absent and I was so tired when I was able to make it that I couldn’t properly attend class,” says Saliya firmly.

Water issues made Saliya drop out of school; EAC/imagine1day’s Hawo water and school project has brought her back to school. Both awareness creation on girls’ education and nearby access to clean water in the coming months were convincing enough to let Nejo, Saliya’s mother shoulder the burden of fetching water so that her daughter attends school. Nejo says, “Water has been an issue in many ways in my community, particularly for girls and women as long as I can remember. I am developing back pain as I get older and I can’t carry heavy water long distances. That was why I let my daughter drop out of school until the selected community representatives trained by imagine1day made us aware of the value of education. Thanks to EAC/imagine1day my daughter is attending school which will enable her to have a better future than what I have lived.”

The EAC/imagine1day Hawo School and Community water project encompasses the construction of 5 water points, 2 springs development, 7 km of pipeline extension, and the construction of 2 water tanks with a capacity of 25m3 and 5m3. 7 WASH committee members will receive basic technical and managerial training to ensure sustainability.


Saliya is no longer later or absent from school, she is doing better in school than ever before. “I am forever in debt to EAC/imagine1day for the opportunity. The project has persuaded my family that my education is a priority no matter what. I have every right and freedom to not only go to school but also to study at home. I have ranked first in my class. I want to thank EAC/imagine1day once again,” says Saliya.