Rumyati's blue cart

Rumyati's blue cart

To the casual observer, this tired, old cart may seem useless, its paint chipping, and its axels beginning to rust. When Rumyati looks at it, though, she sees the vehicle which brought her family out of poverty and into a better life, overflowing with safe water.

For years, Rumyati and her family had no access to safe water at home. Daily, she would wake before sunrise to walk down a long, dirt road, and line up at the only water source in town: the mosque.

There, she would wait patiently for her turn to collect water. The water she carried home was never enough to fully satisfy her family's needs, but it was always nearly too heavy to carry. It was always more than heavy enough to tire Rumyati ahead of a long day at work, but she had no other choice.

Rumyati poses with her daughter Mut. Rumyati poses with her daughter Mut.

As soon as Rumyati would arrive home, her arms sore and legs tired, her husband, too, would return from his task: picking. Each evening, he rolled the old, blue cart to town looking to make another man's trash his treasure, and each morning he would return for Rumyati to sort and sell what others had discarded.

Soon, Rumyati and her husband were making a steady income, and their hard work allowed them to take out a small WaterCredit loan to construct a tap in their own home.

Suna, Rumyati's mother, uses their new tap. Suna, Rumyati's mother, uses their new tap.

Now, thanks to a plain, blue cart, Rumyati and her family have easy access to water. Rumyati is able to spend more time with her daughter, she is well-rested for her day of work, and she no longer has to walk long distances carrying water.

Now, when Rumyati talks about her future, she is "semangat." Full of vivacity, spirit, and passion.

This story was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation.

Population of 255.7 million
33 million lack safe water
100 million lack sanitation
43% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day
Capital: Jakarta