Obwiri lives in the Mara Region of Tanzania. A widow and mother of eight, she works hard to provide for her family by running a small restaurant. Obwiri lives in a traditional house and keeps a few sheep to supplement her income. Apart from her daily activities, Obwiri leads a small group of women in her village who also own micro businesses.
When COVID-19 reached Obwiri’s community, she had increasing concerns about her family’s sanitation situation. At the time, their partially covered pit sat in a flooding zone about 500 meters from their residence. As the rainy season approached and the spread of COVID-19 increased, Obwiri feared that, if the pit overflowed, her family would be at greater risk of exposure to the virus. She wanted to quickly address her concern and was relieved to learn from Equity Bank that she could finance a ventilated pit latrine and it could be constructed almost immediately.
Obwiri got a loan for about $174. With it, she purchased the necessary building materials and paid a mason to construct the toilet. Now her family has a sanitation solution just steps from their door. Obwiri repaid her loan over a period of six months and has gone on to encourage women in her small business group to finance their own solutions as well.
Obwiri’s story is the type of empowerment we help make possible every day as we continue to give our everything to change lives with affordable access to safe water and sanitation.
While our work slowed down in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, in July 2020 we started to increase impact. We changed more than 6.6 million lives in 2020, and 4 million of those people were reached after the pandemic started. That's 4 million more people who can now wash their hands and protect their families from viruses and disease. Read more about why the health of our world, starts with safe water.