In August 2016 the JBK family had clean water piped onto their property for the first time in the family’s history. After a few months of monitoring how this change would affect their lives, the family was ready to invest their time and energy to take advantage of their new water connection.
The JBK family lives more than 100 meters from the closest water source. To get water they either had to pay 200 TZS (US $0.10) for a 20 liter bucket of water to be delivered to their home, or they had to walk down a slick muddy hill and then back up the hill while carrying water. Mama JBK joked, “By the time you got home with your bucket you would have spilled half of it and drank the rest!”
The high cost of water made it expensive for the family to keep livestock. For example, when the family started raising cows, they realized that buying water would consume nearly the entire profit they could make from selling milk and meat. It was the children’s job to fetch water and they couldn’t manage to keep any more than 3 cows because of the water needs.
When the family received a home water connection it drastically reduced the cost of tending their three cows. For a few months they kept their savings in a box and planned how to invest to continuing growing their income. In January 2017 the family used their savings to purchase 2 chickens and 20 chicks, which they hope to raise and sell eggs.
The children are responsible for looking after the chickens. This includes buying chicken food. To get money for chicken food the children deliver water to neighbors who buy it for a small profit. The family hopes that if everyone contributes the same effort as 2016, they can increase their monthly net income by 50% in 2017.