Dirty Water Cholera Dysentery Malaria Kills African Swahili Tanzania Mara Nomads
Serengeti dry season, Tanzania. Tourist safaris gaze at the wildebeest while cholera, dysentery and malaria make an annual death march, Swahili Mara Nomads enduring up to 20 mile daily walks seeking clean water, average life span a mere 56 years.
23,500 Mara Nomads of the Serengeti will once again soon see many loved ones succumb to horrible and so sadly, both preventable and often curable killers such as cholera, dysentery and malaria. Why? Polluted water sources as fresh spring water supplies go dry annually.
Women and children are faced with up to 20 miles of walk daily to secure 5 gallons of water for the day for a family? Why 5 gallons? 5 gallons of water weighs 41.78 pounds. It's all they can carry, and often with a tired child on their back as well.
"They carry the water in used 5 gallon paint buckets," says John Mashaka, found of the www.MashakaFoundation.org, a 503C tax-exempt non profit charity based in North Carolina in the US. Mr. Mashaka is one of those Mara Nomads, who was educated by missionaries as a child and then was able to attend college in the USA, where he settled and has a successful career in the banking and financial world.
His roots though, were never forgotten, and when he returned to his homeland on a visit in 2006, he was chilled and shocked to the soul at the suffering he witnessed: women waking up 4am for a 7 hour quest for water trek, then to handle life's chores after return. He also saw children on their death beds when $12 for treatment and medicine could have saved them.
John's life was forever changed, and since he returns every year, a mini relief effort, delivering many items we in the Western world take for granted that are either luxuries, rarities or undreamed of blessings to his Tanzanian relatives.
US Marines make a 10 mile hike with a 50 pound pack. Their boots cost $135. Tanzanian women carry nearly the same weight in water, plus a child or two often. And they have a 10 mile warm up stroll. They wear cheap plastic "jellies," hardly durable footwear for such a march.
$450,000 for a planned water tower on Lake Victoria solves the problem. For the 23,500 Mara Nomads, that is $19.15 a person. Just shy of 20 dollars. That they don't have and that could stand between them and cholera, dysentery, malaria. That could mean about another 20 years of life span. That's less than a dollar a year. That child on his death bed, lacking $12 for the pound of cure?
On average? A nickel buys the promise a week more of life.
Life. For less than a penny a day. And you think you can't make a difference in this world?
This video tells the story well:
To read more about the Mashaka Foundation: http://onecent.us/
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