A tractor filled with cement, sand, and Save the Rain women arrives at Advela’s house, and the team sets to work: these are the ingredients for the rainwater harvesting system they are about to build for Advela and her family. 

Her husband died last year, leaving behind five children and a baby on the way. Advela was a widow and new mother all at once, needing more than she ever had and less able to provide than ever before. Her neighbors helped as much as they could, but they, too, spent their days trying to solve an intractable equation involving time, money, and water. 

Advela must fetch water every day. She can only carry five gallons at a time because she’s also carrying her nine-month-old. She could borrow a neighbor’s donkey, but then she must fetch water for them, too. A donkey carries 20 gallons, of which she gets 10 – which doesn’t go far. The family needs enough to drink, wash, launder, cook… 

There is a nearby well, but the water is unsafe to drink. The alternative is a standpipe 1.5 miles away. It’s a four-hour round trip if she’s lucky – but it only functions a couple of days a week at unpredictable times, and she must pay per liter.  

She could pay a motorbike driver to bring her water, but as she doesn’t have time to work, where would that money come from? If she saves time by fetching her laundry water from the nearby well rather than the standpipe, the sodium carbonate in the groundwater erodes the fabric, meaning she must buy new school uniforms sooner. If she sends her children to fetch water and they miss school, she may have saved herself those hours, but what could be dearer than costing her children an education? 

It’s like a dystopian math problem: if Advela has 24 hours in a day, six children to feed, clothe and educate, 0 means of generating income, and she needs 80 liters of water requiring at least 8 hours to fetch, costing money she doesn’t have… how does Advela survive?

Today, we stand with her, watching the solution take shape. Her tank will take six more days to complete, ready for the long rainy season’s beginning. Just one inch falling on 500 sq ft of roof will harvest 300 gallons, which would take her 60 trips and ten days and nights of nonstop walking to collect.

By the time you read this, she will never need to walk for water again. It’s about time.

This month, we launched a campaign called “It’s About Time.” Our campaign is not just a call to action. It’s a promise of empowerment. With every rainwater system we install, we’re not just offering clean water; we’re returning time, freedom, and possibilities to women and girls.

Every dollar you donate will be matched up to $21,000, thanks to a very generous donor. With her support, your single act of generosity can turn into a wave of change, doubling the impact on women’s lives in Tanzania.

Help us change the narrative for women and water in Tanzania and create those blessings – one household at a time. Donate Today.