Maribel, principal of the indigenous school at Cauchero, Bocas del Toro Province of Panama, rounded up 36 small jugs and plastic containers from a nearby village..
When the rains came she stopped what she was doing and rushed toput the plastic jugs out to catch rain. But that was just the start.
She said, "I had to work nonstop to move them around so they'd catch the most rain, put them upright when the wind blew them over, and empty them when they got full -- then get them backout again fast. Every drop was precious." "I was doing a non-stop 'jug-shuffle,' " she laughed.
"By the time the rains stopped I was so tired I could hardly move.I started out hoping for rain, but was soon hoping it would stop or at least slow down, so I could take a break."
I called the kids, and they came from their classes to drink their fill.85 thirsty kids can drink a lot of water, so it was soon gone."
Operation Safe Drinking Water heard of her dedication to her kids and loaded a 600-gallon rain catchment tank on board our boat and headed out to her school.
Half of her students had been out sick from water-borne diseases. She says, "now no more than 10%" are out sick.
"Now whens it rains we watch the big tank fill. When we use it up it refills again in the next rain -- on average about once a week. We now have enough clean water for our school and the village, too."
Operation Safe Drinking Water has installed 110 rain catchment systems like Maribel's at indigenous schools and villages.
But many more principals still have to do the "jug-shuffle" when it rains to get safe water for their kids.
They need your help to get a rain catchment tank of their own.
No one can live without safe, clean water.
Plastic jugs or a rain catchment tank? Your donation can help make the difference.
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