Through Their Eyes: COVID-19 Chronicles with Jane Maitha

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Our team recently visited Ilandi Community to conduct a COVID-19 prevention training and monitor their water point. We checked in on the community and asked how the pandemic is affecting their lives.

It was during this most recent visit that Jane Maitha shared her story of how the coronavirus has impacted her life.

Jane Maitha

Our team met Jane outside her home to conduct the interview. Both our staff and Jane observed physical distancing and other precautions throughout the visit to ensure their health and safety. The following is Jane’s story in her own words.

How has COVID-19 impacted your family?

All my children who were working and supporting me from other towns are currently at home and jobless which has affected us, again, I used to have a small shop here at Nzalae market. I had to use all my savings and capital on food purchases at home, which led to the closure of the shop as the operating capital and stock were used at home.

How has having a clean water point helped you through the pandemic so far?

I am one of the families living nearest to the water projects in our locality, having unlimited access to water from the well has been helpful to us, we are using the water for handwashing, drinking and cooking at home. Water access is crucial to using tippy taps at home for constant handwashing.

Jane washes here hands.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, has fetching water changed for you because of restrictions, new rules, or your concerns about the virus?

We were supported in the construction of two dams and shallow wells. These projects are helping us in the times of this pandemic. We can get clean water from within the village with fewer interactions with people from outlying areas. Again, the water is helping us maintain regular hand washing as advised in the prevention of the corona disease.

How has getting food been at this time?

Now that I am no longer working and earning money from my business at the local market, I depend entirely on my small farm produce to feed my children who are at home. I had made a good harvest in the previous rain season, which is helping me sustain my family. The biggest challenge has been getting industrial products from the shop because they require money.

This post is part of a series by The Water Project meant to highlight the perspectives and experiences of the people we serve and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. We invite you to read more of their stories here.

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Tom Murphy

Tom is a Program Officer with The Water Project after working as a humanitarian journalist for 8 years. His work appeared in publications ranging from the Guardian to Foreign Policy to NPR, covering topics including water in India, agriculture in Kenya, public health in Haiti, and electricity access in Ghana.