Ten years ago, Priscila heard from some friends that her local Water Users’ Association needed a water seller who could read, write, and do maths. Immediately she knew she was the person for the job. After an interview, Priscila was hired. And for the past decade, she has provided water to her community in the city of Blantyre, Malawi.
“The community comes in large numbers to draw water from the kiosk,” she explains. “Most of my customers are women and girls.”
Priscila has received ongoing training and support from the Water Users’ Association on topics like bookkeeping and customer care, ensuring the service she provides to her customers is high-quality and sustainable. For two years in a row, her work has helped her district of Blantyre sustain water services for every community – a big step towards ensuring that every single person has reliable water services.
Priscila knows her job is important for the health and wellbeing of her community and she has seen big changes.
“Water has indeed changed the lives of people in this community,” Priscila shares. “We used to have frequent diarrhoea, and during rainy seasons the cases of cholera were high. This was due to the water sources that people used to draw water from.”
While water has transformed life for her entire community, Priscila’s job as a water seller has transformed her own life as well.
“Since I became a water seller, I have been able to feed my children and send them to school,” she says happily. “I pay rent on time, buy clothes for my family, and have capital for my business.”
Some evenings after she closes her water kiosk, she goes to the market and sells food. Her profits from selling water have given her more money to invest in this second job. As a single mother, she now has more security in providing for her two children.
“I am proud every time I go to the kiosk,” says Priscilla with a smile on her face. “I enjoy selling water and interacting with all my customers.”
Photo credits: Water for People