Water is heavy when it must be carried

When there is a half hour walk to fetch clean water, you often compromise with proper hygiene. Juyang Hui from North Korea had to walk half an hour twice a day to reach the nearest well and fetch water for her family. The 34-year-old woman lives with her husband and eight-year-old son in the village of Sony outside Kujang.

Water is heavy and when it has to be carried a long way home, it is used carefully without being wasted. Shower is an expensive luxury, and pots and pans may not get the full cleaning after use. And when the water is stored in large buckets, bacteria from handwashing after toilet visits is easily mixed with the clean water. This was Juyang Hui’s everyday life since 2012, when her home was washed away by a powerful typhoon. Back then Mission East helped in rebuilding the houses, and now Mission East is, in cooperation with the local authorities, also constructing new water systems.

"The first day water came out of the tap, it was like a dream that came true," says Juyang Hui joyfully.

"There is better hygiene and better disease prevention now," she says. The fact that she now has water available in the house 24 hours a day makes the health of her eight-year-old son much better.