The villagers of el-Baradaa in Qalyubiya Governorate are angry and frustrated over a water cut that has continued for six months and is creating fears of a return of typhoid to the village. Villagers accused officials of failing to solve their crisis, and called upon the health and education ministers to pay a visit to the village.
El-Baradaa was hit hard by an outbreak of typhoid four months ago after sewage water contaminated water supplies.
"We wake up early waiting for carts carrying jerrycans provided by the water holding company, but there isn’t enough for the inhabitants here, who number more than 50,000," said Hanaa Ahmed, a villager.
Another inhabitant of the village, Fatheya Khaled, said, "We have to buy the jerrycans from Cairo to guarantee they are clean, because we are afraid of making our children vulnerable to swine flu, especially with the number of cases increasing as winter comes." Khaled said she does not send her kids to school so that they will avoid catching H1N1 (swine flu) and typhoid, and says that the mosque preacher called upon villagers to give their children water bottles to take with them to classes since the water available at schools is not suitable for human use.
Yusriya Said, a student at Al-Azhar institute, said, "Teachers warned us not to drink the water at school because it is impure, and advised us to bring water bottles from home."
Villagers demanded clean water in light of rising typhoid rates and the discovery of the first H1N1 case in the village.
Meanwhile Gamal Yehya, a lawyer, criticized the authorities’ withholding of the results of an analysis of water samples completed three months ago, saying that this indicated an intention to transfer responsibility for the water contamination to the citizens of the village.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.