Imneizel is home to a Bedouin community that relies on livestock and agriculture to survive in an almost desert-like climate.
A remote “Area C” village in the Hebron Governorate, Imneizel had no water network until Anera’s Palestinian Community Infrastructure and Development (PCID) program intervened to build a water tank and install water pipes and house connections.
Now, Hajje Fatmeh washes her hands in water flowing from a new tap. An old lady in her 80s, the wrinkles on her face and hands tell stories of years of hard work. An embroidered braid decorates her head and defines a sense of belonging to the village traditions.
Hajje Fatmeh recounts the innumerable hardships she had to bear to provide water for her household and cattle. “I endured a lot to get water for my family. I would walk for an hour every other day to the village well and carry back five buckets of water – four on the donkey and one on top of my head!”
Finally, Enough Water for Hajje Fatmeh and her Cattle
Collecting enough water has always been Fatmeh’s primary concern. “I would wake up thinking about it and go to sleep worrying about the next day’s struggle to collect water,” she explains. Fatmeh had to make sure she had enough water for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and above all, watering her cattle. Fatmeh sighs, “My cattle are my bread and butter. We have almost thirty heads and it’s my responsibility to make sure they have enough water.”
The community of Imneizel also need lots of water for preparing their traditional yogurt, kashk, which they produce from their cattle. Fatmeh explains, “It’s a long process. We start with the milk and end up with hardened yogurt. To reach to the final stage, we really need a lot of water.”
Now that Hajje Fatmeh can access clean, piped water, she could not be happier. “I have lived my whole life in Imneizel. Many people had to leave because of the lack of water. But this is where I belong and enjoying water in my home is a blessing and a reward for all my years of suffering!”
From someone who has endured so much hardship just to access water for years, take this advice from Hajje Fatmeh, “Fight for every drop of water. Having [water] in your home is a blessing of incalculable worth!”
This project is funded by USAID. Learn more about Anera’s PCID program in Palestine>>