Rohingya Rehydrated

The black water reservoir is one of many installations Friendship has put up for the Rohingya people. Photo Credit: Syed Wasama Doja

Unrelenting, the sun bears down on Ayesha with all its fury. She’s not alone, shuffling along through the blazing, desiccated inferno that unfolds itself in front of her. Few human needs are greater than thirst, and Ayesha is very thirsty, as are her companions. Having stepped out of the frying pan into an almost literal fire, she hasn’t had a sip of clean, drinkable water in much too long for her fragile, withering frame. But she is in equal measure resilient, so she labours on, leaning into the band of ragged fabric slung over one shoulder, barely holding in all belongings she has in the world and a child cradled in the crook of her opposing arm.

With no understanding of Bangla and no interpreter in sight, she grits her teeth, heaves a sigh and rolls the dice. She heard there’s water available at Balukhali 2, so she made her way there despite her failing strength, the stiffness in her joints and the dull, throbbing dehydration headache pounding within her skull.

She takes a turn towards the dispensary, hoping to find her salvation, and there, looming over her, stands a large, black reservoir, the Friendship logo emblazoned across its chest. Used by the makeshift mosque, aid workers, military and the convenience of any passer by, the tank is brimming with fresh, clean drinkable water.

Her parched, chapped lips crack open in a grin, and this time her sigh is one of relief. She wipes her brow, sets her bag down and steps forward. She won’t be thirsty today, and neither will her bright eyed infant.

This is just one of the many installations by Friendship, and hopefully one of many more to come through your generosity and assistance.

For more information about Friendship please visit www.friendship.ngo

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