Ester Faison, 8 years old, as she shows the wounds that remain in her leg one week after a crocodile attacked her when she was swimming while her mom washed some clothes in the river, on the 22 of March 2008.
Living in Chikuya Village (Liwonde, Machinga District), the Zambuzi river is the only means Ester and her neighbors have to get water.
"She's not the only scared one", Faison Simbwani, Esther's father says. "We are all terrified and we do not dare to go back to the river to get water; last night (30 of March 2008) the crocodile was sleeping in the bank". But they do not have any other option and they will have to go back sooner or later.
Very close to the Shire River, the longest one in Malawi with 402 Km, women in the areas around use rivers as source of water for domestic purposes. Even though NGO Water Aid has a project of Gravity-Fed Pipped Water to provide some areas with safe water from Chikara Hills, 34 taps are not enough for the 16.000 to 20.000 people living in the area they cover. Specially because the supply depends on pressure of the water, on the rains blocking the pipes and on other factors. The result is that many taps are not working or work with intermitent flow and women have, anyway, to go to the river. Ten people were attacked by crocodiles in 2006 in Chinduzi area �lose to Chikuya Village, where Ester lives�according to Mr. Alayanga, member of the Main Committee of The Gravity Fed Pipped Water Supply Skim and a villager in the area. They are mostly women and girls who, obliged by tradition, go to the river every day to fetch water, wash the clothes or have a bath.