Her goal: to raise awareness of the problems of kilometers that many Africans have to travel to access water.
wearing simple sandals and traditional dress, the walker focused her message on placards:
“In Africa, women walk that distance every day for drinking water… Help us reduce the distance.”
“Every day, we will collect water and it is very far,”
she explained before the race. This slender woman agreed to leave for the first time her country to slip amid the 54,000 marathon runners for she said:
“Help herself, help her family and her village.” “This helps them get water…”
“Africans are tired.”
This participation is highly symbolic, while on the same day in Daegu, South Korea, opens the 7th World Water Forum, organized by the British NGO Water for Africa. It has launched a named fundraising campaign – The Marathon Walker – whose purpose is to finance water pumps in African villages including Bullenghat, home of Siabatou Sanneh.
According to Sheryl Greentree, founder of the NGO, the objective of Siabatou’s journey is also
“Show the contrast between the opulence and beauty of Paris compared to the poverty of Africa”
she has told AFP.
A pumping well costs 4,900 euros and can be mounted in five days, said Sheryl Greentree whose NGO has financed 120 projects of this type in the Gambia.
Siabatou Sanneh must fetch water three times a day, accompanied by her two daughters, 10 and 4 years who also used to carry heavy bottles to carry the precious liquid, necessary
“To drink, to cook, to wash clothes.”
“Since I was born, I saw my parents do that, I am doing it, and I show my children”
she says. But sometimes, especially during the rainy season,
“Water is not very good and the kids get sick, have diarrhea because of the water.”