Meet Taku, an Oxfam public health engineer in Zimbabwe. She not only builds solar powered water systems in the poorest communities – she’s changing women’s lives in the process.

I was the only girl in my class, out of a class of 15.

I remember my grandma said, ”oh why are you choosing a male profession, what’s wrong with you my granddaughter.” But because it was something I really wanted, I had to take up the challenge.

I studied Agriculture Engineering, during which time I got the chance to take part in an internship specialising in irrigation. I found this job exciting and I looked forward every morning to going to work. It made me want to use my skills to make a difference in people’s lives.

Taku at the water tank 

Water is life

It’s my job to make sure communities have access to clean water. Most women travel a long distance to get water – over 2km, two to three times a day.

There are so many things that have to be done. So many interventions, so that we can always at all times, have water, that is safe for drinking, that is in good quantities for the people that need the water.

From our borehole, the water is pumped into the tanks, from the tanks then the water is conveyed underground with a pipe to various distribution points within the villages. Now,I hope I can help free the women’s time so they can work, learn and pursue their dreams too.

I want the best for my children. I want to encourage them to take a profession they really want, because when you do something out of love, out of passion you will definitely do a good job and achieve results.

Water Engineer Taku

I love water. Water is an entity. It is the resource that has always been there and will continue to be there.

Taku is working on an Oxfam funded solarpiped water system. The system will supply water to a local school and clinic as well as many families in the local community. 

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