Ernest Mdunge, a blind man from Elandskop in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, has to walk 3km everyday to fetch water for himself and his mentally disabled sister.
According to GroundUp, Ernest Mdunge, a 49-year-old and his sister Bongekile Hlengwa, 46, live in a dilapidated hut built with bricks left over from a demolished house. The roof is made of grass, and rain and wind enter between the stacked bricks.
The family has no tap in the yard and Mdunge has to walk 3km to the "Jojo" water tank in the area.
“I use my feet to feel and guess if I’m still on the right path. Sometimes I hit myself on things and when that happens, I miss the path. I have to take steps back and try to find a spot that is familiar to my feet for me to find my way back.
“My trip to the water tank takes me more than an hour. I carry two 20 litre containers so that they last me for days.
“Sometimes a neighbour helps me by giving me water from his house, but it doesn’t happen always,” Mdunge says.
The pair survive on Mdunge’s disability grant and on vegetables he grows with seeds donated by neighbours.
Speaking from their home in Khokhwane location, Mdunge says his worst fear is that the house could collapse at any time. The roof has holes and the floor is wet as water gets in during the rain.
There is one bed with blankets and a pile of clothes belonging to Hlengwa.
The house was built as part of a project by the Vulindlela Development Association (VDA).
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