by Sussanah Ngwuta

I was born in the United States but left with my family for Nigeria, the country of my parents, at the age of four. I lived in Nigeria for 13 ½ years, in a place that one would call a remote primitive village turning into a city. Its residents were comprised of people who lived from hand-to-mouth and suffered greatly from a lack of any significant infrastructural development. Everyday, I had to wake up extremely early to look for water and walk miles upon miles to find it.

Our situation got worse during the dry season as the wells dry up and out of desparation people would dig holes in the ground and sometimes, miraculously water did come out. The stark reality was that finding water to drink or even bathe in was never a guarantee.

Each time I set out on foot to look for water, saying a prayer was a must. And even upon arriving to a place where there was water, I still had to wait in a long queues before it was my turn to get it. Sometimes after waiting for hours and hours, by the time it was my turn the water would be either finished or the level too low to get any water at all. As a girl, I felt vulnerable to falling prey to desperate and exploitative men. Sometimes there were “bullies” who were very disrespectful and hostile. The unfortunate part is that the government receives money every year to drill bore-hole wells, but it is embezzled before it gets to the people.

Sussanah Ngwuta, a volunteer for Wells Bring Hope, returned to the U.S. in 2006 and started at El Camino College. Six months later she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Political Science at California State University, Long Beach. Currently she is pursuing her Masters in International Relations. Her passion to make a difference and positively impact the lives of others in developing countries and that is what attracted her to Wells Bring Hope.