Imagine travelling two kilometres and back three times in search of water every morning before preparing for school.
That is not the only challenge because you have to compete with animals for the water from a river. Reporting to school late had become fashionable under such circumstances.
That was the story of Ms Mary Kofi, a student and resident of Sagnarigu Zongo in the Northern Region, for years until recently.
For Madam Rahma, also a resident of Sagnarigu Zongo, the long distances she trekked in search of water every morning affected her productivity at home, apart from the attendant health issues associated with drinking the water in its natural state.
She always had to boil some of the water to supposedly kill the germs before she and her five children and husband could drink it.
The danger Madam Rahma faced was that boiling the water from the river was not enough to turn it into safe drinking water for her household.
Other residents also had to contend with ailments when they drank water from the river, whether they boiled it or not.
Both young Mary and Madam Rahma have a better story to tell now as they can fetch water from a nearby mechanised water system provided by the Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF).