On Friday, February 8, Floria, a resident of Lukachukai, Arizona in Apache County on the Navajo Nation Reservation, reported she was off to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to pay her fees for a water hydrant Running Strong for American Indian Youth® just installed at her home.
And she was glad to do so.
“Our whole house needed water,” she had told us, noting that the household of her and her husband, their daughter and son-in-law and her two “grandbabies” had to carry water with buckets from her sister’s house or travel to the Chuska mountain in Tsaile to get water.
But that was before her sister happened to meet Running Strong Navajo Water Project Manager Cassandra Chee-Tom who mentioned the Diné Naabeehó Tó Challenge program to her and suggested that Floria apply.
Her sister “helped start all the paperwork,” noted Floria. “I couldn’t believe how fast the papers went through.”
Because Floria’s home does not have indoor plumbing and a septic system, Running Strong was only able to install an outdoor hydrant, but that does not matter to her and her family members who now have convenient access to all the running water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing, right outside their door.
“I am happy to have the hydrant installed at my house,” she told us. “Now we don’t have to ask for water anymore.”
In the past year, thanks to our supporters, we have been able to connect 18 households just like Floria’s to the water line which runs through the reservation.
“Thank you very much. You all did something we are grateful for. Now I don’t have to take my water containers to my sister’s house to get water.
“The hydrant was installed on February 3 in one afternoon.
“Again, thank you!”
As far as Cassandra is concerned this is just what we do.
“Water is very precious on the Rez,” she commented, adding:
“Ahéhee'” (Thank you)