By Shyamsunder Panchavati
Healthier Water Means Children Can Go to School
I am pleased to share with you an article about the work done by the development Agency Outreach International to change the lives of children specially the girl child.
Thanks for reading this,
Imagine: keeping your children out of school so they can walk miles a day to the nearest stream to get water, filling large containers and carrying them on their heads or backs. Then, although you have water, there’s no purification or treatment so the desperately needed water also makes your family sick from water-borne diseases. It’s an endless crushing cycle.
Healthier Water Means Children Can Go To School
In Malawi, a small country in southern Africa, there is no infrastructure here to process clean water from streams and creeks. And without sanitation systems, toilets, and plumbing the waste from people and animals in the forests eventually ends up in the water.
“The people worked together for a long-term solution: installation of 12 wells benefiting 8500 people in five villages, reducing water-borne disease by 60%.”
Chiwa was only 7, the oldest girl of the youngest four children, but strong enough to go to the creek everyday with other children from the village. She hoped to go to school this year, but then, who would get the family water? Her family needed it for washing, cooking, drinking. She was the one to go.
So four miles there and back, carrying the heavy water. Then the water has to be boiled for drinking, cooking, washing. If it isn’t, and sometimes even when it is, water-borne disease is present, and the results are diarrhea, worms, dehydration, cholera, and worse.
When Chiwa got home after fetching the water, her friends were coming home too, from school. She wanted to be in school. Some children had bright new uniforms, and much to talk about. Someday maybe she could go… that’s what she wished for many months ago.
Today Chiwa goes to school, a very different life for this little girl. Outreach International trained facilitators to help people help themselves, and people in the village have begun to turn things around. The village identified the lack of infrastructure sanitation and water systems that were keeping them sick and keeping their children out of school.
The people worked together for a long-term solution: installation of 12 wells benefiting 8500 people in five villages, reducing water-borne disease by 60%. Installation of two shallow wells and one borehole further reduced disease in one village by 55%. Thirty-six toilets were installed in homes and between homes reducing the need for people to use the bush or forest. All to build a system of health and well-being for thousands of residents, and hundreds of children who now didn’t have to spend all day hauling bad water. Now Chiwa spends her days in school.
Outreach International’s work creates healthier lives for children like Chiwa and their families. Support sustainable good today