Water & Sanitation

The Needs

Clean water and basic sanitation are basic rights for every child. Without them, diseases become rampant and infant mortality rates increase. Women and children are the most vulnerable, bearing the chore of water collection duties, often trekking miles to the nearest water source. For example, Africans spend 40 billion hours each year just walking for water*. Children also are unable to attend school due to illness or water collection duties. In particular, females are at risk of being harassed and sexually assaulted.

*Stanford University, 2012

Key Challenges

Geographic Constraints

The poor have no resources to move away from where they are born, even if they live in parched lands with limited rainfall. For them, the daily struggle to get enough water for farming and daily consumption is just their way of life.

Lack of Infrastructure

Without proper water pipelines, children, usually girls, walk hours to and fro each day carrying heavy loads of water from the nearest water source instead of going to school.

Unprotected Water Sources

Rivers, streams and other watering holes are exposed and are susceptible to contamination from animals who drink from the same source and human activities like open defecation.

Water-Borne Diseases

Infectious illnesses like diarrhoea and typhoid spread through unclean water. Because hygiene levels in rural areas are low, these diseases spread even more easily.

Poor Sanitation and Hygiene

There is poor awareness of good sanitation habits. As a result, practices like open defecation is commonplace and people are not aware of preventive measures to stop disease transmission.