“Water is gold” was a comment made by a community leader in a community we visited in Swaziland. This sentiment is particularly apt in developing countries where access to clean, portable water is rarely a reality, particularly in rural areas. In Africa alone there are 345 million people without access to water.
Women and children bear the burden every day for water collection, often walking miles to collect unprotected, unsafe water that can carry diseases that can cause sickness or even death. The hours it takes to get water keeps both women and children from school, work, earning an income and taking care of their families, thus perpetuating the poverty cycle.
In a landlocked country like Swaziland access to water inevitably comes through ground water. Most of it has not been tapped into. Thousands of boreholes have been drilled in the country however, an alarmingly large percent of the community’s water projects are not functioning, with those in charge of these water projects often lacking the knowledge needed to keep them running.
The World Health Organisation reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Accessible and clean water not only reduces disease but increases time for children to play and study, and increases time for women to pursue small business and care for their family.
Operation Hope funded its first community water tank in 2009 with a partner organisation (Possible Dreams International). This water point continues to service 3000 people with incidences of diarrhoea reported to have reduced dramatically.
As part of family and community health, Operation Hope continues to provide water tanks, pit latrines and teach on the importance of hand washing and sanitation.
In small rural communities, the majority of water issues revolve around lack of access and knowledge. Operation Hope works with these community leaders and water committees to increase education and knowledge about the systems and structure in their country in accessing water. We do this in partnership with Rural Water and Swaziland Water Corporation. Communities are informed on how they can access funding, how to build a pit latrine, how water pumps work and how to fix them when they break down.
Clean water means improved health, income and education and so becomes a vital component in ending the cycle of poverty.
A 5,000 litre water tank, with tap lock, delivery and installation on a block and concrete base costs approximately AU$450. If you would like to help towards providing a family with this life-changing investment please contact us.