Not everybody knows what the African Water Crisis is. In Africa, over 2500 children lose their lives each day. Families are suffering from poverty. People are infected with vicious diseases like malaria, trypanosomiasis, and different kinds of intestinal infections. These diseases are especially taking a toll on the elderly and the children of Africa. But what could be causing these life-changing catastrophes? Bad water... that's what. Billions are going every day without one of the most important basic living necessities: clean water. Read on to find out what's happening in Africa, and how people are trying to help.
In Ghana, Africa, many women and children could be in school. They could be getting an education. But they can't. Why? Because they are out in the streets with yellowed containers searching for water. Some children just haven't gone to school in a long time simply because they've been looking for water every day.
Many of Africa's water problems have a lot to do with money. They are desperately lacking in fresh water, so their only second choice would be, for example, lagoons or other sources that are contaminated from garbage or other human pollutants.
Ghana is the center for water supply in Africa. They are currently are operating 81 water supplying systems that make approximately 142 million gallons of water each day. Unfortunately, the demand is about 242 million gallons per day, so all together they are about 100 million gallons of water short every single day! This means that they only cover 53% of all the water that is really needed. This is because they don't have the money or resources to do much more.
47% of people in all of Africa still do not have access to safe, drinkable water. So, the bad water in Africa isn't just causing many life-threatening illnesses, and poverty, but it is also depriving children of their education because they need to search for semi-clean water. This is a major problem, and it needs to be solved.
The Water Project collaborates with the communities by either hearing from them, or going out to look for the places that need fresh water themselves. They make sure to talk and collaborate with the community they're working with a lot.
2) “Community Education”
The Water Project has the people of the community participate in a learning session that teaches them about hygiene and sanitation before they can start to building the well. They do this by having group discussions, visiting houses, and participating in workshops. They learn how to dig latrines and build walls and roofs in order to keep the well clean. The Water Project also has the community realize that they will be the ones that have to look after the well in the future, so they need to take care of it. They also have the people contribute by providing certain materials, some money, and other things such as making food for the drill teams. The whole community contributes in the making of their new well.
3) “Installing The Wells”
The Water Project first has to get the permission from the government to start builind the well, and they also need to get a permit to drill. When this is done, they then actually have to drill the holes. After that, they add stems to the drill pipes for the water to flow through as they get deeper into the ground. Then they flush a special water mixture that's made with a chemical causes it to be thick through these stems, and when it comes back out the top it carries with it all the little rocks and rubble that the drills loosened in the ground. After that they put the pipes in, and then they add the concrete and install the hand pump for the well.
4) “Handing Over The Well”
After the well is finished being built, they need to further educate the community in workshops about hygiene and sanitation. They also teach them how to operate and work the well, and they test out the quality of the water. When this is done they can then ‘hand’ the well over to the community to keep and take care of.
5) “Monitoring/Evaluation and Impact Assessment”
The Water Project interviews, evaluates, questions, and observes the communities that they work in. They do this through all of the stages of building the well, because it helps them to improve and notice things that are going well. In this step they also fund for money (for things like gas to travel to the communities they're going to help). After the well is installed they assess it to make sure it is making a good impact on the community. They record things like the number of disease outbreaks caused by water before and after the project, and also over time. They also document things like the number of children who are attending school instead of walking miles and miles to go find water. The Water Project works to improve as much as they can, and also to help the people who are in need of fresh, clean water.
There are many problems with Africa's water. One of the biggest issues is with health.
Tiny worms and bacteria live in water. This is natural, and most of them don't even cause any harm. However, some of them CAN be devastating to humans and cause awful diseases. These tiny killers cannot be seen, therefore they can't be avoided. Each dirty glass of water could be capable of killing. Some of the water borne illnesses caused by this water include typhoid fever, cholera, malaria, trypanosomiasis, different trypes of intestinal infections, and many other diseases like chronic illness. Babies, young kids, and older people are especially at risk because their immune systems aren't as strong, so they are unable to fight off the diseases as well.
Another issue with dirty water is poverty. Many people are extra careful and boil water to kill any germs. Unfortunately, this is not an option for the worried mothers in Africa, because the feul to run a fire so that they can boil the dirty water is way too expensive. So, children just have to drink the water, and risk getting sick. If children DO have a water borne illness, they can't go to school, therefore they can't learn. These diseases drain the energy from a person, so it's very hard for them to get up and work and earn money. Also, if they're sick, then somebody else (most likely a family member) needs to stay home from work as well and take care of them. There is also the cost of an expensive medication if it is needed to heal the person who is ill, and the money spent on that can't be put forth to buy food, clothes, school suppplies, and other necessities. Not only is the bad water in Africa causing sickness, it is also causing poverty.
The Water Project is a group of people who work to provide water for the places and people that are suffering from lack of clean, safe drinking water. They work in teams and they collaborate to build a water project that is devoted to helping those who don't have access to drinkable water.
What Are They Doing To Help?
They are working to install water wells that provide clean drinking water that isn't dirty or contaminated with diseases or other germs.
The Water Project shows us that that there ARE good people out there, working for the greater good. You yourself can help out too by donating money. Just less than $20 can help The Water Project to supply for people who are deprived of the main basic living necessity: water. Find out more information about The Water Project, and how you can lend a helping hand to the people who need it here at their website: http://thewaterproject.org/
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