Within the next minute, another child under the age of 5 will die from diarrhea caused by the lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices. At Food for the Hungry (FH), we don’t think that’s okay. One of the ways we help parents raise strong and healthy children is by providing water and sanitation projects in the communities where we work. You can read more about those programs here.
We’re honored to show you images (below) that result from those life-saving programs.
Providing Clean Drinking Water
When people and animals share the same source of water, disaster results. FH helps communities provide water troughs to keep animals away from the water humans will drink. In this photo, camels in Ethiopia are drinking from one of those troughs. Previously, they waded through the water that women and children brought home for cleaning, drinking, cooking and washing. Children often would contract waterborne diseases that are now prevented.
In most places, like Rwanda, the problem is not that there is no water. The problem is that it is not clean. Would you want to wash clothes in this water? Imagine drinking it – or having nothing better to give your children. Another issue is that women and children often must walk long distances to the nearest source of water – like this one. It keeps the children out of school, and keeps mothers from being at home to care for their children. FH helps by providing community wells, offering clean water from protected sources.
In communities where water is available from natural springs, FH staff work to cover and protect the source from human and animal pollutants so that the water is potable. Mothers can give their children clean water to keep them healthy, and the mothers spend less time away from the home to fetch water.
Thank you FH for bringing good water to my home in Cambodia!
Teaching Safe Hygiene Practices
FH helped to provide this girl’s school with a well. She’s clearly delighted that can turn the handle and clean water comes out. FH also trains communities on the importance of safe hygiene practices, such as washing hands after using the bathroom and before eating. This practice is often taught through songs – teaching parents and children alike the proper amount of time to scrub with soap and rinse with clean water.
Improving Nutrition and Livelihoods
This Ethiopian woman is watering the vegetable garden that FH helped provide. Before she had a nearby source of clean water, she couldn’t carry enough water to meet her family’s nutritional needs. They ate almost exclusively grains and root crops like potatoes. Now, not only are the children healthier, the family can sell what they don’t eat – offering a valuable source of income.
Keeping Children in School
Easy access to clean water helps to stop the cycle of poverty. Without a source nearby, children often spend hours each day fetching water. Bringing home an adequate daily supply may require several hours of hard work. Educations are forfeited for the greater good of the family. How far can you carry a five-gallon container of water? Each container weighs 40 pounds!
Brothers, sisters and cisterns in Nairibi. FH in Kenya builds storage tanks and cisterns, typically near the local school. Rainwater from the school roofs flow into the cisterns. Potable water can be trucked in by the government to fill the storage tanks. These tanks and cisterns are a necessity in drought-prone regions.