Without clean water, how can people stay healthy?
Lack of access to clean water is one of the most common public health challenges in many communities across the continent. We have been increasing access to WASH for more than 30 years, and it continues to be one of our priorities.
For communities in remote rural areas, the closest water source is often miles away from home. Fetching water for a household then becomes labor that takes girls and women away from education and economic opportunities. WASH access is not only a rural community issue; the urban population is expected to increase fourfold by 2050 and currently only 56% of city dwellers have access to a sewer connection. (From GmbH) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): 6 is ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, which we are working towards in both urban and rural communities.
What makes Amref Health Africa unique from other organizations building wells on the continent is that we have a three-pronged approach that ensures that our impact lasts for generations to come:
- Providing education on health and hygiene – We train volunteers in the community to visit their neighbors or hold group discussions where they educate them on preventing diseases and illness through clean and hygienic habits
- Building water and sanitation facilities – We hire and train local artisans to build WASH infrastructure using local, readily available materials to bring access to clean water and sanitation directly to communities, eliminating the need to walk far distances
- Training the community to manage each WASH facility – At some of the facilities we build, the community pays a small, affordable fee to use them. We train WASH committees – people elected by the community to manage the use and finances of the facilities and maintain cleanliness. This even becomes an income-generating activity for the committee members, who can use the fees collected to purchase hygiene supplies like soap to sell