Clean Water Projects
Rotary clubs across Ireland are changing lives in Africa by providing, through Rotary Ireland Project projects safe, clean and disease free sources of drinking water even in the dry season.
Water is the key to life, everything starts with water but in many parts of the world it does not simply come out of a tap. In areas of Africa women and children have to walk up to eight hours a day to collect water for their families frequently in 20 litre containers.
This water is often from unclean rivers or unsafe sources, contaminated by animals, parasites and waste from industries. The children in many cases are unable to go to school so their education suffers and the women do not have time to work in their communities.
Drinking contaminated water kills more people than all forms of violence including wars, several million people go blind each year by washing with dirty water and over 50% of all diseases in Africa are as a result of dirty water.
Rotary is changing this...
"Water harvesting" through wells, dams and rain catchment systems are a cost effective and innovative way of capturing and storing the annual rainfall to provide clean water all year round. Rotary Ireland over the last 2 years have been partnering Gorta (the oldest overseas development agency in Ireland) to help solve the water problems in the area and provide water harvesting through Project H2O (see here) and Project 538 (see here). With clean water communities become far better able to grow themselves out of poverty as health, school performance and agricultural productivity all improve.
Elaine Bannon, who for the last 10 years has lived and worked with the Maasai community in Rombo says: "Without Rotary, the people of my village would continue to suffer difficult lives, while they work long hours in the fields praying for rain for their crops. Now, thanks to Rotary clubs in Ireland, they have water security. Rotary has breathed life into these people and this area. From this helping hand, the people here will be able to support themselves now".