Access to safe, clean and sustainable water supplies is essential for life, particularly crucial for the survival and development of all children. Without water, children simply cannot stay alive or thrive in a healthy environment.
In Uganda many people have NO access to basic water and sanitation facilities. Access to safe water supplies throughout Uganda is 65% and access to improved sanitation is 48%. These figures have improved drastically over the past 10 years, however, there are still many communities such as the Khangi Village (both urban and rural) that rely on contaminated water sources such as streams and open wells.
More than half of all residents in Uganda do not have access to improved sanitation, sharing overcrowded pit latrines or practicing open defecation. As a result, residents collect water from alternate contaminated sources. This causes frequent outbreaks such as waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery (these diseases have been almost eliminated through water and sewage treatment from industrialised countries over a century ago). Without access to safe water, many farmers struggle to grow crops or even earn a living, trapping them in poverty.
CUE The Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation (ASTCF).
The ASTCF WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) projects help communities obtain adequate supplies of safe water and sanitation facilities by drilling new borehole wells, repairing existing wells, developing spring and rainwater catchments, providing water storage, building community filtration systems and constructing latrine pits, refuse dumps and surface water drainage systems.
These initiatives become sustainable as community members are trained to repair and maintain the infrastructure and serve on water and sanitation committee that oversee community improvements. ASTCF also implement public health initiatives such as hygiene education for children and adults, including proper hand and face washing to prevent disease. (Something as simple as regular hand washing with soap can reduce the number of incidents of diarrhoea saving lives!).
Over the next 5 weeks I am volunteering in WASH and Public Health projects in the Khangi Village.
During this time I will be educating and promoting awareness on the benefits of personal hygiene and building some much needed infrastructure.
HOWEVER, education alone doesn't necessarily result in improved practices. Promoting behavioural change is a gradual process that involves studying existing beliefs, defining motivation strategies and working and encouraging practical steps towards positive practices. These new practices can only be realised and implemented with the correct infrastructure in place.
CUE My amazing community of family and friends.
ASTCF is a not for profit organisation that is 100% financially self supported through individual contributions. Building materials for the pit latrines and the digging of clean wells are a significant cost and without the help and support of people's donations the above projects are not able to be completed.
The cost of a PIT LATRINE is $1750 AUD, whilst the cost of a NEW WELL is $2500. I am hoping to be able to fund the materials and building of a new PIT LATRINE over the next 5 weeks and am asking for your help to make this a realisation.
Any donation no matter the amount is significant and I can assure you, your donation has a direct impact on the community without any of the funds being distributed to large overheads and administrative costs like many of the larger well known international organisations around.
By supporting ASTCF, we can all help provide a promising future to the children and communities of the Khangi Village, reducing the prevalence of WASH related diseases and improving the quality of life and health for the people of Uganda.
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