We are fortunate that we can take clean water for granted. But 23 million Ugandans can’t. And the poverty and lack of sanitation statistics are massive.
Much of Uganda is undrinkable open water and swampland. According to Water Aid, over 4,500 children under the age of 5 die a year from diarrhoea, and 8 in 10 people don’t have a decent toilet.
Helping to improve the humanitarian crisis in Uganda are two young Israeli women, Selda Edris and Mayes Morad, 26, who were water engineering students when they first saw the poor living conditions in Uganda.
Following their graduation, they joined the HELPAPP organisation, which aims to provide humanitarian aid to developing African countries and succeeded when they were able install a water purification device in a Ugandan community. It allowed the community to purify the water of a nearby swamp from which 900 schoolchildren drank prior to their arrival.
Before the installation of the purification device, the swamp water was boiled before drinking, but it was not an effective or practical method.
But with the help and advice of Edris and Morad, they were finally able to install sinks and taps in the schools and connect them to a proper purification facility. When they were done, the 900 children had running water.
"The joy in a child's eyes when he opens a tap to wash his hands and water comes out stayed with me," Morad said. "It's difficult to imagine that there are children in this world who don't have the most basic commodity — drinking water — just because they weren't fortunate enough to be born in the right place. Clean water is a basic right for every person in this world, regardless of where you were born.”
Also helping to alleviate these conditions is Water Aid, which has committed to working with the Ugandan Government to help bring them towards their ambitious goal of reaching everyone with clean water by 2040.
According to Water Aid, “we bring together people in health and education and put taps and toilets at the heart of hospitals and schools. To make an even bigger impact we work with citizens, particularly women and girls, and build their abilities to hold service providers accountable.”
Click here to check out Water Aid’s work and how you can help or contribute.