On Thursday 22nd January 2009 a group of us went to Kikaramoja, a slum on the outskirts of Jinja town. We have been working closely over the last year with the local government leaders to assist and identify orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC), widows and specific needs of the community.
Having seen the impoverishment and destitution of this community, I thought I had been geared up for what to expect at Kikaramoja. This was not so, for after spending some few hours there the children showed us the source from where they collect drinking water. The water source was stagnant and exposed to open defecation.
As we were conversing with the local children we saw two young girls walking towards us, carrying their jerry cans. As they timidly approach what they knew as a water supply, they squatted into the mud and started to scoop up muddy water to fill their containers. At that point I was so moved and angered with the injustice of what I had just witnessed.
My heart grieved to see the plight of these children, and as a result of their poverty not only do they have no access to primary education, food, or a shelter, but even the basics of life like safe drinking water, are not within their reach.
This sight should provoke, unsettle and challenge us to act, as no child should suffer or have to face such appalling conditions, especially in today’s world.
Clean water is something many of us take for granted, but over a billion people in the world do not have access to it and over 2 billion people lack basic sanitation. As a result, a child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases.
Millennium Development Goal 7 is about access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. This goal brings into focus the limited access to adequate and even basic sanitation of the world’s poorest people.
Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor sanitation.
Poor sanitation limits people’s ability to build sustainable livelihoods. When people’s basic needs for sanitation are met, they can address their long-term strategic needs. Equally significant to the health benefits of sanitation are the economic benefits. If you would like more information on how you can contribute to our Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WaSH) projects please contact us. YOU CAN HELP! Be part of the challenge to help make water and sanitation a reality for all!
By Voula Zacharias, Jan 2009