A billion people in the world do not have access to clean water for domestic use. Development economists from the top universities in the United States rated providing clean water to rural villages as the most effective method to alleviate poverty in terms of impact and cost effectiveness. For every dollar invested in clean water and sanitation, an estimated $4.00 is returned in increased productivity.
Water Collection, Climate Change and Irrepressible Human Dignity
Let’s start with Water Collection
In both Nicaragua and Zambia, a vast majority of people live in the traditional way of their ancestors practicing small-scale subsistence agriculture and walking to surface water sources to collect water for their families and crops. Water sources are rivers, shallow pits, ditches, streams, or ponds frequented by domestic and wild animals as well as area families. In Africa alone, 200 million work-hours each day are consumed by women and girls collecting water for their families. When we drill a borehole well, access to clean water frees-up time for students to study, mothers to care for their children, prepare food, engage in crop production or other income generating activities. Most important of all, borehole or filtered water is safe, so villagers are no longer exposed to waterbourn disease which is associated with 80% of all illness.
Safer water means better health. International PEACE Projects delivers safe water through borehole wells and distributes water filter systems to bring safe and reliable water close to villagers. Our clean water solutions are cost-effective, resilient and sustainable and have proven to alleviate the disease burden associated with contaminated water. From the micro-level of households, to the macro-perspective of national economies, the global importance of clean water access and environmental education is shown to be the most effective tool for poverty reduction and health.
We strive to connect our borehole well and water filter programs with an integrated environmental health management program that conserves precious water resources through management of soils and forest resources and introduces environmental education into the classroom affecting daily resource management decisions.
We provide water test kits which allow villagers to detect the presence of bacteria in surface water - building awareness of sanitation and improving health through safe water!
And now Climate Change
The UN's International Panel on Climate Change reports that the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents with severe and pervasive impacts to vulnerable populations. Climate change is a clear and present danger. In Nicaragua and Zambia, climate change is seen in extreme weather events of drought and flood, climbing temperatures and a shift in the onset and duration of the rainy season. The result is crop failure, food insecurity, increasing poverty and threats to people's very existence. 80% of the population are small subsistence farmers practicing rain-fed agriculture. In decades past, nature would provide the water necessary to meet the everyday food needs of their families. Because of climate change, the ability to meet food needs is unpredictable - increasing the vulnerability of families and the potential for catastrophe!
Everyone must work proactively to protect the resilience of our water supply in the face of climate change. We are working with villagers to help them adapt to climate change by conserving riparian habitat, protecting water sources and teaching about the critical role forests play in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. We teach the importance of protecting trees because trees help in retaining seeping surface runoff and keeping water collection sites viable longer. Also trees help in rain formation and soil retention.
Risks from climate change are greatest in low income countries like Zambia and Nicaragua. This is exacerbated when access to water supply is limited. International PEACE Projects' borehole wells and water filter systems are a safeguard against climate change impacts. In addition, our environmental education programs deliver long-term benefits by building critical awareness of the connection between clean water, healthy forests, riparian habitat and maximizing rainfall benefits for crops and domestic use.
Water is required for life, livelihoods and prosperity. With each water project International PEACE Projects builds, we acknowledge the universal dignity of each human being.
The asperation for a higher quality of life for ourselves, our families and our communities is universal. It is an honor to be permitted to support the aspirations our family in Zambia and Nicaragua.
Every 10 seconds of every day, a child under five years of age dies from a water related illness in Zambia and Nicaragua. We lose 1,440 innocent lives daily.
Forty percent of all hospital admissions relate to unsafe water and lack of sanitation. Villagers rely on contaminated rivers, lakes and streams for their water needs because they have no alternative.
11% of the world’s child mortality is due to exposure to bacteria from dirty water which is associated with diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A, polio and diarrhea.
80% of illness in the developing world is attributable to contaminated water.