Nairobi, April 1, 2011—World Vision
, the Christian humanitarian organization, announced today that it is launching a US $120 million Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
(WASH) initiative to improve child wellbeing and community livelihoods for 4 million people in four out of its eight countries of operations in Eastern Africa.
The project has been designed to enable children and their families, living in remote and challenging areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to achieve sustainable access to adequate safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation. This will help reduce the vulnerability of people to the impact of adverse and harsh contexts like prolonged droughts
“It is unacceptable that nearly seven out of every 10 people across the areas targeted by the project do not have access to safe water. We see soaring numbers of children dropping out of school, increased exposure of children to physical and social risk; we see deaths of people and livestock, as well as amplified conflict and migrations during times of high water stress,” said Dr. Charles Owubah, World Vision’s Regional Leader for East Africa. “Access to safe water is a basic human need and vital to life,” he added.
This initiative is part of World Vision’s global Child Health Now
campaign to end preventable child deaths. Health research shows that washing hands with water and soap, in addition to safe food handling can reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases by a third. In Africa, diarrhoea is a leading killer of children under age five.
“Improved water quality, better hygiene and human-waste management will help save lives of millions of children who die of water-related causes. WASH is a critical intervention in enabling World Vision to attain its targets to see children report an increased level of wellbeing; an increase in the percentage of children under five years who are well-nourished; an increase in the percentage of children under five years protected from infection and disease and an increase in the percentage of children aged eleven who can read,” Dr. Charles Owubah explains.
World Vision will promote improved sanitation through appropriate household and institutional waste disposal facilities, including toilets and rubbish pits. Along the promotion of safe water and improved sanitation will be the promotion of good hygiene behaviors that are consistent with good health, including utilizing latrines, hand washing at appropriate times, safe water fetching and storage, disposal of infant / young children feces, sanitary rubbish disposal, and proper dishwashing, drying and storage.
World Vision will work closely with relevant government ministries to realize this vision as well as work with communities to improve their water accessibility, sanitation, and hygiene and their sustainability.
Through partnering with local and national institutions, the organization will support communities to drill boreholes, dig shallow wells, harvest rain water, embrace small scale irrigations and other water supply systems for community use.About World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews