ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT
In Uganda, like most of sub-Saharan Africa, women and children's days often begin with the drudgery that is fetching water. Before starting the mile long walk to school, Frances is up before sunrise carrying a 20-liter jerry can weighing 44 pounds on her head, gathering water for her family. Before Brick by Brick partnered with her primary school, she would arrive with her classmates, and be sent off again to fetch water for the school. Day after day, year after year, precious class time is lost due to the lack of access to clean water. Sub-saharan Africans spend about 40 billion hours per year collecting water. That's equal to the work performed by the entire nation of France! This burden, which is carried disproportionately by women and girls, is more than a waste of time. While walking miles on remote rural paths to collect water, women and girls are especially vulnerable to rape and other acts of sexual harassment and violence.
Every year 1.6 million people die around the world due to diarrheal illness. In the time it will take you to read this newsletter 12 human beings, mostly children will have died, not from some mysterious or hard to treat disease but simply due to the lack of access to clean and safe water and sanitation. 1.1 billion people and over half the world's primary schools around the world lack this access. How is it possible that this problem has gone unsolved year after year, decade after decade, not for the lack of a solution but rather that of political will and smartly invested resources.
Brick by Brick is determined to be a part of the solution.
Since we began our work in 2004 in the Rakai District of Uganda, we have been focused on providing access to safe and clean water to our partnering communities. In everyone of the six universal primary schools that we have rebuilt we have constructed rainwater harvesting systems that ensure adequate clean water for all students and teachers. In partnership with the Peace Corp and other Ugandan NGOs, our social enterprise, Brick by Brick Construction Company has built over 90 such systems throughout Uganda, providing clean water for 100,000 people throughout the country. A 30,000 liter rainwater harvesting tank, which can provide adequate water for a school community costs $2,000. Now the good news.... if well maintained our rainwater tanks have a life span of 30 years or more, that's 18 cents per day to provide water for 500 students!
What can you do to guarantee clean water as a human right?
Over 12 million people in Uganda lack access to clean, safe water, so we still have a way to go. Brick by Brick is nothing without our powerful partners both in Uganda and here in the U.S. So here are a few ideas:
- Throw a Water Party Fundraiser with a goal of raising enough money for Brick by Brick to build a rainwater harvesting tank. You can save money by serving clean, cold water as your beverage of choice!
- Start a Crowd Sourcing project to provide clean water for an entire school of 500 students. We can provide pictures and great stories to get you started.
- You can partner with us in ensuring access to clean water for all children by clicking DONATE
For more information on how you can partner with Brick by Brick e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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