With a view at reaching a huge number of those at the bottom of the pyramid especially those with limited political voices and lobbying capacities, our project recently (10 – 15th February, 2012) organized a workshop in Owerri, Nigeria for female headed households and other groups. The workshop was aimed at maximizing the opportunities of scale at improving the quality of their drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and freeing the poorest people from the burdens of ill-health. In other words the main aim of the workshop was to support vulnerable women and children of poor households in target communities to overcome the basic obstacle posed to their social and economic development by poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Part of the workshop program was supporting this vulnerable population to sustainably access clean and safe drinking water through the construction and installation of 1000 Bio-sand water filters in their homes etc. Activities included:
1. Staging of interactive WASH Workshops for women
2. Training of 45 women and girls in filter making
3.Supporting 1000 female headed households with water filters
4. Following up support services for 2 years (2012 – 2014)
5. Report and Articles in local and international conferences and journals
The project is obliging many local households the robust opportunity of good health which the scaled up production of the filters provides. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that as many as 80% of all infectious diseases in the world are associated with insufficient and unsafe water, and this is in abundance in our work area. This is particularly well established for diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, infectious hepatitis, amoebic and bacillary dysentery etc. The prevalence of some of these sicknesses in the region is well documented. Diarrhea in particular remains a killer disease, especially for babies and children below the age of five. Safe, adequate and accessible supplies of water combined with proper sanitation, are surely basic needs and essential components of primary health care. They can greatly help to improve the health of underprivileged populations in communities in the Niger Delta. Public health concerns associated with industrial pollution, and poorly managed on-site sanitation systems are yet to abate in oil producing communities hence giving relevance to our filters. In these Niger Delta communities water pollution has continued to impair water sources and threatening the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in the communities. Our filter continues to provide a reliable, accessible, adequate and cost-effective water treatment device for poor households. Our Point-of-Use multi-barrier filter technology has proven significant at reducing intestinal illnesses particularly among children who are prone to stomach pain, diarrhea, dehydration and death due to the contaminated water they drink. In the region, over 25% of children under the age of five die every year from effects of drinking unsafe water. Also barely half of the population has access to disinfected water; while 80% of illnesses detected in the region originate from the water people drink. Sadly about 95% of the population depends on the potentially contaminated water points; and worse still, over 50% of the people are without access to sanitation. We are grateful to Global Giving and all our benefactors and donors who use its platform to reach us with the critical funds required in achieving our objectives. Please accept our warm gratitude and appreciation. Please kindly do not get bored or fatigued in supporting us. Thank you!