World Health Day | Stopping Waterborne Illness in Its Tracks
The stats don’t look great – about 2.4 billion people worldwide still lack access to safe water and hygienic sanitation facilities. Consequently, waterborne illnesses like cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and parasites plague communities lacking clean water and sanitation facilities (WHO, 2015).
But lasting improvement doesn’t just come through drilling wells, handing out jerry cans, or providing soap. 4africa’s dedicated long-term partnerships with vulnerable communities are what make us different from other nonprofits. We care deeply about the individuals we serve, and we keep in touch long after our wells are drilled to ensure they remain vibrant and healthy, now and for generations to come.
Transformation Happens Through People, Not Projects
We’re here to change the stats.
At 4africa, we focus on empowering our friends in East Africa to take charge of their own health so they can live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.
Tackling Waterborne Illness in Africa on World Health Day and Every Day
Every year on April 7, communities around the world come together to raise awareness about the global health crisis. This World Health Day, we want to celebrate the transformation that takes place when we work in partnership with people like you to tackle the health crisis in Northern Uganda!
Safe and clean water is the first line of defense when it comes to disease prevention. With each water well we drill, our teams also visit households and hold interactive community health sessions to train residents on preventative health, hygiene, and sanitation practices.
When people receive access to clean water—and learn about proper hygiene and sanitation practices – quality of life is restored. Kids return to school, parents return to work, and the burden of illness is lifted.
Deboru’s Transformation Story
In August 2019, 4africa drilled a well for the Owayi Community in Northern Uganda to provide clean, safe water to over 380 people. We recently checked in with our friends in Owayi to see how they’re doing. Deboru Alice, a 51-year-old mother of three, proudly shared her community’s transformation story:
“[Before], we were fetching from two open wells nearby. Unfortunately, they dried up each summer. So, we would walk to Terego District three kilometers away in search for water. We suffered from bilharzia and typhoid, and the place was infested with tsetse flies,” Deboru said.
During the weeks leading up to the drilling of the well, 4africa’s health team shared with the community about why they are chronically sick. The team demonstrated how to prevent hygiene-related and waterborne illnesses by constructing latrines, trash pits, dish-drying racks, and handwashing stations with available resources.
By implementing what they learned, Deboru and her neighbors soon found that clean water and improved sanitation practices make a big difference.
“I used to frequent the hospital before the borehole was constructed. But now, our community’s health has greatly improved,” Deboru continued. “We don’t catch waterborne illnesses that used to affect us because we have clean water, and we know how to prevent sickness. We keep the area around the well clean so the water does not get contaminated, and we no longer go to the tsetse fly-infested streams.”
Thanks to your continued support, our friends in Owayi have taken charge of their health! Today, the majority of households drink clean water and use restroom facilities with handwashing stations they built themselves. Instead of spending weeks in the hospital and money on endless treatments, community members like Deboru can focus on their families and the things that matter most.
We’re grateful for you, and so is Deboru:
“May the good Lord continue to bless the work of your hands so that you can continue providing clean, safe water to needy communities of Yumbe and beyond!”
We Do More than Clean Water
4africa has developed four collaborative programs to empower lasting change throughout East Africa: Water, Health, Leadership, and Ministry. To learn more about our other programs, check out Winnie Gift’s Ministry Story and Rebecca James’ Leadership Story.