In 2016 students from Thompson High Schools Science Academy traveled to Honduras where they installed three Water Clorinators provided by a not –for-profit called Water Step. (Each of the Water Step clorinators are the size of a coffee can and can treat up to 10,000 gallons of water per day). The high school students installed one clorinator at one of the Skilled Knowledgeable Youth’s (SKY) Sister Schools, another at the free medical clinic, “Clinic of the Angels” and a third in a barrio named “Olvidado”.
Olvidado means forgotten! This is a small monotones community riddle with poverty. Many of the residents live in mud huts and have no access to electricity. SKY team embraced Olvidado and showed them that they are not forgotten by providing them with a lifesaving water chlorinator provided by WaterStep. The team further equipped the free medical clinic with a bleach maker (which can make a gallon of bleach every 90 minutes with a strong enough concertation of bleach to kill the Ebola virus) to clean their medical utensils and facilities.
200,000,000+hours are spent each day collecting water.
Dying from unsafe water is common, but even more people are living with it. Sickness from dirty water and the time spent collecting it takes its toll. The burden of water collection traditionally falls on women and children – 71% of water collection in Africa is done by women and girls.
Once the water is collected, it may not e be safe to drink. If you spend hours a day carrying water for your family, or have to stay at home because you’re sick with diarrhea, you cannot go to school, learn a skill, or take care of your family life.
Health, education, and work all start with water.
While the problem is huge, the solutions are simple. Using simple tools and effecting training, an empowered community can learn to take care of their own water for generations.
Water is the first step to achieving health, getting an education, and learning work skills. Water can transform a community. One community we helped once had a full medical clinic and an empty school. But now the picture looks more like this:
Children live past the age of five, and women do not suffer from carrying heavy loads of water for their family. Overall community health improves.
Healthy children have the energy to attend school and the mental clarity to learn the skills that will help them have a successful life.
Women spend less time carrying water, which means they can focus on other things like learning work skills and taking care of their families.