May 2009 eNewsletter: Ensuring Access to Safe Drinking Water

Tubewell testing in Bangladesh

Dear Friends,

Without water, life could not exist; it is one of life's most fundamental basic needs. Yet an estimated 1 billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation services (UN 2008). Almost 2 million children die each year due to lack of clean water and adequate sanitation (UNDP 2006). And, millions of women and girls, often at the expense of their education, spend hours every day fetching water.

Last month, I wrote to you about how The Hunger Project's (THP's) partners are taking "green" actions in their communities. The provision of safe drinking water is one of the topmost priorities of our programs in every region where we work. Our partners around the world are making enormous progress in this regard. Some of the highlights from the last six months are featured below.

Join THP in ensuring safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by investing now. You will be saving children's lives, allowing girls to return to school, and enabling people to lead healthy and productive lives.

Best wishes,

Jill Lester
President and CEO

Providing Safe Water in Ethiopia and Malawi

Fifteen safe water supply projects are under construction in Jaldu, Debre Libanos, Mesqan and Machakel Epicenters in Ethiopia to provide safe drinking water to the communities. Partners at Jaldu Epicenter also recently completed a project, in partnership with Rotary International, to provide safe drinking water to 6,000 members of their community. Learn more.

Between 2002 and 2007, partners in Malawi drilled 22 boreholes, which are still providing safe drinking water to 3,900 households (each household with an average of five people).

Waterborne Illnesses Reduced by 70 Percent in Uganda

In Uganda, via a partnership with Population Services International (PSI), we provided water treatment tablets to our partners in Iganga Epicenter. We also now have 253 volunteer leaders ("animators"), who are training people in water purification technologies. Waterborne illnesses have been reduced by over 70 percent in our epicenters in Uganda.

Tested Tube Wells in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, trained animators tested 1,750 tube wells to ensure water is clean and arsenic-free. Also, during the last six months, 11 special Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops focused on improving hygiene practices, sanitation and access to safe drinking water.

In Other News: Congratulations to Our Award-Winning Staff Members

So far in 2009.... THP-Uganda Country Director Irene Wasike Muwanguzi was awarded the Abel Award from the Abel and Friends Initiative in Uganda. The award recognizes leaders, innovation and professionalism in young professionals throughout Uganda and all of Africa.

THP-India Country Director Rita Sarin was honored by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Ladies Organization (FLO) for excellence in the field of NGO work, joining other high profile women leaders including a film personality, a CEO from the banking industry, and a noted environmentalist.

THP-Sweden Country Director Åsa Skogström Feldt was named "the most inspiring woman in Skåne" (the southernmost region in Sweden) at a Business & Pleasure event arranged by several organizations working with developing companies and entrepreneurs.

Making a Difference

Hosne Ara Asma, known as Asma, has been a THP animator in Bangladesh since 1997. After taking part in THP's special women leaders' training, she now regularly arranges courtyard meetings on issues such as sanitation, early marriage, nutrition and gender equality. In cooperation with other animators, Asma also runs three adult education centers.

Learn more about Asma.

Meet more of our partners.

Quote of the Month

"Water gives life to everything, including human development and human freedom."

-United Nations Human Development Report 2006