Access to clean water is a basic human need and right. It’s hard for most of us to imagine that clean, safe water is not something that can be taken for granted. But, in the Nuba Mountains the war has made water scarce, unsafe and inaccessible in places.
Access to clean water is the foundation of all development in the Nuba Mountains. The lack of water is often the insurmountable obstacle of helping oneself. If you can’t grow food, you can’t build housing, you can’t stay healthy, you don’t go to school and you can’t keep working. Without clean water, poverty is inevitable.
Our aim is to bring a better life to the Nuba people by providing sustainable sources of clean water. An adequate supply of water, especially potable water, is the pathway to development in the Nuba Mountains. By helping the Nuba solve their age-old problem of scarce water supplies, we will improve their health and free the people to address other pressing needs such as education, finding work and building stable communities.
Dirty, diseased water leads to a cycle of sickness, lack of education, hunger, poverty and lost hope. It is needless suffering and often is the root cause of conflict between sedentary farmers and nomads
Health begins with access to clean water. With few medical resources at their disposal, the poor are particularly vulnerable to chronic illnesses that hinder their productivity, making the escape from poverty even more difficult. Beds are filled with people suffering from a water related disease. Babies need clean, healthy water. Living in the developed world with sophisticated water treatment, most every mother boils her tap water before feeding her child in order to make doubly sure it is safe. Imagine a village where there is no clean water to begin with. Boiling cannot eliminate all disease. In villages where access to clean water is provided the infant mortality rate can drop by 50%!
Relieving hunger in the Nuba Mountains has to begin with access to clean water. Without access to a reliable source of water, food is hard to grow and even more difficult to preserve and prepare. Due to the war, areas experienced a lack of water. It is a relatively simple economic issue that can be addressed. A small investment in a clean, safe source of water can have a huge impact.
The lack of access to clean drinking water is a cause of poverty in the Nuba Mountains. Poor health leads to poor productivity. If you’re not sick, you can work. Many of the reasons that un-developed areas of the Nuba Mountains remain is that they are caught in a cycle of poverty that is often the result of very poor health and nutrition.
With unclean water sources often miles away from villages, many of the able bodied members of a community are forced to spend hours each day simply finding and transporting water. This is incredibly valuable time. With much of one’s day already consumed by meeting basic needs, these hours lost to gathering water are often the difference between time to do a trade and earn a living and not.
Everyday, women and young girls carry over 20kg of water from sources kilometres from their homes and villages. This leaves little time for education which is critical to changing the long term prospects of developing nations. Schools cannot run programs if they cannot provide water to students, faculty and their families. Because so many adults are sick from unclean water, children are often left to manage homes, provide food and look after the sick. With the many additional burdens that a lack of clean water brings, education simply becomes less of a priority. This sets up an unfortunate cycle of poverty as without a proper education, there is little chance of improving one’s situation. Students who suffer from water borne illness can’t stay in class. They miss out on the chance to learn and the cycle of poverty continues.
Most people without access to clean water in the Nuba Mountains live right above it. In many cases the only thing preventing access to clean water is the money to dig a well using special equipment.
Clean water changes lives. Girls return to school and women are able to begin small businesses. Men are no longer too sick to work. Fields are watered and food supply becomes more reliable. Health returns and children grow up to be productive members of their community. The cycle of poverty is broken.