"Clean water isn't a luxury...it's a basic human need"
Clean Water and Sanitation
What is the pillar? The clean water and sanitation pillar aims to improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities such as washrooms. By doing this Free the Children hopes to increase healthy living standards.
Goals Related to the pillar Goal six aims to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases which is also something that can be improved by clean water and sanitation increases. However, goal seven aims to ensure environmental sustainability. Goal six relates to this pillar because through sanitation and drinking clean water it will provide proper hygiene which will prevent diseases. For example many bugs have the ability to contaminate water and therefore spread diseases. Goal seven this relates to this pillar because by improving access to clean water, the water will be more safe to drink and basic sanitation will be improved. The goal set out by the United Nations was to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. This goal has not yet been reached but is at 82%, so it is well on it’s way.
Why is this goal important? This goal is important because by increasing access and sanitation to clean water, the amount of exposure to diseases would be reduced and time could be used more efficiently. For example children would not have to walk to get clean water but instead would be able to use that time to attend school.
Barriers of this goal Barriers to developing this pillar within some communities may be that there must be balance between communities before deciding who gets what and how much they receive. Such as ensuring that communities that are underpopulated and already have enough do not receive a significant increase in supplies because that project facility could be used in places which are overpopulated and do not have access. Putting facilities in places that do not need it would also result in waste of resources which is something that Me to We tries to avoid. Additional barriers may be that by increasing access, other natural resources may need to be cut down. Climate change would also be a potential barrier because of the loss of renewable resources such as icebergs.
Strategies to Support This Pillar
In general, Free the Children helps to improve access to clean water and sanitation by installing: -hand pump systems -hand-washing stations and latrines for schools -water catchment systems -building wells -piping clean water into schools & communities
Specific Projects Supporting This Pillar
Free the Children helped build a well in the Kono District of Sierra Leone, an area where contaminated water is an issue. After this area had experienced a decade long civil war, the national water and sanitation system of Sierra Leone was destroyed, and citizens were left at risk of catching serious waterborne diseases. By building a well, Free the Children helped to provide the people of Kono District to obtain water that is safe for basic necessities such as drinking, cooking and doing laundry.
Free the Children completed a water initiative called the Water Rafiki Friend Chain. This accessory is made of glass beads, and each chain is handcrafted by an individual living in a community in need. A fair amount of the money from purchases of rafiki chains goes directly to the individual who had worked to make the chain. This initiative helped to provide more than 94 000 people with access to clean water for one year in 2013.
Free the Children repaired a pipeline, delivering water straight to the homes of community members in Gulahuayco, Ecuador. Prior to this project, families living in this community used to have to carry heavy loads of water needed for drinking, cleaning laundry, and cooking very long distances.
Free the Children & the Community
Free the Children is an organization that operates with the good of the other in mind. The goal of this non-profit organization is to work in partnership with people in struggling communities with the future of children and childhood development in mind. An additional goal is to help the community achieve sustainability. Their efforts aim to help community members obtain the skills and education needed to cease to experience poverty, forever.
Before beginning a new project, Free the Children first approaches the government to ensure that members of the community will have ownership over the project that is to be completed. Community members must contribute to a portion of the project that is decided beforehand, whether it may be by contributing financially or physically, such as by helping to construct a well. In addition, Free the Children teaches community members waterborne disease prevention; providing these individuals with education will help reduce their risk of getting a disease.
This organization does not go to another country to bombard with their own ideas, but rather to listen and learn what the community is truly in need of. Free the Children then works together with local individuals to produce what is needed.
Free the Children works to bring about positive, long term change. Most often their projects are formulated to target more than one of the five main pillars. For example, by building a school, issues with health care are combated in addition with providing education. There have been projects where a kitchen and dining area have been built in the school so that there is a sanitary place to prepare and consume food and drink, and gardens can be planted to overcome malnutrition.
Ever since the Clean Water and Sanitation Pillar has been created, 1 000 000 people had an increased access to clean water, healthcare and sanitation.
Related Millennium Development Goal - Goal 7 Ensure Environmental Sustainability
The seventh Millennium Development Goal relates to the improvement of the environment's sustainability. To achieve this goal the United Nations hoped to increase the accessibility of clean water and sanitation, along with the integration of standard principles of sustainable development to reverse the loss of environmental resources. This goal is separated into four sub goals
To Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
To reduce biodiversity loss and to achieve a significant reduction in the rate loss.
Halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
To achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
The world has halved the proportion of the population that lacked access to improved water sources. 89% of the world has access to improved drinking water.
2.3 Billion people have gained access to improved water sources.
Over a quarter of the world's population has gained improvements in sanitation since 1990, but one billion people still resort to open defecation.
2.5 Billion people in developing countries lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
While the clean drinking water situation has improved substantially, a large portion of developing countries' populations do not have access to basic sanitation.
Free the Childrens Ideas: Clean water projects that students can support overseas: • a water and sanitation workshop for a community or school • a handwashing station • a latrine
Fundraiser or Awareness Raiser Ideas 1) WALK THE TALK Organize a “water walk” and walk in solidarity with young people all around the world-- particularly girls—who have to go long distances to reach a water source or firewood for their families. Set a date and make it a fun day of walking for all participating For more information, www.freethechildren.com/getinvolved/
How we feel we should get involved: We feel raising the awareness of how little clean water, and how little sanitation opportunities people have will be the best way for people to be involved. You will be able to see up close how hard it is to live with dirty water, and how difficult not having a lot of sanitation. We think people need to understand the situation on a more personal level in order to get involved. Showing people what it is like to have dirty water and not be able to sanitize yourself is much more effective then just telling people.