By Rotary Service and Engagement
According to the United Nations, there are still 663 million people around the world that don’t have access to clean drinking water.* When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives.
Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families.
During March, Rotary Water and Sanitation Month, take action to provide clean water and sanitation in your communities:
- Improve sanitation facilities by providing toilets and latrines that flush into a sewer or safe enclosure.
- Promote good hygiene habits through education. Proper hand washing with soap and water can reduce diarrhea cases by up to 35 percent.
- Implement rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for drinking or recharging underground aquifers. Build wells to extract groundwater from underground aquifers.
- Provide home water-treatment capability through the use of filters, solar disinfection, or flocculants, to make drinking water safe.
- Promote low-cost solutions, such as chlorine tablets or plastic bottles that can be exposed to sunlight, to improve water quality.
Looking for projects to support? Here are a few of the Rotary clubs looking for support on Rotary Ideas:
- The Rotary Club of Villa Real de Tegucigalpa in Honduras has been supporting a local primary school in a nearby village. The school has not received any financial aid from the local government in years and lacks electricity, a water system, the bathroom has no sewage system, and has unsanitary latrines.
The club has been supporting the school by remodeling classrooms, doors, the roof, painting the building as well as donating desks and books in partnership with their Rotaract club. The club is committed to investing in the community and wants to expand their project to improve water and sanitation at the school. Support this project.
- The Sorsogon Province of the Philippines is prone to natural disasters, leaving most local schools with destroyed facilities. Urinary tract infections and waterborne diseases are common in elementary students because of limited clean toilet facilities and handwashing stations.
The Rotary Club of Metro Sorsogon aims to bring facilities to 1500 students attending various schools in the region. After completing the project, the Rotary Club of Metro Sorsogon will continue to monitor the schools’ needs while facility maintenance will be handled by the school administration. Support this project.
- The Phoenix Secondary School in Durban, South Africa, has 927 students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. The students don’t have access to basic water and sanitation facilities including toilets, safe drinking water, clean surroundings and basic information on hygiene.
Schools can be a key factor in initiating change by helping develop healthy hygiene habits. Good hygiene behavior learned at an early age can lead to lifelong positive habits. School children can also influence the behavior of family members, both adults and siblings, and positively influence the community as a whole.
The Rotary Club of Durban-Clairwood Park is looking for a global grant partner to bring facilities and training to the school. Club members will host workshops to teach students, teachers and parents about hygiene, sanitation and conservation of natural resources. The club also aims to teach girls about menstrual hygiene management. Support this project.