Water & COVID-19 Crisis Appeal
Your support will help us provide all-year-round clean water, hand washing facilities and to promote good hygiene practices to vulnerable children and families from the remote, rural Kerewan Sitokoto school and local community in the Nianija district in central Gambia.
Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene can transform the fortunes of whole communities. It saves and improves lives and provides hope to those who need it most, and, with your help, the Behati Foundation intends to do just that.
The Kerewan Sitokoto community and schoolchildren are suffering from a desperate lack of clean drinking-water and hygiene facilities.
Over 800 people, the majority of whom are children, get all their water from one shallow communal well with a rope-bucket-pulley system. During the dry season, or when the well dries up, the community fetches water from a nearby stream. Both sources are contaminated with faeces, bacteria, parasites, sewage and animal waste.
The only well in the village used by over 800 people.
Soap is a rare luxury, the benefits of good hygiene are not understood and hand-washing facilities are non-existent. All of this has a major impact on the health and well-being of the community, particularly the children. The water they drink transmits diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and polio, and contributes to dehydration and stunting. It accounts for majority of all school absences and, in far too many cases, can prove fatal.
This situation is felt most acutely by women and young girls as they are responsible for fetching water in almost all households. They walk, with heavy buckets, on average 6 hours a day often in extreme conditions, just to get contaminated water. They are also the ones who care for parents and siblings when they become sick through drinking contaminated water, meaning that girls are most likely to miss school or dropout altogether. This also means that the woman in the community find their chances of generating much needed additional income greatly limited.
And, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, with no access to clean water and hand-washing facilities, along with a lack of understanding of good hygiene practices - particularly the habit of wand washing with soap - children and families have much less chance of protecting themselves against the spread of the deadly virus.
HOW WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Your money will go towards the cost of installing a much needed solar-powered water system, water tanks for supplies at night or in reserve for cloudy days, and hand washing facilities. It will also be used to promote hygiene awareness campaigns for our most remote partner school in the Kerewan Sitokoto community.
With your help we will provide the community with the facilities needed to save lives and build brighter futures for more than 500 children and their families, whose lives are blighted by poverty and contaminated water, leaving them defenceless against lethal diseases and viruses, including COVID-19.
The need is urgent. The action we take today will:
- ensure local children are free from waterborne disease, stunting and malnutrition
- help prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis in this already battered community
- allow girls to access school and stay in education for longer
- provide water to help grow crops at the school, supporting the local community in tackling hunger
- help prevent children and women from spending hours every day collecting water, allowing them to spend their time either in the classroom or generating much needed additional income
- enable everyone in the community to live healthier lives and help break the cycle of poverty
We have successfully worked with this community before when in November 2019 we provided much needed educational supplies and sponsored school meals to some of the most in need children and families. Since then we have been working with the local community to identify local needs and priorities, which is why we are working towards providing the school and the community with a reliable clean source of water, hand washing facilities and promoting good hygiene practices.
Kerewan Sitokoto School.
The money you donate will also benefit the local community in other ways as we will be using local labour and locally sourced materials.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
100% of the money you donate will go directly towards building the water system and to promoting good hygiene practices. We will provide full feedback throughout the project and on its completion, and report back to all the donors, showing clearly how and where the money was spent. Our target is £12,000 and here’s how your money can help.
- £20 - could pay for a hygiene training session for 50 people
- £50 - could buy a monthly supply of soap for 10 families and to help keep children safe
- £200 - could sponsor an additional tap and washing station
- £460 - could buy a water harvesting tank ensuring the supply of all-year-round clean water
Behati means to bring hope. Please, donate today and spread the word, and help us to bring clean water, and hope, to those who need it most.