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Water - the foundation of a child's life.
Access to clean water is essential to health, happiness, and basic survival. Without it, millions of children needlessly fall victim to waterborne diseases. Mortality rates soar and rage out of control. Poverty and hunger spread like disease. School attendance rates are obliterated. With water collection being women's work, many school-age girls spend hours each day walking to far away water sources, waiting for their turn at the pump, then carrying heavy gerry cans weighing as much as 40 or 50 lbs on their back as they trek miles to their home. The lack of clean water is a crippling and pervasive epidemic but it is a solvable problem. It costs only $25 to provide 1 person with access to safe drinking water for life.
The benefits of introducing a clean water source into a community are vast. Access to this vital resource improves health, sanitation, poverty, and overall quality of life. The results are instantaneous and long lasting. Children have time to go to school and many for the first time see their future as not only possible, but infinite and bright.
The clean water issue has been at the forefront of ONEXONE's efforts since 2006. In support of H2O Africa, the non-profit organization founded by ONEXONE Ambassador Matt Damon, we helped launch 60 well projects in a single year across Rwanda, Central African Republic, Uganda, and Niger. This year, H2O Africa merged with WaterPartners to form the new organization, now the newest partner of ONEXONE.
ONEXONE just recently renewed our commitment to this very important cause at the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative, announcing the launch of a $1 million project with our partner non-profit organization that will reach 55,000 more people in Africa with clean water, improving the health and lives of children, families, and communities.
ONEXONE is actively engaged in developing and supporting a variety of new clean water projects. Our most current initiative is a partner project with, together with which our partnership is already serving 32,000 people in 76 communities and 6 schools in the rural Tigray region of Ethiopia.
The most current Ethiopia REST initiative serves the communities of Gulo-mekeda and Ganta-Afeshum with a combined estimated population of 4,334. The primary goals of this project are the provision of potable water and sanitation facilities, reduction in the morbidity rate caused by preventable waterborne diseases, and the improvement of attendance rates among school-age girls.
Before the project began, the main sources of potable water for the people of the these districts were low-yielding springs, which are also used by animals which creates unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and distant hand pumps which are largely insufficient and ineffective.
The Ethiopia REST project implemented 2 borehole wells, 7 hand-dug wells, 4 spring developments, 1 roof rainwater harvesting system, and 150 pit latrines providing clean and potable water within a reasonable distance from home to the more than 4 thousand people in these communities. In addition, training has been provided to 84 members of the community who will assume sole responsibility for taking care of the water resources in the future, and education on proper health and sanitation practices has been provided to 200 local people who will teach the community these safe and healthy practices.
Construction of these new clean water resources has reduced the average walking distance/time for daily water collection to just 10 minutes (on average). This is a life-changing improvement particularly for young girls no longer spending a disproportionate amount of time collecting water for their household they are able to attend school, no longer having to shoulder the burden of carrying heavy gerry cans which cause physical deterioration over time. Additionally, we are already seeing other positive and meaningful changes in these communities, such as: Fewer incidences of waterborne diseases and overall improved health. Reduction in the prevalence of diarrheal diseases, especially in children. Waiting time at water source reduced from approximately 1 hour to 10 minutes (on average).
ONEXONE continues to explore all opportunities to positively impact the world's clean water crisis. We have made the provision of clean water to those in need one of our most aggressive agendas and largest cause recipients of funds raised. Our mission to keep learning and helping is constant and consistent, with regular fact-finding trips to the most troubled areas (check out photos and videos from our trips to Mekele, Ethiopia and Hyderabad and Tiruchirapalli, India with ONEXONE Ambassador Matt Damon).
It is impossible to ignore how vital clean water is to the world's population as a whole. We are proud of the incredible, tangible, and everlasting progress we've made but there are still many more communities who need help. Please visit our Water Donation Page: It takes just $25 to provide one person with access to safe drinking water for life! You can make a real difference and can change the life of a person in need one by one. Together we can solve the world water crisis - but we need your help! Be a part of the solution.
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