Coming clean: Two water and sanitation projects

In many parts of Africa, a lack of clean water and poor sanitation and hygiene have been at the root of widespread ill health.

In Zambia and Tanzania, World Vision has been working with local communities to help. We're seeing some big improvements.

Dirty water, a lack of sanitation and poor hygiene are major contributors to diseases such as diarrhoea and typhoid and intestinal worm infections. It's known that these illnesses kill 6,000 children every day.

Simple solutions like drilling boreholes, protecting springs and providing community health education can do much to prevent these diseases spreading. In two African communities, World Vision is observing an overall health improvement as families gain access to safe water for the very first time.

TOP: New boreholes fitted with hand pumps are bringing clean water to the Mwinilunga community; MIDDLE LEFT: Children’s health is improving in Mwinilunga, now that more families have access to clean water; MIDDLE RIGHT: When World Vision began work in Mwinilunga, 1 in 2 children were suffering from waterborne diseases; BOTTOM: Families in this Zambian community are forced to walk long distances to collect water from dirty streams.

Mwinilunga Water and Sanitation Project, Zambia

Contaminated streams are the only water sources for this community who have no choice but to drink, wash their clothes and bathe in dirty water.  

  • 1 in 2 children suffer from life-threatening malaria or diarrhoea
  • only 2 protected wells provide over 33,000 people with their daily water
  • women and girls walk long distances to fetch water from rivers and open wells
  • 40% of child deaths in this community are due to preventable diseases 

The aim of this project is to deliver sanitation and clean water to over 33,600 people in Mwinilunga by: 

  • drilling 10 boreholes and equipping  them with pumps
  • building long-term protection against contamination for 5 wells
  • building latrines for households and schools
  • training locals to care for borehole pumps
  • training 20 teachers to teach children about hygiene
  • conducting 100 hygiene education sessions  

Ngaya Shallow Well Project, Tanzania

Women and children have no alternative but to collect water with a rope and bucket from one very deep unprotected well.  

  • diarrhoea from drinking dirty water kills more children in Busangi than any other cause
  • malaria accounts for 15% of child deaths and is easily spread through unprotected water sources
  • women and children often spend up to six hours each day collecting enough water for the family which is often contaminated with parasites 
  • The aim of this project is to deliver sanitation and clean water to over 8,600 people in the Busangi area by: 

    • sinking 30 shallow wells
    • disinfecting water so it’s safe to drink
    • training community members in water hygiene practices  

    In 2006, the United Nations Human Development Report stated that clean water and sanitation are "the most powerful preventive medicines available to governments in reducing infectious diseases". This is further evidence of the need to continue working at a local level to ensure every community worldwide has the clean water that is their right.