Water & Sanitation
Water & Sanitation
GSA provides rural communities in Somalia with access to safe drinking water and improves the sanitation and hygiene of community members. This initiative included drilling safe water points, appointing a water user committee to maintain the water point, and training members on basic health practices that still impact communities today. Access to safe water has greatly improved in Somalia over the last 5 years. However, about 70% people in Somalia still lack access, according to recent estimates by the World Health Organization, making projects such as WASH essential for many communities.
Why Water ?
Water is not only one of the world’s most important resources, but also a scarce resource in many parts of the Somalia. For the people in the Somali, water has always been a critical issue. Clean water is essential for sustaining life and access to drinking water is a fundamental need and a human right, vital for health and well-being, especially for women and kids particularly if the target population is characterized by high levels of poverty, social exclusion and a lack of civil rights.
GSA water projects was designed to meet immediate and longer term water and sanitation needs and to enhance access to a safe water supply and contribute to a reduction in water related diseases and conflicts over scarce water resources in the project locations and surrounding areas in close a proximity.
The project aims also to work specifically towards women to get women involved in decision making processes. The project will encourage participation of women in important institutions like the water/sanitation/hygiene committees.
Why Health and Sanitation ?
Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. 90% of the deaths that occur every year from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old. The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.
Why Women and children ?
In Somalia, people spend millions of hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated. Women and young children are at high risk of contracting water related diseases on a daily basis.
Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. Building a safe water project nearby can give women the freedom to pursue an education or earn extra income and improve their families’ lives. Water Committees are often the first chance for women to step into elected leadership roles.
When a water project is built in a community, members can often use the new water source to grow small gardens near their homes and secure their own food supply. Self-sufficient households are less affected by conflict, famine or inadequate government services.