World Water Day is a global annual call to action on issues concerning water. This day is recognized on 22nd of March and 2017’s theme is Wastewater with the campaign “Why Waste Water.”
This year’s campaign is about reducing and reusing wastewater. What then is waste water? In simple terms, it is water that has been used in a home, a business, or part of an industrial process.
Wastewater is: domestic effluent consisting of blackwater (excreta, urine and faecal sludge) and greywater (kitchen and bathing wastewater); water from commercial establishments and institutions, including hospitals; industrial effluent, stormwater and other urban run-off; agricultural, horticultural and aquaculture effluent, either dissolved or as suspended matter” (Corcoran et al. 2010).
A FEW FACTS ON WATER:
- According to the fourth World Water Development Report, presently only 20% of globally produced wastewater receives proper treatment (UNESCO, 2012)
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused
- 8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces2, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation, and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year
- By 2050, close to 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, compared to 50% today5. Currently, most cities in developing countries do not have adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way
- The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients, and other recoverable materials
Over 663 million people worldwide do not have access to a clean and quick water supply near their homes hence spending countless hours queuing or moving to distant places to access water that might not be safe for their health. People living with HIV (PLHIV) are prone to diarrheal diseases up to six times higher than those that are not infected. Therefore, maintaining a clean environment and ensuring access to clean and safe water reduces the risk of opportunistic infections for PLHIV.
Currently, in partnership with Procter and Gamble (P&G)’s Safe Water for Drinking Program, we are serving over 7,245 with 54,720 families reached with the (P&G) water purification.
A beneficiary of the Safe Water for Drinking Program
Alex is one of Alive Medical Service’s pioneer clients. He resides in Mityana District, a neighbouring district of Kampala, and came to our clinic after marrying his wife who was already a patient at AMS. For the past 8 years, Alex has made the 42-mile journey from Mityana to Namuwongo to receive treatment in addition to, P&G packets to bring home to his family of 15 where they all benefit from them. Alex has been actively using P&G packets for the last 5 years. Prior to treating his water, Alex said that access to clean water at his home was incredibly hard to come by. Since using the P&G packets, he informed us that not only has he saved money by not having to purchase firewood to boil water, he also has noticed a decline in home incidents of children getting burnt from the boiled water. Additionally, Alex testified that there have been very few incidence of diarrhoea in his family since using P&G packets. When he started treating his water at home, his neighbours became curious and came over to watch him. Alex shared his water, but when the people became too many, he gave them a demonstration and now collects additional P&G packets for him and his neighbours when he comes to AMS for care. Alex is a safe drinking water advocate and actively assists AMS in giving demonstrations and health talks on the days he comes to AMS for care. When asked why he chooses to spread the word, Alex replies “Water is life. I love people and I want them to be healthy and I want everyone to benefit from this clean water.”
As we celebrate this year’s World Water Day, Alive Medical Services is encouraging you play your part by; reducing water wastage, safely treating water for consumption and endeavour recycling of wastewater to encourage its use while reducing the danger to the ecosystem.
Read more about wastewater here https://goo.gl/ZcVRNz