Last year was tough. We all faced unexpected new challenges, and we came together, globally, to overcome them.
It was also the year we celebrated reaching half a million people with safe water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH). A very welcome positive. This year, more than ever, we need to work together to ensure communities living in already difficult and distressing situations aren’t forgotten about.
News of a COVID-19 vaccine has brought joy around the globe – rightly so. But will communities in Africa, already likely to be impacted by the UK government’s recent aid budget cut, receive their immunisations anytime soon?
Comparatively, the United Kingdom has been hit worse – there are more recorded cases and deaths here – but cases in Zambia and Mozambique are rising and the testing capacity is very limited, masking the real numbers, especially in the rural areas we work in.
There are huge differences too. Families aren’t able to wash their hands at home, they can’t afford treatment or there’s no hospital nearby. Most can’t stay at home, instead they have to get on a bus to the next town or city, overcrowded with other people traveling to work.
Even in pre-covid times, Africa still felt the mark and effect of disease harder than in other parts of the world.
We know that everyone needs to have safe water and sanitation. Not just to live in good health now but to help prevent future pandemics and unnecessary deaths. We need to make this year count.
This year we’re ramping up our action. We plan to:
- Develop a district masterplan with all local WASH players: councils, companies, construction teams & communities. This is the best locally-driven step towards 100% water coverage in the areas we work, ensure no one gets left behind and create a blueprint for a successful and sustainable water and sanitation system that works for everyone
- Last year we hit the half a million mark. That’s half a million people whose lives are changed forever. We’re aiming to reach another 500,000 over the next 3 years
- Help develop and support a new local partner, ECHO, to repair water points in Central Province, Zambia
- Support more women-led manual drilling teams by ensuring women have the same accessibility to the training
Sometimes resolutions don’t make it past the first week of January. But, you know we always stick to our goals and prove our impact. Watch what else we plan to achieve…