Did you know girls in rural Gambia like A* and P* only have a 1% chance of completing their school education? In addition, the most common cause of absence in schools is water related responsibilities and illness.
It is stereotypically the role of women and girls like A* and P* to collect water for the whole family. They spend hours queuing for access to the community well 3 times daily just to get contaminated water.
Missing out on crucial opportunities for education and income generating opportunities just to stay alive.
With droughts, little to no rainfall for 8 months of the year, the well also regularly dries up. Women and children (some as young as 5 years old) trek for over 1 hour to access the next water source, while carrying 20L cannisters. Injuries, stunting and deformities are just some of the heart breaking consequences these brave young girls face when collecting water from the river. The physical stress also poses devastating risks to pregnant women and their unborn babies such as miscarriage, delivery complications and maternal mortality.
The river is shared with animals while women and children like A* and P* face high risk of animal attacks.
Like the well, the river is also contaminated. High saline levels, refuse, bacteria, parasites, faeces and animal waste contaminate the river, posing very high risks of water related disease such a diarrhoeal disease, a leading cause of death in young children.
When family members do become unwell from the contaminated water, women usually bear the brunt of the caring responsibilities to support them. This prevents women from otherwise accessing income generating opportunities.
Our project will provide year round access to safe, clean water through a solar water pump system, which is sustainable and kind to the environment.
This will give girls like P* a brighter future. Instead of collecting water she will remain in school and complete her education, safeguarded from water related diseases. While women can focus their time on income generating opportunities such as working in rice fields, this could potentially bring in a dual income for families to help pull themselves out of poverty.
By helping us to remove the need to collect water from contaminated sources you will be supporting girls and women to also access equal opportunities to education and employment, as per the United Nations Social Development Goal 5. Also according to WHO, for every $1 invested in safe drinking water and sanitation, returns $3 to $34 of economic benefit. This project will give women and girls like A* and P* the best chance to free themselves from the poverty cycle.