For a mere R40 you could help provide a household with 1600 litres of clean drinking water that lasts 100 days. The lack of clean and safe drinkable water negatively impacts hundreds of communities and thousands of people across Sub-Saharan Africa every day. Rotary District 9350’s SafeWater Project aims to give all of these communities access to safe drinking water by providing them with Community LifeStraws, water filters that remove 99.9% of all water borne germs.*
The Rotary Club of Sea Point, part of District 9350, together with its partners, the Relate Trust and Woolworths, plan to enhance the lives of many people who don’t have clean drinking water. “Water borne diseases causing diarrhoea kill more children in Sub-Saharan Africa than HIV/AIDS, measles and malaria combined!” says Dr Tony Davidson, Co-ordinator of the Rotary SafeWater Project. “Providing safe drinkable water is of the utmost importance,” adds Davidson
“We are selling bracelets to raise the much needed funds for water filters. Our partnership with Woolworths proves invaluable as it enables us to reach more people across Sub-Saharan Africa. The bracelets will be sold in over 160 stores in South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland,” says Davidson. “The majority of funds raised will go towards the installation of LifeStraw water filters within households and communities that do not have access to clean and safe drinkable water.”
“The purchase of one bracelet will provide a household family with 1600 litres of clean and safe water,” says Dr Davidson. “It is enough drinkable water to last a 100 days.”
“On top of dealing with the after effects of the disastrous drought, another concern for the country is that the amount of surface water contaminated by germs and parasites is increasing on a daily basis,” adds Davidson. He explains that providing communities with these point-of-use filters will help reduce the prevalence of diarrhoea, currently the second biggest killer of children under the age of five in rural areas, and enhance the quality of life for many people with good quality water.
“The LifeStraw filters also helps to reduce deforestation as it eliminates the need for boiling water on wood fires for purification purposes. It also improves the education of rural children who are often absent from school as a result of diarrhoea, however, by reducing the source of the illness they can attend school more often,” adds Davidson.
The Rotary SafeWater Project empowers and uplifts communities in every aspect of the project, from production to spending funds. As part of the Relate Trust, unemployed grandmothers are trained to make these bracelets, which provides them with employment and a much needed source of income. “Besides contributing towards LifeStraw water filters, funds raised through the sale of the bracelets will go towards employment and enterprise development in communities struck with poverty, as well as the provision of crucial water and sanitation infrastructure to the school children across South Africa,” concludes Davidson.
The bracelets will be available at selected Woolworths stores for R39.95 each from July 2016 until December 2016.
This article was first published in SA Good News on 8 August 2016