Unsafe water can be dangerous. Lots of people throw rubbish into rivers, lakes and seas. With human and animal excrement, urine and dirty water from dishes and clothes, the water can be very polluted. Then people come to collect water, to drink and cook with. We examined a patients faeces under a microscope at Dr Bernard's clinic on Kome Island and we saw schistosoma mansoni ora (the egg of a long thin, sucking worm). Did you know that one gram of faeces may contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, 1000 parasite cysts and 100 worm eggs? (http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/sanitation
Contaminated water leads to many illnesses like cholera, typhoid, hepatitas A, dysentry. It causes diarrhea which is the second leading cause of death in children under 5 years old in the world. It kills more children than malaria, AIDS and measles combined.
In villages and on islands it is not easy to find and get clean drinking water. When people get the water from dirty rivers and lakes, they can get very sick. Water projects like rainwater harvesting are a very good thing to do. You can see a photo of a rainwater harvesting tank that EmmanueI International makes on the Fun Facts Page. One way to get clean water is to boil the water. An even better way to get good water to drink is by doing SODIS. SODIS is a good way of treating water to kill the bactera, because it doesn’t cost much and is very easy to do if you have plenty of sun! You can find out all about SODIS and how to do it on the SODIS Shake page!
No sanitation is a problem because if there is no proper toilet or latrine, areas can get very dirty and attract maggots and breed all kinds of disease. Toilets are very important things. In the villages sometimes they don’t have proper places to go to the toilet, so they just go in the open. This attracts flies, which land in it and then fly to infect other things. Often this happens by water points, so it affects the water which people drink, or the flies might go to mamas who are cooking and spread the germs. Germs can be very easily spread. We have seen our friends in the village of Kimande urinating in the open. And have seen the evidence of people passing stools in the open. Most illness is caused by poo but more people have a mobile phone than have a toilet.
Just teaching people about the importance of toilets and washing your hands can reduce illness and death. Even when you can't get proper toilets, you can still find ways to make things better.
Tippy Taps are a good solution for stopping germs spreading from dirty hands to hands. A tippy tap is made with 4 sticks and a bottle. (See the photo on the left). String is tied to the bottle lid and the other end tied to a stick. Press the stick with your foot and the bottle will tip and the water will flow out and you can wash your hands. It means that people can wash their hands after using the toilet and then they won’t spread germs.
Watch our Tippy Tap Video!