Handle With Care International believe that access to clean water is essential for communities to be sustainable. Unfortunately, many people around the world do not have access to clean water and need to either purchase it, boil it or risk illness by drinking it untreated.
In 2011, Handle With Care International took water samples from creeks, tanks, wells and bores at their community sites to see what contaminents were present. The results, for the most part, indicated unsafe levels of e.Coli, Salmonella and Shigella. While (for the most part) people did not drink this water, the did generally wash their dishes, clean their teeth, and bathe in this water.
Handle With Care International distributed about 150 Vestergaard’s Lifestraw Family units, a filtration system that would allow families up to three years of clean drinking water with no changeable parts. We ran education sessions with each family to discuss how they could clean the unit and give it very basic maintenance, such as squeezing the pump bulb a number of times each morning. While families were not necessarily drinking the water from the sources we tested, they did have to buy their drinking water – another daily cost to their already limited funds.
Our clean water programme allows families to have clean, instant access to clean, drinking water by using the water already on hand in their community – be it from a well or even a puddle – with no additional costs – allowing for greater sustainability by improving health and finances among the users.