UN's World Water Day is March 22, and this year's theme is, "What does water mean to you?" Did you know...
Globally 70% of our water is used for agriculture and irrigation and only 10% for domestic use.
1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.
In industrialized countries, everyone has access to safe water; in sub-Saharan Africa, only 61% of the people do.
In rural areas and least developed countries, 97% of people do not have piped water.
The average container for water collection in Africa, the 5-gallon jerry can, weighs over 40 lbs when full.
While it takes about 12 gallons per day to sustain a human (this figure takes into account all uses for water, like drinking, sanitation and food production), the average American uses about 158 gallons.
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water.
Almost two-thirds, 64% of households rely on women to get the family's water when there is no water source in the home.
But there is good news!
According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34!
What does water mean to Build the Future and the communities we support?
Water is a life resource, and unless you collect and carry your own water, it's difficult to appreciate just how critical and essential access to clean water is. And when it comes to water, the people in Ndwedwe have been forgotten by their local government. They have no running water. They rely on natural springs and water trucks to deliver water. Build the Future continues to stand in the gap, making life-changing investments in accessible clean water. And water will be a continuing focus for us - helping this community of thousands get clean drinking water, water for cooking and washing.
We first shared about our dam project in our update from last September (Picture in the header above). We were building a dam to hold water from an underground spring in Tembe's community. The now completed dam holds about 200,000 litres of water, is lined with sandbags that act as a filtration system, and the water is crystal clear. The ecosystem around the dam has already changed the environment. There's fish that eat the algae and keep the water from becoming toxic, and the trees are full of weaver birds nests. From a little stream, now a few hundred people can get water. It's changed the community. We hope to install a washing rock soon for the ladies doing their laundry.
We have identified another area with a spring near our second preschool, and our next dam is in process. Not only will this dam provide for the community around the preschool, but runoff from the dam will also be piped under the road into Jojo's (those green water tanks) to supply another part of the community.
Crops continue to grow and help feed the community. And although the families in this community are hesitant to send their children back to school due to the pandemic, Thembe's wife continues to feed the community children daily using the meals from "Rise Against Hunger".
Kya Sand The preschool in Kya Sand started back to school the last Thursday in January, and currently, there are 70 children on the register. We received a new donation of masks just in time for the learners to use. We have a lot of new faces, about 20 new students. The 5 & 6-year-old class is full and has a waiting list. We hope to fill up 3 & 4-year-olds soon.
The community has been hit hard with Covid - mainly a lack of jobs. Our teachers and staff have jobs, and the kids are excited to come to school and are being fed. It gives them and their families hope. Judith and Busi are taking their next level of classes at Johannesburg Childcare College. We have a new gardener, Patrick, who comes every day to work on the garden. He's started a compost heap, and the garden is looking wonderful. We are also blessed with a delivery every week from Crystal Valley Fresh farm produce of fruit and veggies - the kids enjoyed beets with their lunch last week.
It's so hard not to have teams here working with us — we miss you — but we want you to know the impact you are still having. Your support has made everything that has happened this past year possible. As we are digging, you are digging. As we put seeds in the ground, you are feeding those who need it most. Although you have not been here physically, you have been the hands and feet serving our communities, giving them hope. We thank you. They thank you.
Please stay safe, and keep in touch, Phillip & Clive
Thank you for your continued support of our mission!
And as always, If you would like to provide financial support, please go to buildthefutureusa.org