A Message from DG Els Van Engelenburg:
In Rotary we support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away; we provide the knowledge for sustainability after we leave the areas. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are the basic necessities for healthy communities worldwide. It is difficult at best to have a productive life without these basic necessities. When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decline, children stay healthier and stronger allowing them to attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families in other ways.
SOME WAYS ROTARY HELPS
Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change. Below are some examples of Rotary’s… OUR success….
All 24 of Lebanon’s Rotary clubs came together — overcoming religious, cultural, and political divisions — to form partnerships with the government, World Vision, UNICEF, and the Red Cross. Together the groups developed a program that delivers clean water to every public school in the country.
Rotary clubs in Guatemala improved conditions for as many as 1,793 children in 10 schools in the town of Escuintla by providing toilets, washing stations, water tanks, and training
A dozen Rotary clubs collaborated with local partners to establish a water supply and delivery system for 1,500 people in the village of Kigogo, Tanzania. They also taught the community how to maintain the systems and provided hygiene education.
Rotary clubs and partners built 222 toilets, six rainwater collectors, seven communal handwashing stations, and 20 bio-sand filters. The project provided more than 1,000 people with access to proper toilet facilities and almost 600 people with a regular supply of clean water.
Rotary is tackling one of the biggest environmental and political crises of the 21st century – water resources – and to do so, Rotarians are leveraging their ability to build connections.
“The water crisis is one of the top three crises facing the globe, along with HIV/AIDS and malaria,” says Aaron Wolf, a professor of geosciences at Oregon State University and a water resources conflict resolution expert. “It’s not just waterborne illness and ecosystem degradation; water shortages exacerbate tensions in a lot of already very hostile parts of the world.”
The Aral Sea basin in Central Asia is one such place. Changes in the basin have a far-reaching impact on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. River diversion that began in the 1960s, when much of the region was part of the Soviet Union, has nearly desiccated the inland saltwater lake, once the fourth-largest lake in the world. Today, rusting ships lie beached on a desert contaminated by high salinity, and neighboring countries clash over the limited water resources they once shared.