Water

In East Africa, like many places in the developing world, scarce water supply, degraded natural resources and poor sanitation are root causes of chronic food shortages, insufficient family income and illness. We are sadly familiar with the faces of people who suffer when these realities converge in times of drought or famine.

But there is hope. We have learned that sound management of natural resources, increased crop production, and improved sanitation and hygiene all go hand in hand in the fight against poverty and hunger.

And it all starts with clean water.

THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AMONG CHILDREN UNDER 5, DIARRHEA KILLS ABOUT 760,000 CHILDREN EACH YEAR. AS A WATERBORNE ILLNESS, IT IS EASILY PREVENTED WITH SAFE DRINKING WATER, IMPROVED SANITATION AND EDUCATION ABOUT HYGIENE.

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Water at a glance:

40 Water Projects in 17 Countries

Investing $15,145,402 Million to bring clean water closer to home

2,022,638 People with a cleaner future

On This Day

Water and sanitation are also priorities in the camps that still shelter Somalis who fled famine and armed conflict in their homeland 2 years ago. Catholic Relief Services is providing sanitation and hygiene services in Kambioos, the newest camp in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee complex.

Ahmed Hussein, shown here with his daughter, Farhiya, 4, begins his day by slipping on rubber gloves, filling a bucket with water, and using soap and a broom to scrub his family’s latrine in their compound in the camp. He is one of 79 camp hygiene promoters hired by CRS to visit Kambioos residents, deliver cleaning kits and explain the importance of hand-washing and good hygiene.

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Wellspring of Hope

People in East Africa have long suffered water-related hardships. That’s why CRS’ 5-year Wellspring of Hope initiative is working with rural communities in five East African nations—Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda—to improve lives and livelihoods. We drill down to the water that runs below the surface.

Or we tap into distant supply systems and bring water where it’s needed most. And when it rains, we harvest and store the water in large-capacity tanks. Last year, we provided 31,788 people in Ethiopia with access to safe water within a mile of their homes.

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