Safe Water for Better Health and a Better Life

hand washing in Sri Lanka

Teaching good hand-washing habits in Sri Lanka.

March 22 is World Water Day. Learn more about how you can help children get reliable access to clean water through our Real Gifts catalog.

By Himangi Jayasundere, ChildFund Sri Lanka

Five-year-old Murugan watches as water trickles out of a gurgling filter. As his cup fills with clear, clean water, the smile on his little face grows larger. Where Murugan lives in Sri Lanka’s Nuwara Eliya district, waterborne diseases like diarrhea are a serious problem and often lead to children becoming malnourished.

Children here have many health challenges, including poor water quality and lack of education about health care among parents. But ChildFund’s Ensuring Nutrition, Health and Children’s Health (ENHANCE) program has helped address the issue of safe drinking water by distributing filters to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers and conducting awareness programs through local partner organizations.

Eight ECD centers, including Murugan’s, have received water filters, which remove lead and other impurities from water so it can be safely drunk. The filters also reduce the risk of potential diseases.

“This is one of the best water purification systems introduced to us. I want to thank ChildFund Sri Lanka for helping to provide clean water for children,” says Mrs. Puwaneshwari, a teacher at the Walaha ECD center. Together with T-Field, its local partner in Nuwara Eliya, ChildFund has built a dam to collect water from a spring and distribute the clean water through pipelines to the community. The project has benefited 170 families.

The awareness programs have emphasized boiling water before drinking it at home and teaching children and adults to wash their hands after using the toilet. ENHANCE takes an integrated approach to helping children establish good health, addressing nutritional needs, child care, family habits, personal and environmental hygiene, safe water and sanitation practices and food security.

“My child used to fall sick often, but after learning about the importance of boiling drinking water, I always boil our drinking water now, and I can see a difference,” says Malarselvi, a mother at the ECD center. “They don’t fall sick as often as they used to.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,083 other subscribers

ChildFund
Follow me on Twitter