Village Water

Village Water

At a glance

Causes

  • Health and well being / research and care
  • International development
  • Poverty relief

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
International

Objectives

Village Water works with local partners in rural Africa to improve health, education and economic development for families and school communities. Village Water has worked in Zambia since 2004 and Mozambique, since 2016, and has supported over 1.5 million people with safe water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH).

Due to the lack of safe water, sanitation & hygiene, cases of waterborne diseases are high. In general, over half the population has no protected waterpoint, relying on dirty sources such as rivers & scoop holes for drinking, cooking & washing, & almost 80% of people lack decent, dignified toilets.  

Safe water and sanitation near the home are the building blocks needed for people to live healthier, dignified & productive lives. With decent provision, rates of diarrhoea, skin, & eye infections reduce and HIV transmission can be prevented – rates are high in both countries. And we all know now, more than ever that proper handwashing prevents the spread of infections and can dramatically cut respiratory illnesses.  

Travelling to collect water and preventable diseases like diarrhoea stops children from attending school, parents from farming and providing for their families and traps people in a cycle of poverty. Our work changes this, so families enjoy better health, are more productive, and most importantly can send their children to school

Objectives:

  • Reduce waterborne disease such as diarrhoea, skin & eye infections
  • Reduction in Co2 emissions whilst protecting natural landscapes
  • Living conditions improve as dangers like scalding, burning and respiratory disease from boiling unclean water are reduced
  • Increase access to safe water and sanitation and create a culture of good hygiene practices
  • Improve school attendance and opportunity for economic activities (farming, work)
  • Build strong partnerships with local organisations and government to ensure they have the capacity and resources to support continued progress
  • Ensure local people have the knowledge and skills to change their practices, and to maintain the new water point.
  • Monitor impact, track sustainable progress of the programme and identify areas for development.

Impact:

We are a small organisation having a big impact, our award-winning monitoring system allows field staff to collect data such as household health, pump functionality, and number and use of sanitation facilities on mobile phones and send the data direct to our monitoring and evaluation officer in the UK. Local partners also spend time collecting qualitative data - quotes, photos and stories - so we people can tell us exactly what impact the projects make on their lives.

Thanks to the data we collect before, during and after every water point is installed we can be sure our projects make a lasting difference.

Take a look at our impact map: https://villagewater.org/impact

And, read stories from the people we've helped: https://villagewater.org/news-events

Activities

Activities

We work with independent WASH specialists, district councils & local enterprises in both countries, investing in them to help reach everyone, wherever they are, changing lives with safe water. 

Our strategy is a District Wide approach, mapping existing services, identifying local structures including councils, companies, supply chains and enterprises to assess gaps in services and work towards 100% coverage by 2030.

When a pump breaks down the communities often can’t mend it, either because they lack the money or the skills, so are forced to return to unprotected sources such as rivers or scoop holes, travelling long distances to fetch both the water & the wood they need to boil it to make it  safe to drink. 

The first step is hygiene promotion & showing people how to build their own simple handwashing & toilet facilities. This helps break down stigma including cultural traditions like open defecation, taboos such as menstruation & discrimination of the disabled & the long-term sick, such as HIV/AIDS sufferers.  

We fund soap & cleaning materials to help combat the spread of diseases such as Covid 19 & have added open discussion around vaccine uptake.  

 Local well construction teams carry out pump installation or repair based on a technical assessment at each site. A water committee is trained in basic maintenance & will report any faults they can’t manage. Each household pays a fee which subsidises repairs & spare parts & the committee continues to promote household hygiene messaging so that the benefits last. 

Mitigating the impacts of climate change is a priority. We repair & maintain vital water points & reduce hazardous household air pollution & carbon emissions, guaranteeing follow up visits & repairs for at least 5 years thanks to the support of one of our funding partners. 

Safe water on its own does not reduce common diseases. Village Water’s integrated approach of improving hygiene, sanitation and water quality in villages, schools and health centres – wherever people spend their day is what makes a lasting difference. 

 

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