Inadequate and unsafe water, poor sanitation and improper hygiene practices are the main causes of diarrhea that kills and sickens more under-five children than any other disease globally. Poor water, sanitation and hygiene are also among the main causes of malnutrition in children under five, which is associated with more than 50% of all child deaths.
Water and sanitation are important for ensuring the right of all children to a basic education, and are particularly important for promoting greater enrolment and retention of girls in school. Women and girls suffer most when there is a scarcity of water and sanitation as it is usually their role to collect water from distant rivers and water holes.
UNICEF Ambassadors Gareth and Jo Morgan are supporting a UNICEF water project that will take clean water to thousands of children and their families in 3 districts of Tanzania. They have seen first hand how clean water can transform a village, and have been impressed to find that local villagers are encouraged take ownership of the projects and take responsibility for keeping the wells in good working order. These measures mean that aid money is not just used for short-term relief, but in providing a genuine, long-term solution to sickness and poverty.
During 2012 Gareth and Jo Morgan returned to Tanzania with UNICEF NZ to carry out a first-hand evaluation of the project so they could report back to those Kiwis who have so generously donated on what that contribution has achieved. The site visits showed a need for some improvement in water harvesting methods in Magu province. Remedial work has now been carried out, and new pvc guttering and piping systems ensure the water storage tanks are used efficiently .