SWAROVSKI WATERSCHOOL – AN UPDATE FROM UGANDA
Clean, safe water is not only a gift but also the earth’s most precious resource. We take a look at the Swarovski Waterschool’s impact in Uganda, to see the power of perseverance, good will and education.
A NEED FOR CHANGE
When the Swarovski Waterschool (SWS) expanded its work to the north of Uganda’s Kanungu District in 2016, the participating schools had no water filtration system or drinking facilities, which left children and surrounding communities vulnerable. In order to improve the water quality, sanitation, hygiene and health, the SWS program was introduced to ten schools and 2,000 households adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Thanks in large part to SCS members - within two years the program was able to make several invaluable contributions, including:
• The construction of ten 20,000-litre ferro cement tanks, as well as other physical sanitation facilities, like incinerators, dust bins, latrines and sanitary pads, to improve sanitation, hygiene and quality of life.
• The installation of ten drinking water facilities at the schools, to provide a safe water supply.
• Education through a Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) program, to raise awareness of hygiene and teach water resource operation and management.
Moreover, the influence spread, affecting not only the schools themselves, but also the wider community.
THE GIFT OF WATER
Figures, such as an average drop of 24% in WASH diseases, speak of the Swarovski Waterschool’s contribution. But it is the stories of its human impact that leave a lasting impression.
“Before the Swarovski Waterschool brought us water purifiers, we had to run out of school to the rivers or streams during class breaks,” a child says. A mother recalls how her small children had to bring safe drinking water, which was often too heavy for them, to school. Access to purified water provided through the Swarovski Waterschool program has been invaluable. “The constant bouts of flu that we experienced among our children have reduced,” she says.
Mr. Albert Bamwesigye, a teacher at Kihihi High School, reveals that students have become more aware of the importance of water and sanitation and now bring safe water home to share it – and their knowledge – with their community. Numerous stories like these exist. Like a drop that sends ripples through a lake, the Swarovski Waterschool project has touched many lives. And it would not have been possible without the support from SCS members.