Saving Lives Through Access to Clean Water: Update on Nyakanika-Gatonga Water System
In August 2017, the Gazelle Foundation was awarded a grant from Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF) to fund the Nyakaniga-Gatongo water system. The water system, completed in February 2018, provides more than 3,400 people including 250 parishioners, and 152 school children the gift of clean water for life.
In Burundi the number one cause of death is water-borne illnesses such as typhoid, diarrhea, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis. The HEINEKEN Africa Foundation investment of $57,747 helps to tackle this problem. As part of our stewardship of the HAF grant and in support of our operating values, the Gazelle Foundation is pleased to share the following update based on the key success indicators identified for the project.
The Nyakanika-Gatongo Water System project uses a three-pronged approach to help transform lives through clean water:
Contribute to improving hygiene
Help decrease the health cases linked to water-borne illnesses
Contribute to the overall increase in school attendance
Training is ongoing to educate residents about the importance of personal hygiene and how to effectively use clean water to decrease illness and infection. These advocacy efforts have been critical to helping 80-90% of the community, including school children, understand and practice effective hand-washing techniques, develop personal hygiene habits and ensure food safety.
According to the Horezo health clinic, which serves residents in the area, there has been a considerable reduction in health cases linked to water-borne illnesses and so impacting the overall child mortality rate.
The clinic reports a 90% decrease in illnesses due to access to clean water and a better understanding of the importance of personal hygiene within the school environment and community. Access to clean water has had a positive impact on children attending school, the distance to fetch water has decreased dramatically. A journey of up to 4 hours has been reduced to 10-30 minutes. Easier access enables children to attend school more regularly and to remain in class more hours per day. The Nyakaniga-Gatongo water system made clean water accessible to the schoolhouse. Learn more about the project here.
School attendance is at an all-time high of 90%
Recent government efforts to implement free education for all primary students has led to an increase in children attending school and has created a critical opportunity. With more children attending school, they are receiving life-saving clean water throughout the day and learning about the importance of stewarding this precious resource.
HEINKEN has contributed to the social and economic well being of this community through funding the water system. The Nyakaniga-Garongo Water Project water system is a positive force for change and is helping the community prosper. Learn how you can join the Gazelle Foundation and transform lives.
For the people of Burundi water is life. Access to clean water means access to better health, stronger community, jobs, education and most of all: hope. Join us and transform lives today!