Water in Zambia

No project is more essential than that to improve access to safe water in remote schools and communities. It is heart-breaking to see children drinking from bacteria-infested streams and rivers, especially when the rivers are teaming with crocodiles.

A third of Zambians do not have access to safe water, thousands of people walk several miles daily to fetch water, much of it unclean. Contaminated water is a leading cause of diarrhoeal disease in Zambia, Schistosomiasis, (also known as Balharzia) and Rotavirus are common and can be fatal in infants.

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Water in Zambia – pupil from Kamwi Basic School

Annually, there are an estimated 10.5 million cases of diarrhoea, 63,000 hospitalisations and 15,000 deaths attributed to the disease in children under-five in Zambia. The Butterfly Tree’s aim is to source communities in Zambia desperately in need of bore holes and find schools with insufficient sanitation.

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Bore hole and Indian Hand Pump – Muchambile Community School

Recently I visited Nampuyani School, in the Nyawe Chiefdom, where children were drinking unsafe water from shallow wells. During the rainy season, November to April, the pupils dug these wells to collect water for storage during the dry season. By May one of the two wells was already dry. These wells are being used by animals at night, further polluting the water. Thanks to a generous donation from Attraction Tickets Direct, through our partner Just a Drop, a bore hole and Indian hand pump will be installed this month.

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Shallow well – Nampuyani School

Lack of sanitation is another huge issue, more than fifty per cent of Zambians do not have sanitation facilities. Schools can be closed down by the government if there are insufficient latrines, diarrhoeal diseases are common amongst pupils.

The Butterfly Tree has added eleven bore holes to schools throughout the Chiefdoms of Mukuni, Sikute, Musokotwane and Nyawe in the Southern Province of Zambia. Adding a bore hole not only gives the pupils access to safe drinking water, but also helps them to have sustainable feeding programmes. In addition we have constructed over forty latrines in schools, which has helped to reduce diarrhoeal diseases and absenteeism.

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VIP Latrine – Kamwi School

Next month three volunteers from Enactus, a student-run company based at the University of Sheffield will volunteer for The Butterfly Tee. Their intention is to improve the water facility at Ng’andu Basic School and help to initiate a soap-making project as part of our Ecotourism plan, to create a sustainable enterprise for school leavers. Hanna Cohen and her two daughters from the US will also volunteer in July and have kindly raised funds for a bore hole.

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