Celebrating Universal Children's Day
In Kenya, children who live near sand dams save an average of five hours each day that can be invested in their education.
With water from their sand dams, parents can grow a greater variety and quantity of food, resulting in a better diet and income for school fees.
These excited kids from the Kamuithi Primary School in Kenya have just had a water tank built at their school, bringing clean water even closer and saving even more time.
On 20 November, we joined the UN in celebrating Universal Children’s Day. The day has been observed every year since 1954 and is devoted to the welfare of children around the world.
We at Excellent Development are always delighted to see how the availability of a reliable source of clean water transforms children’s lives, and in so many different ways:
In areas of rural Africa where water is scarce, children are expected to collect water to use at school for cooking and cleaning. During the dry season, this can take several hours a day, leaving children exhausted and with little time to attend class.
In Kenya, children who live near sand dams save an average of five hours each day that can be invested in their education, giving them much better prospects for the future.
The water from sand dams also enables parents to grow more crops. If they produce enough to create a surplus to sell at market, the income can be used for school fees. Or, sometimes parents exchange crops directly to pay for their children's education.
Diarrhoea caused by dirty water is the second largest cause of death among children under the age of five. Having clean water available close to home, can therefore clearly save lives.
But sand dams have also more far reaching effects on children’s health. Malnutrition is a major problem in rural drylands. Poor diets and disease steal children’s energy and ability to learn, meaning that they may never reach their full potential.
Sand dams provide a safe, reliable source of water for families to grow enough nutritious food, giving children in rural drylands the best possible start to a bright future.
Happy Universal Children’s Day!
I reap a bumper harvest now. Once I plant greens, the money I would have spent on them in the market I direct to paying school fees for my children... They do well in Mathematics and Kiswahili.”
Joyce Musembi, Ithime self-help goup, who have built eight sand dams