Access to water: the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth work towards a right still denied to many

by | Aug 7, 2022 | News

Water is one of the basic rights that is, unfortunately, still denied to many people across the globe.

This is the case in Botswana, where rainfalls are poor and due to the scarcity of water, it is very difficult for families to meet their most basic needs such as cooking, drinking, bathing, and washing clothes.

Many people in rural areas are too poor to afford a water storage facility. In some villages, the local government has installed water supply connections through its social programmes; however, the quantity of water supplied is not always sufficient for the given household consumption.

The scarcity of water is a threat to people’s health and hygiene, it adversely affects families and communities; and without clean, easily accessible water, people can get locked into poverty for generations. Children suffering from bad health may drop out of school and parents struggle to make a living. Access to water is a stepping stone out of poverty: when people have it,  they are better able to practice good hygiene and sanitation, are less exposed to diseases, can provide for their families and get their life back on track.

In addition, not only water but also housing, education and employment are basic rights that are still denied to many people in Botswana.

In response, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth developed their  project with the goal to help families living in poverty by building two new houses, repair another four and provide seven water tanks to facilitate access to water.

Through this project, the Sisters will help 13 families to escape marginalisation and support their right to decent housing, access to water, work and education so they can break the cycle of poverty.

The installation of the 5-thousand-litre water tanks has now been completed and all seven beneficiaries are very happy and have already filled their tanks. Thanks to water pipes installed by the local government, the tanks are filled for later use as soon as water supply is available. The general cost of water in the villages is low and it only becomes expensive when there is no supply of water due to drought.

Some of the beneficiaries will be using their water tanks to grow vegetables and others are so generous that they are happy to share water with their neighbours. One of the tanks has even been named after a child since it will inherit the property of the family in the future! We are very grateful to hear all these stories of hope and are happy to have been able to support this project.

Below, you can see the pictures of the families involved: many are unemployed and have children and grandchildren they need to care for. The Sisters will therefore support them in accessing employment and education in the longer term.

Looking forward to a brighter and sustainable future, the Sisters are also currently working on the repair of four houses and the construction of a new house.

We are sure the 13 families will benefit from this project and we are so grateful that the 13 House Campaign is helping to ensure people can move towards a more dignified life: one step at a time!