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Lifewater Results in Kaliro, Uganda: Healthy Children and Reduced Walks for Water

Safe water access and improved sanitation and hygiene gives children and their families a chance to thrive. Together, they bring newfound health, reduced poverty, and hope to communities in need.

In 2016, Lifewater set out to serve 32,480 people with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene in the rural, water-poor area of Kaliro, Uganda. Using a data-driven, comprehensive approach to solving the water crisis, Lifewater staff travelled house-by-house in Kaliro to teach life-saving health and sanitation practices and assess the unique water challenges in every village.

From April 2016-December 2019, remote villages adopted health practices and Lifewater drill teams brought safe water to those in need. Today, the results are in.

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Key Kaliro Program Results

  1. 71 percent reduction in prevalence of childhood diarrhea. UNICEF reports that 480,000 children under the age of five die each year due to diarrheal disease, an illness prevented with simple sanitation and hygiene practices and safe water access. In Kaliro, children can now run, play, go to school, and live healthy lives.
  2. 78 percent decrease in time spent collecting water. In Kaliro, the average travel time was over 2.5 hours per journey for water. This meant children missed school and mothers missed work. Now, kids carry school books rather than contaminated water. Moms are opening businesses.
  3. 67 percent decrease in medical expenses. Before Lifewater programs in the area, families spent $15.35 a month on medical expenses, much of which were caused by waterborne diseases. Afterward programs, they spent just $5.11.
  4. 20 percent fewer dropouts for girls in school. Girls often bear the responsibility of collecting water, caring for ill family members, or staying home to manage their menstruation for lack of bathrooms at school. For these reasons, it’s common to see girls in grades 5-7 drop out of school. In 2019, safe water on school grounds, safe water in surrounding villages, and bathrooms on school grounds meant that girls in Kaliro spent more time in classrooms.

In Uganda, children are drinking safe water who had never had it before. Because of generous donors, hope is rising. Families are overcoming poverty for good.

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