Green Cross equipped 16 schools with rainwater harvesting systems, ecological latrines and showers
To mark Global Handwashing Day, Green Cross announced the completion of new rainwater harvesting and sanitation systems in remote Bolivian communities.
Global Handwashing Day, launched in 2007, stresses the importance of this life-saving practice, and hygiene in general. Washing hands with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which claim the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year.
The official theme of the fifth Global Handwashing Day was "Help More Children Reach Their Fifth Birthday."
Green Cross equipped 16 schools with rainwater harvesting systems, ecological latrines and showers through its on-the-ground Smart Water for Green Schools project. Safe, secure water supplies are now being provided to more than 1,200 people living in nine scattered hamlets of the municipality of Vallegrande, and 1,300 inhabitants of Gutierrez.
“These schools are second homes for children from 17 communities of two very deprived Bolivian areas,” said Marie-Laure Vercambre, director of Green Cross’s Water for Life and Peace Programme. “People there live in water poverty and suffer from water scarcity and contaminated supplies because of their socio-economic background, climate and remoteness.”
“Waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, tuberculosis, hepatitis, polio and amoebiasis, pose real dangers to children living in these communities," said Faride Tirado, vice president of the Green Cross Bolivian chapter. "Now thanks to the Smart Water for Green Schools project, parents can feel confident their children will have a much greater chance of not falling ill to such conditions.”
Six more projects providing water supplies are being completed in Bolivia’s Chaco de Santa Cruz semi-arid area.