Water is the most abundant resource in the world, and it is free. Yet, it does not get to us without cost. In the developed world, one may never think of how water gets to the faucet at the kitchen sink or where the shower water comes from.
In the developing world the story is quite different. Water is very scarce and often, by the time it gets to its consumers it has been contaminated and becomes a cause of many waterborne diseases. People have to walk miles and miles to get water for drinking, cooking and for keeping clean. Many times, humans have to share their water sources with animals. Some activities that would require water are skipped because of its scarcity, and when people use water for drinking, they do so at the risk of getting infected with waterborne diseases.
Worse still, many hospitals and health centers where people go seeking treatments for their sicknesses and diseases also experience the scarcity of water. As a result, health care centers are often places where diseases are spread. A patient who seeks treatment for malaria at a hospital without running water may leave infested with typhoid, cholera, or diarrhea from simply using the bathroom.
CHIU has embarked on a systematic plan, working with local partners, to bring clean water to the rural Catholic Health Centers in Uganda. In a period of 3-5 years, we assess the water needs of a health center while on our mission trips each year. While we treat diseases in any particular health center we have selected, we do our best to evaluate needs and implement water solutions.
Based on the needs of each location, CHIU may dig a well and install water pipes leading from the well to the reservoir at a given health center or engage water harvesting. Our goal is to establish a sustainable, dependable source for clean water in all facilities of each health center.
While creating a safer environment through clean water systems, CHIU works to prevent the spread of preventable, deadly disease by engaging communities in education about the cause and prevention of diseases. CHIU enlists the help of other local partners to bring clean water closer to the different rural communities.