To wash the hands with water and soap is a simple gesture, yet essential at this moment in which the planet is facing the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, for almost 3 billion people all over the world, according to the United Nations (UN), water and soap are inaccessible items, and for 4.2 billion people – more than half the worldwide population – basic sanitation services are non-existent.
In spite of access to water, sanitation, and hygienic conditions being considered a fundamental right by the UN for maintaining a life of dignity and health, there are still enormous gaps in the delivery of those services around the world.
In the report published yesterday on this website about the Sphere Handbook, the question of water, sanitation, and hygiene was thoroughly addressed, and also presented was the humanitarian response of Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF) on this aspect, through the Roraima Mission, to the Venezuelan immigration crisis.
Those subjects are included in the WASH principle, an English acronym for “Provision of Water, Sanitation, and Promoting Hygiene.” Here we will talk about the experiences for care, preservation, and re-use of water experienced by the affiliates of Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), which are initiatives aligned with the principles of the Handbook.
Becoming Aware: a tool for overcoming the lack of water
The quality of water all over the world is more and more endangered, whether because of the population growth, expansion of agricultural and industrial activities, or by the indiscriminate disposal of untreated waste that threatens to alter the global water cycle.
The contamination of water destroys the natural ecosystems that support human life, food production, and biodiversity. There is an urgent need for humanity to wake up to the importance of protecting and improving the quality of water on the planet.
The Light-Community of Figueira, in Carmo da Cachoeira, Minas Gerais, created the Water Sector for the purpose of achieving self-sustainability in the entire chain of supply and demand.
For this, there is planning being done that is looking at expansions in demand and the capacity in the supply of water, and from that point, projects in the various areas are carefully designed for the abstraction of water through artesian wells, springs, lakes, rivers and rain.
There is also a concern on storage in cisterns, reservoirs, and an investment in and study on the re-use of grey water (water from showers, sinks, and laundries) for irrigation and other purposes. Find out more on this and other projects here.
Effluent treatment plant of the Francisco de Assisi Park
The Francis de Assisi Park, located in Lavras, Minas Gerais, houses more than 400 abandoned dogs, and carries out the treatment of 1,800 gallons of waste produced daily in the cleaning of the areas that shelter the dogs. The project was developed by the kennel volunteer and adjunct professor at the Engineering Department of the University of Lavras, Camila Silva Franco.
Recovery of Springs
Rivers and lakes originate from springs of water. These are responsible for the water that reaches our homes, that quenches our thirst. Aware of its importance, members of the Southern Light-Network take care of, preserve, and carry out maintenance on the two springs that feed the Marian Center Sanctuary of the Creation, in Camboriú, Santa Catarina.