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UNICEF: Nearly half of the population in Burundi lack access to safe drinking water

Poor access to clean water also undermines their development, predominantly girls who frequently miss out on education as they cover long distances to fetch clean water.


Devdiscourse News Desk Burundi
Updated: 22-03-2018 09:37 IST
UNICEF: Nearly half of the population in Burundi lack access to safe drinking water

Clean water access (Image credit: UNICEF/UN0185038/Haro)

Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes. Improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources can boost countries' economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction

The dearth of safe drinking water in Burundi presents a health crisis for children — water and sanitation-related diseases such as diarrhoea, Cholera are one of the biggest causes of death for children under five around the world. Poor access to clean water also undermines their development, predominantly girls who frequently miss out on education as they cover long distances to fetch clean water.

In Burundi, the burden of fetching water falls excessively on girls and women. With many having to walk for hours to fetch safe drinking water, they frequently miss out on school and are at risk of sexual violence en route to water points.

Regional issues:

  • Cholera outbreaks caused by contaminated drinking water occur in many areas of Burundi. In Ruyigi Province, bordering Tanzania, children collect untreated water from a stream, this can have devastating consequences for their health.
  • In Kinyinya hill, local residents stand around a puddle which serves as their only water source. A lack of access to clean water in the area means many of the children are affected by diarrheal and skin diseases.

With cholera endemic in many parts of Burundi, particularly those bordering Lake Tanganyika, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, UNICEF is constantly working to change the scenario.

How UNICEF is helping:

  • Hydraulic engineers working with UNICEF are helping to build systems that bring safe water to families and schools. By finding water sources, studying flows, and building water points, UNICEF and its partners are responding to the needs of local residents.
  • UNICEF and its partners are working to improve access to safe water for communities, such as in Mukerezi-Mpakaniro hill, where a rainwater tank was built.
  • Working with local authorities and development partners, UNICEF is able to find sustainable solutions. A recently inaugurated project in Muhuta hill is bringing clean water to students like Adrien, 6.
  • By building essential infrastructure, as well as mobilizing and involving communities in the most isolated areas of Burundi, UNICEF and its partners are working to provide clean and safe water to children, which is essential for them to survive and thrive.
COUNTRY : Burundi

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