Admired by her peers at the Tawayel El-Sharqiyya School, Fatima, 10, is a natural leader. When Fatima speaks out about the urgent need to begin protecting the environment, the other students listen. She hopes they will also follow her example.
“I have learned a lot about how to keep the environment safe at school,” Fatima said. “Now, whenever I meet a child who doesn’t take care of the environment, I feel sorry for him, and I try and tell him ways to change his habits.”
Miyoba Milton is a big man with a big job – Headmaster at the Government Basic School in Choma. He is responsible for approximately 600 pupils and just over a dozen teachers. His authority is tempered with humility and enthusiasm.
“I never knew the importance of washing my hands until I learned from the children here!” Mr. Milton confessed at a recent performance of the school’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education (WASHE) Drama Group.
The sight of children fetching water at the nearest river with buckets on their heads is a common scene in Baney, a small town situated in the outskirts of Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.
Running water is scarce in homes. That is why families must mobilize and organize their daily pilgrimage to a river named Ehola, which means ‘the protective spirit of the people’.
In the village of Mbang-Mboum, traditional attitudes toward girls have long kept them out of school. Domestic chores fall to girls and women, and essential tasks like carrying water for the household take precedence over education.
Now, however, a group of village girls and boys can be seen playing around a water pump located right near their school. The children drink and wash their hands with clean water from the pump.
The UN Secretary-General has recently expressed the view that many ills that confront this earth, such as wars, diseases, famines and environmental insecurity, have their root causes in poverty.
One of the key challenges to ensuring adequate supplies of fresh water and sanitary wastewater systems is to build the capacity of various stakeholders to manage and deliver water and sanitation services. One element of such capacity building is technological and includes the wide deployment of water quality monitoring and analysis equipment.
Drinking water in sufficient quantity and quality is one of the most basic human needs and it is a human right. Millennium Development Goal 7 on Environmental Sustainability aims to reduce by half the number of people who have no access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation.
The sustainable management of water quality has policy, technical, institutional and financial components. In many developing countries restricted funding is usually combined with fragile or unstable institutions and limited technical capabilities to deal with an expanding range of water quality problems. Therefore, there needs to be a priority on establishing a coherent and realistic national policy response to water quality management so that limited funds and strengthening of capacity are strategically focused on essential issues, and institutional inertia or competition is eliminated.
An assessment and comparison of the microbial quality of stored drinking water was carried out in two villages in the rural district of Chikwawa in Southern Malawi.
IDEXX Colilert® was used as a qualitative method for determining the presence/absence of coliforms and Escherichia coli (E.coli) a bacterial indicator of faecal contamination. All (100%) of the stored drinking water samples from both villages tested coliform positive. In Village A, 91% of water samples tested E. coli positive while in Village B, 80% of water samples tested E. coli positive.
"Stockholm Water Front - A Forum for Global Water Issues" is published four times a year by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
The December 2005 issue contains reports on the following general subjects:
1. The World Water Week Develops
2. Protecting Water Quality: The Cost of Non-Action
3. Clashing Views on the Ecosystem Approach and Governance