Over a year after a co-project between GCI, GC Sri Lanka and GC Japan to install new infrastructure in the water-scarce village of Pulawala, Sri Lanka in Sep 2015, Mahaoya’s Health Officer has sent a letter of thanks citing the sharp decline in incidences of water-borne diseases following installation of the new facilities.
Positive results are being demonstrated now, one year after the new water supply system started operating. In February of this year, the local health office of Mahaoya, which supervises Pulawala Village in Ampare District, reported to GC Sri Lanka and GC Japan that cases of water-borne diseases such as dysentery, hepatitis A and Typhoid disappeared among the locality’s 1,000 villagers and 200 households in 2016. According to the local health office, before the installation of the new clean water supply, there was an expectation that several cases of those diseases would occur each year. It can be assumed that the reduction in cases of water-borne diseases is attributable to the supply of clean water by Green Cross’ project. According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, almost 40 per cent% of the rural population in Sri Lanka does not have access to a safe source of water in Sri Lanka.
“Your contribution by implementing a new water project at Pulawala gives invaluable benefit,” reads the letter. “So we are grateful to you as health care staff for provision of safe water for the people at Pulawala, which ultimately resulted in improved health status of the whole area.”
The village people of Pulawala have shown great appreciation for the stable supply of clean water from the GC project, and the resulting improvement in local health conditions. In March this year, they sent a message of appreciation to Green Cross and its sponsors to express their gratitude. In the message, they also reported that until now they have been successfully managing and maintaining the new water supply system by themselves.
”We have formed a CBO (Community Based Organisation) named “Nildiya” for the protection and better controlling of the system,” read the letter from the Chair of the newly-formed established CBO organisation maintaining local ownership of the infrastructure. “Before getting this system we had to travel long distances for drinking water, but now we have our own drinking water system and we are proud of that.”
The project is the first “Smart Water for Green Schools (SWGS)” project to be implemented in Sri Lanka. The Smart Water for Green Schools (SWGS) project, which Green Cross started in 2010 to provide access to water and sanitation for communities in need around the world, contributes to international efforts to secure safe drinking water and sanitation for every human being. SWGS addresses children’s needs first, as they are more vulnerable to waterborne diseases, but does target entire communities. SWGS methods include building infrastructure and empowering communities to maintain their own water supplies, reducing the risk of deadly waterborne diseases, promoting the sustainable use of water resources, and increasing school attendance, girls’ education and gender equality.
For more information on Smart Water for Green Schools, go to: http://www.gcint.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SWGS-Brochure-Eng-March-2017-short-2-light.pdf