WATER & SANITATION
Countries around the world are experiencing water crises, including water-borne diseases, chemical pollution and water-shortages. China is not exempt. In Yunnan, these three problems can combine to create a severe problem. Complicating the problem, many remote villages have few or no latrines. Human and animal fecal pathogens are commonly found in the water that is available due to an absence of latrines in or near homes, water systems that require water to pass from unprotected sources and/or through open trenches, and the presence of free-range livestock. Because of these issues, pathogenic microorganisms get into the drinking water systems causing severe diarrhea, dysentery and other diseases. More than 90% of the drinking water we have tested in rural villages does not meet Chinese water quality standards.
Solutions to these problems exist. Partners in Hope work in rural villages to install water systems that include protecting the water source and pipe water from the source to homes limiting the amount of pollution that can get into drinking water. We also distribute ceramic water filters to homes, training families in their importance and how to use and maintain the filters. Another very important project is to build latrines in villages conveniently located next to peoples homes or in them. Do so reduces the amount of disease carrying microorganisms that can get into the environment and reduce the amount of diarrhea and other diseases in rural villages.