Water for everyone?
We blow up our lawns, water our lush front gardens, wash our cars regularly and take a shower every day. On average, a German uses about 120 litres of water per day, which is about the same as filling a bathtub. If you include the water that evaporates, is consumed or polluted for the production of our food, other goods or services, it is even more than 5,000 litres a day. But in recent years we have also seen that our water supplies are not limitless. If the groundwater level drops too low, we are urged to save water. Especially the climate change, which at the end of June 2019 caused temperatures here in Germany to reach 40 degrees Celsius, makes us aware of this again.
What has been the exception in our country so far is not unusual in the Hope Home orphanage in Tanzania. When our board member Denise met Sarah and Joseph on her first trip to Tanzania, it was precisely the topic of water that motivated her to found Weltherz e.V.: Because Sarah and Joseph could not pay the bill, the water was turned off for a few days. In order to ensure these basic needs and to give the children in the Hope Home a carefree life, Denise founded our association Welherz. We can prevent this scenario in the future by our association work – also with the help of our numerous supporters, who donated enough money in the context of our Christmas campaign “A month without worries”, in order to secure the water supply for 2019. This costs the Hope Home about 12 Euro per month.
The Hope Home is connected to a central water supply which provides African standards drinking water. But that doesn’t mean that water always comes out of the tap when you turn it on. Because the water is rationed. And also we from Welherz have already experienced it: When Denise and Vanessa were there, only a few drops came out of the tap – and nothing changed for three days. That’s why they set up a large water tank directly to bridge such supply bottlenecks and provide continuous access to water. With our Christmas campaign “One month without worries”, we were able to ensure the water supply for all 12 months for the year 2019.
Water supply in Tanzania
Although Tanzania borders on the continent’s three largest lakes, Africa, the supply of clean water remains a major challenge. Clean drinking water is recognised as a human right by the United Nations General Assembly and is the elixir of life for all of us. Not only because we drink it, but also because it is the basis for our health and development. Because the presence of water determines illness or health.
The water used in the Hope Home does not really suit our pampered European stomachs. In the Hope Home it is used for drinking, cooking, showering and cleaning. The drinking water, which supplies the Boma N’gombe region and thus also the orphanage, has a very high fluoride content of 4.5 to 10 mg / litre. A fluorine content of 1.5 mg per litre is harmless to health. Too much fluorine causes discoloration of the teeth, which we can see in some children of the Hope Home. In order to reduce the fluorine content, the responsible ministry has already taken some measures.
In comparison, it is hard to imagine that we would use such clean water for our toilet flushing that we would be able to drink from it…