Peace Corps Volunteer Emily McKeone is working with her community members and local school teachers to bring safe, clean drinking water to three schools in Zambia to improve students’ health and boost school attendance. People in the communities currently travel long distances to get water that frequently comes from unprotected sources like local streams, which often leads to water-borne illnesses and sanitation concerns at school facilities.

By constructing borehole wells, the community’s water sources will be protected from contaminants and safe to drink. The additional water supply will also support school construction projects and enable students and teachers to plant gardens and orchards. The resulting produce will help raise money to maintain the boreholes.

“School attendance by students and teachers will improve from enhanced sanitation and clean drinking water,” said McKeone, who is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been living and working in Zambia since July 2012. “The schools currently have construction projects that have been delayed due to a lack of water, preventing completion of much needed classrooms, and these boreholes will allow for the completion of those projects.”

(Source: 1.usa.gov)

Zambia water education gender issues Africa global health clean water sanitation

"I love the ocean and have shared that passion with kids in my community. The potential for tourism and economic development exists here, but a focus on coastal conservation is needed to realize that potential."

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Patrick McGettigan, who recently organized a three-day Ocean Fair in Mozambique to promote coastal conservation

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

education conservation ocean environment tourism economic devlopment travel community development youth development water

"Water holds the key to sustainable development, we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource."  - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Happy World Water Day!

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Our Volunteers around the world work with local governments, clinics, nongovernmental organizations, and communities at the grassroots level, where the need is most urgent and the impact can be the greatest, focusing on outreach, social and behavior change in public health, hygiene and water sanitation.

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

World Water Day United Nations water sustainable development freshwater global health public health sanitation hygenie handwashing environment grassroots development nature education Peace Corps Volunteers

Almost four months after its arrival, the Play Pump remains the most popular place to be. Not only children from the primary school, but parents and grandparents are often seen chatting at the spigot’s end exchanging gossip while collecting water. After school there is – quite literally – standing room only. Lines form for a chance to hop on and a take a spin. Any able-bodied person cannot walk past without a throng of learners demanding a push.

Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Hubble recently installed a ‘Play Pump’ water filtration system, which will serve as a reliable source of fresh drinking water for his South African community. 

(Source: go.usa.gov)

Africa South Africa water health youth clean water Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer community development school drinking water

“Without proper access to clean water, community members often suffer from nutritional deficiencies and waterborne diseases. For millions of people living in developing countries like Togo, these conditions are everyday realities that inhibit their ability to work, pursue an education or raise a family. Access to clean water is not only the basis of reducing poverty and illness; it is the foundation of a productive and fully functioning community.”

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Danielle Maisano

Read more about her project to replace water pumps in 23 Togolese communities and how you can help make it a reality 

Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer Togo Togolese water clean water health poverty Africa developing countries

"This project will give all community members closer access to water, creates a committee that will take control and responsibility of the water system, and decreases the problems caused by unsanitary water. This is a beautiful community with wonderful, motivated people who are willing to contribute and sacrifice time and effort to have access to water."
- Peace Corps Volunteer Rodolfo Torres is working with his community in the Dominican Republic to build a rainwater collection system for 50 families.

(Source: go.usa.gov)

Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer Peace Corps Partnership Program water Dominican Republic rainwater


Building a new home in rural Zambia takes a lot of time and effort. On May 30, 2008, in a small village in the Luapula province, much of the community helped to build a home of mud bricks and dried grass for a struggling family in the village. The photograph I took shows six women carrying pails of water from a nearby stream to the men who mix the water into mud to make new bricks and mortar.

- Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Jason Hays

Building a new home in rural Zambia takes a lot of time and effort. On May 30, 2008, in a small village in the Luapula province, much of the community helped to build a home of mud bricks and dried grass for a struggling family in the village. The photograph I took shows six women carrying pails of water from a nearby stream to the men who mix the water into mud to make new bricks and mortar.

- Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Jason Hays

peace corps Zambia Africa community community development construction agriculture gender women water home houses

World Water Day - Did you know?  

Fetching water is part of the gender inequality. Check out these statistics from the United Nations Water for Life initiative: 

  • In rural Benin, girls ages 6-14 spend an average of one hour a day collecting water compared with 25 minutes for their brothers.
  • In Malawi, there are large variations in the amount of time allocated for water collection based on seasonal factors, but women consistently spend four to five times longer than men on this task.
  • In Tanzania, a survey found school attendance to be 12 per cent higher for girls in homes located 15 minutes or less from a water source than in homes one hour or more away. Attendance rates for boys appeared to be far less affected by distance from water sources.
  • In 12% of households children carry the main responsibility for collecting water, with girls under 15 years of age being twice as likely to carry this responsibility as boys under the age of 15 years.
  • Research in sub-Saharan Africa suggests that women and girls in low-income countries spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water—the equivalent of a year’s worth of labour by the entire Work force in France.
  • In Africa, 90% of the work of gathering water and wood, for the household and for food preparation, is done by women. Providing access to clean water close to the home can dramatically reduce women’s workloads, and free up time for other economic activities. For their daughters, this time can be used to attend school.

(Source: un.org)

Africa Asia Benin Eastern Europe Malawi Sub-Saharan Africa Tanzania UN United Nations Water for Life Water for Life gender inequality water water day world water day Solomon Islands Haiti Caribbean