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By PDG Belinda Yeung, JP, Rotary Club of Hong Kong Harbour
March is Water and Sanitation Month
What Is your Rotary Club doing to focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in March 2021?
Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life.
Clean water and sanitation is a human right. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives. We don’t just build wells and walk away. Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families, expanding our impact.
Rotary Foundation’s Impact on WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE
HOW ROTARY MAKES HELP HAPPEN
Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.
Delivering Rotary Water Purification Systems (WPS) for Schools in China
Rotary Club of Kowloon East (RC KE) and Rotary Clubs in Hong Kong have been building schools and exploring water resources in many remote provinces in China, which suffer from water hygiene problems, with contamination by harmful bacteria and particles.
In 2001, RC KE started a worldwide search for a simple, reliable Water Purification System (WPS) with minimal maintenance costs and capacity to supply 4000 – 5000 people daily consumption of clean drinking water.
72 Water Purification Systems (WPS) have been built at schools in remote provinces in China since 2012. The total project cost per each WPS was about US$8,000. The project has capacity to provide sufficient clean drinking water to 5000 people and the systems have a designed working life of at least 10 years within minimal maintenance costs.
This is a highly economical solution which can serve in the remote areas where economic conditions are poor. The water is channelled to 16 taps around the steel structure for students to fill their water bottles. After serving the needs of the school (average number of pupils about 1000 – 3000), the nearby residents and student parents may take water from WPS for their domestic uses.
Assuming each WPS serves about 3000 people, the total beneficiaries of the 72 WPS are estimated to be about 220,000.
Schools reached in 2012/13:
43 schools in Shaanxi Province, China (through 8 matching grants with almost all clubs in Hong Kong and Macau participating and over 100 international partner clubs involved).
Water Purification System (WPS) WASH Award (2016)
Water Purification System (WPS) for Schools in China Project was a great success and was well-recognized by Rotary International.
The project was awarded the Most Outstanding WASH in Schools Project and was presented at Presidential Conference on WASH in Schools in March 2016. PDG Ada Cheng had the honor and attended the Conference on behalf of RC KE to receive this award.
International (Central America)
Schools get help with clean water and hygiene
An estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation facilities that hygienically separate human excreta from human contact. The schools in Guatemala, Central America and neighboring countries can use all the help available in this area.
Carlos Flores, Governor of District 4250 (Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras) in Central America got involved with The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools Target Challenge. This pilot program focuses on providing clean water and sanitation systems, and equipping teachers to educate students on better hygiene practices.
Objective of the project is to develop good hygiene habits in children by reducing absenteeism due to diseases that are acquired due to lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools, though this project will increase their academic development. Training teachers to help children develop good hygiene habits is another key factor!
After a year, the Rotary Club of Valle de Guatemala, the project has improved conditions for as many as 1,793 children from 10 schools in the town of Escuintla, about 40 miles south of Guatemala City, the capital.
With the support of an energy company in Guatemala by donating US$62,000 to the project. Two Rotary Clubs in Guatemala worked with local public health officials and urban and rural planners. The project provided toilets, washing stations, and water tanks, and also supported training for teachers so that the facilities would be put to good use.
This year, one of the Rotary Clubs obtained a budget of US$30,000 to support five more schools. As a result of the project: fewer students now miss school because of gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, which sometimes spread by poor hand washing or lack of safe water.
What is Arch Klumph Society?
Named after the sixth president of Rotary, the Arch Klumph Society (AKS) was established to acknowledge and recognize The Rotary Foundation’s highest tier of donors — those who have contributed US$250,000 or more during their lifetime.
AKS Trustees Circle Member (US$250,000 to US$499,999)
1. Rtn Sik Ling Or became the 10th AKS member since 2018, Rotary International End Polio Service Project touched him…
“I gradually learned more about Rotary through participating in the service after joining Rotary. There are not only friendship and fellowship, but also many opportunities to participate in the service. Another more important reason is the service of Rotary International, especially the “End Polio” project. This signature service project of Rotary touched me”.
2.Rtn Sik Ling Or donated US$200,000 to End Polio among other funds in TRF, why?
“I believe that many of you have never seen a polio patient. But when I was a young student in Indonesia, one of my classmates was a polio patient. At that time, we all saw her suffering from polio. And it was not only that classmate but also her family who had to suffer the pain and inconvenience brought by the polio treatment. Later she passed away”.
“I felt that there was a sense of mission to donate to TRF and my family members were very supportive. I believe that with all our efforts, polio will be eradicated very soon in this world. And this is my wish with Rotary”.