Drinking dirty water is one of the biggest killers of children worldwide. In Iraq, the problem is particularly pronounced. Thousands die every year in the country due to easily preventable waterborne diseases.
But now, thanks to AMAR’s programme delivering clean water to schools, over 12,000 school children in Southern Iraq are being provided with access to safe drinking water. Across Iraq, large sections of the population have no access to clean drinking water.
Whilst the country has a large water and sewage network, much of it has fallen into disrepair following decades of conflict and under-investment. Homes, offices, hospitals, schools – all suffer from the shortage of safe water, and diseases linked to dirty water are rife. Children are disproportionately affected.
The need for safe drinking water for Iraq’s children is overwhelming. With support from Shell Iraq, AMAR has brought clean and safe drinking water to 36 primary and secondary schools in Iraq’s Basra Province, helping to prevent the spread of potentially fatal diseases such as parasitic illnesses, typhoid and dysentery.
As part of AMAR’s project, the water quality of schools has been tested, contaminated pipes have been replaced, chlorine tablets have been distributed and purification systems incorporating reverse osmosis units, electric pumps and storage tanks have been installed. “Iraq’s children have experienced years of conflict and poverty.
They have had to endure hardships and traumas and they have gone without stability and security. They shouldn’t have to go without clean water,” said AMAR’s Founder and Chairman, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne.
She added: “Clean water is a human right. No child should have to suffer from deadly diseases such as cholera, typhoid or dysentery, which can be prevented through simple sanitation procedures.” Dr Ali Muthanna, AMAR’s Regional Manager in Iraq, added:
“safe drinking water is vital for the survival of Iraq’s children. The detrimental impact of dirty water on a child’s health and education is all too evident.”
“This project is making a real difference to the lives and education of thousands of Iraqi girls and boys. Access to clean water will not only help prevent diseases, but it will also give children the safe hydration they need to concentrate in class.”