One global crisis after another – and yet again, clean water is at the centre. 18 months ago, COVID started to spread worldwide and the vital importance of hygiene basics – like hand washing and clean water, were universally reinforced. It was almost like Canadians could connect even more to the work and the critical need in Uganda – and we were blessed to do abundantly more than we had imagined last year.
After a record summer of heat and no rain, we here in Canada are beginning to understand just a fraction of what our friends in Uganda have been going through for decades. Richard Musinguzi, our Programs Manager has watched his livestock die year after year simply because there was no water. The villagers walk further and further to pockets of swamp water. Where there once was a rainy season to connect two dry seasons, now there is none – just one long hot spell. I think Canadians, in some small way, can relate in a new way – at least to the heat and the impact of no rain. Water connects us all.
Here’s the good news: For the past 30 years, you have been helping us build the most drought resistant water systems in the world.
Unlike a traditional well (where you drop a rig down and hope you hit a sustainable source of water), a Gravity Flow System (https://acts.ca/our-approach/#GFS) allows us to monitor the source of water for years to ensure a sustainable supply of water for the community – even during the dry seasons – before building anything. Many of our systems have multiple sources feeding into them, to build in redundancy. This is why after 30 years none of our systems have run dry. You can view them on the map HERE.
Last year, instead of feeling powerless against COVID, Canadians rose to the challenge and provided soap, hand-washing stations and clean water to thousands in Uganda. Once again, water connects us all as we face this next global crisis head on, and once again we know your partnership will be the hand that helps reach across the pond as we journey together under this same, hot (and growing hotter) sun.
PS. Somewhat related, one of the most frequent questions we get asked is: “What are you doing about the water crisis in Canada?” So far we’ve tried to steer clear of this topic, preferring to listen. We’re still listening, but HERE are a few of Jeff’s early thoughts on it.