The Salvation Army International Development UK is an umbrella term for the community development work that The Salvation Army United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland supports around the world. This work is divided into five themes, three of which sit within the International Projects Office (Clean Water, Food Security and Income Generation), and two of which sit within Anti-Trafficking & Modern Slavery (Anti-Trafficking and Gender Justice).
On this page, you will find information about our Clean Water theme, stories from our projects and resources (coming soon) to help you raise funds and awareness about this issue within your community.
Spring Protection, DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is considered one of the most water-rich countries in Africa. It accounts for approximately 52 per cent of Africa’s surface water reserves and 23 per cent of its internal renewable water resources. In rural areas, the major sources of water are natural springs. Despite the abundance of water, in the Seke Banza district, only 38 per cent of people have access to potable water.
Many people were suffering from waterborne diseases as the water they were using was becoming contaminated. Animals were also using the natural spring, and in the rainy season the unprotected springs would burst their banks and the water would easily become dirty.
Regular illness affected every part of life. Children would frequently miss school, affecting their long-term education opportunities and people would be unable to work resulting in low income.
The Salvation Army has been working with over 30 different communities in Seke Banza to improve access and protection of drinking water from both springs and wells in rural areas.
The project aims to support communities to construct concrete protection around their natural water sources, and also provide education and training on hygiene.
Suzanne is the chief of Mianzi village, and shared that access to safe water has impacted her life and those within the village. Without a water source close to the village, Suzanne and others would have to travel to a stream to collect water. She says, ‘We were drinking the stream water, unprotected, dirty with dry leaves from trees and animal waste. Children and adults were affected with waterborne diseases in the village and were so many times ill.’
The local communities were actively involved in the project through gathering sand, stones and other materials to build the spring protection, helping technicians with labour during construction and providing them with food.
Receiving training in topics such as sanitation and hygiene, and how to care for the protected spring means that Suzanne and her village can be self-sustaining for years to come. They can also share with others within their community and beyond the benefits such as improved health, education for their children and more time to focus on income generation activities.
Speaking about how the project has impacted the community, Suzanne said: ‘This project shows us the sign of better living in the future. We have been trained about how to protect our spring and to keep it clean all the time. We have now understood that water is life!’
Other Clean Water Projects
The Salvation Army is supporting a number of clean water projects around the world such as providing rainwater harvesting tanks, latrines and handwashing units in schools and communities in Kenya, installing boreholes in Malawi and constructing sand-dams in Kenya. Contact us if you would like to find out more.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a direct debit to support this work.