Text excerpts from report by Bengt Gustafsson, Nykvarns Rotary club.
5,000 people, mostly women and children under 5 years can now how access to have, clean and hot water at home for up to 10 years. These very poorest have benefitted from the effort made by several Rotary clubs, led by Nykvarn’s Rotary Club, Höganäs, Jönköping, Sollentuna, Värmdö, Umeå Västra, Tumba, Huddinge-Botkyrka, Alingsås, Österåker, Österåker First Breakfast, Falsterbo, District 2370 and Redon in France and Taunton Vale in England since 2012.
Ilemera is a small community 80 km south of the city of Bukoba on the west side of Lake Victoria in the northwestern part of Tanzania. A very hilly region with a lack of forest. Residents have a very low standard of living with difficulty in accessing clean water. It is difficult to find wood and expensive to buy coal. Several villages are completely lacking in electricity.
At Ilemera there is a vocational school “The Carpentry / Sewing School ICCO” which is supported by the Swedish NGO “Give it forward”. The boarding school started about 12 years ago. It has 22 students aged 16-18 years who go 2 years to learn to work as a carpenter or seamstress. They provide the students, who come from very poor conditions and where at least one parent is missing, an education that provides the tools for starting their own companies.
The school received 1 Solvatten Solar Safe Water System already in 2012 in order for the teachers and cooks to learn how Solvatten works. Very good experiences meant that the interest was great before the start of the Rotary project. The first consignment with 72 Solvatten units was in place in October 2013. During the next 5 years a total of 409 Solvatten units were delivered in Illemera within the framework of the Rotary project.
In autumn 2014, the first one-year follow-up (response from about 60 families) was carried out with the following results:
- Gives less stomach ache in the family and gives fewer sick days and thus reduced expenses
- Provides peace of mind and knowledge that the children get safe water
- Saves firewood / coal
- Provides warm wash and bath water
- Facilitates the work and shortens the time for cooking when the water is already warm
- Provides good water and always enough clean water available
If it is sunny use the canister from a couple of times a week to twice a day, depending on the number of people in the family
During the two-year follow-up in autumn 2015, it emerged that:
- The cost is reduced with the reduced need for wood and coal, time gain and saving of expenses.
- The Solvatten users also do not have as much effort to obtain fuel and fit the fire before the water is boiled.
- In addition, the water does not taste any longer smoke. “It tastes good”, there were many who answered.
- Both parents and the children are less sick. Hospital and medicine costs are decreasing.
Visit to Ilemera February 2017
A selection of great comments from beneficiaries using Solvatten:
- Some times of the year, the quality of the water in the rivers is really miserable.
- You don’t get red-eyed because of smoke
- You can keep the water several days
- The women save a lot of time, easier to cook and need less firewood
- Now there is no health problem. Especially the children’s constant stomach problems are gone
- Increased contacts with neighbors so that more people get clean water
- “I keep Solvatten as it is an egg!”
The result of the project has been really gratifying. The project has given approximately 5,000 people access to clean water for a long time to come. In addition to that the Rotary clubs have opened many people’s eyes for how important it is to have access to clean and hot water at home. It has huge health implications.
We all get pleasure from what we have been able to share with the families in Tanzania. Thanks to all the clubs and individuals who have contributed to the project and not least the principal and all teachers at ICCO.
Bengt Gustafsson, Nykvarns Rotary Club, May 2019
Interested to know how more Rotary clubs can grow the project in Illemera or other place? Start by sending us an email!