Last year, the number of forcibly displaced people in the world reached 80 million, and over 26 million refugees, for the first time in recorded history. Out of these, close to 1,5 million people live as refugees in Uganda. A country that itself struggles with poverty and several socio-economic challenges, and therefore lacks resources to meet these refugees’ most primary needs.
A majority of Uganda’s population still lives without access to safe water, and only 22% have access to electricity. The high dependence on firewood and charcoal at the household level causes deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion and droughts, which are also Uganda’s foremost environmental issues.
Since 2017, Solvatten has worked in close partnership with UNHCR Uganda and Sweden for UNHCR to provide refugees in Uganda with safe, warm water. Together we have reached 30 000 of the most vulnerable people living as refugees in Uganda. The partnership has enabled several positive effects for the beneficiaries’ health, as cases of stomach diseases, cough and burn injuries have gone down. Also, expenditures for biofuels for treating and boiling water have been reduced, which has created ripple effects resulting in improved economic wellbeing. This enables refugee families to improve their living conditions, while also caring for their local environment by using the power of the sun.
One of the households who has benefitted from the partnership is David and Carolyne, and their children. In 2016, they were forced to flee and cross the border to Uganda due to the civil war in their home country South Sudan. When they arrived at the Maaji Refugee Settlement in Adjumani, they were assigned a plot of land where they could build a small house and provide for themselves through small-scale farming. Despite hours spent in their maize field, the family must still rely on monthly food support to cover their basic needs.
Both parents suffer from stomach complications, which seems to be a result of chronic, untreated stomach worm infections back in South Sudan. To prevent the risk of other stomach diseases, mainly caused by untreated water and lack of hygiene, the family was selected as beneficiaries of a Solvatten kit in February of this year. Now they use their Solvatten on a daily basis to ensure safe drinking water and reduce their use of biomass. This has helped reduce their expenses significantly, making the household economy much more stable.
Make Solvatten a reality for more families in Uganda! Donate today and make an impact on people and our planet.