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Water is Life. Lack of access to safe water is the world’s single largest cause of illnesses, and the second highest cause of preventable child deaths, with around 4,100 children dying daily around the world from waterborne illnesses. Water is Life.

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water is life
Water is Life

Lack of access to safe water is the world’s single largest cause of illnesses, and the second highest cause of preventable child deaths, with around 4,100 children dying daily around the world from waterborne illnesses.

water is life1
Water is Life

Pneumonia is the number one cause of child deaths globally. Hand washing with soap is drastically reducing numbers of infections and deaths.

water is life2
Water is Life

In New Zealand we simply have to turn on the tap to have access to safe water.

However for many people in Tanzania, access to water means hardship, illness and can even mean death.

access to water in tanzania
Access to Water in Tanzania

In Tanzania access to safe water is extremely limited.

Only 4% of the population have water piped to their homes.

This means everyone else must go and collect water to bring to their homes.

collecting water
Collecting Water
  • This job usually falls to women and children, especially girls.
  • Collecting water is very hard work as the water source can be kilometres away from the village.
  • It often stops children from attending school, and women from working, as they are spending much of their day fetching and carrying water.

Boke,12 years old, walks 1km each way to collect water, at least twice a day.

water sources
Water Sources

The physical hardship of collecting water is not the only difficulty.

Where the water is collected from can be a real problem. Sadly many people are forced to collect water from unsafe water sources such as rivers, streams, lakes, open wells and even puddles – called open water sources.

open water sources
Open Water Sources
  • The water that is being collected is often unsafe and contaminated by diseases, bacteria and parasites. This is because it’s open, and animals can also drink out of it.
  • When the animals drink they usually stand in the water, they can go to the toilet in it and it becomes dirtied with animal waste. Sometimes animals can even die in the water which is extremely dangerous for people drinking water from that source.
open water sources1
Open Water Sources

Mosquitoes use open stagnant water as a breeding ground. Mosquitoes spread a disease called Malaria. Many children and pregnant women get very sick, and in some cases die from Malaria in Tanzania.

A baby boy is being treated for malaria at a local health centre.

open water sources2
Open Water Sources

People contaminate the water source by:

  • Washing their clothes and bodies in it.
  • Dumping waste including rubbish, sewage and even dead animals.
  • When there is a lot of rain, dirty water, mud and rubbish gets washed into the water source.
open water sources3
Open Water Sources

The following images are of open unsafe water sources.

  • What can you see happening in the photos?
  • How would you feel if you had to collect water for all of your drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning from these sources?

Remember turning on a tap for clean water is not an option.

safe water sources
Safe Water Sources

See the difference in the colour of the of the water.

This water comes from a protected bore, meaning it’s clean water pumped straight from under the ground and can’t be contaminated by things above ground.

safe water sources1
Safe Water Sources

Tanks are another safe water source.

quick quiz
Quick Quiz
  • Explain why sharing the same water source as animals is a problem.
  • Describe what an open water source is.
  • Why are tanks and pumps safe water sources?
  • Why is drinking dirty water a problem for children?
  • Explain why collecting water can cause hardship, and who is usually responsible for the task.

Answers on slide 21


Between 2007 and 2011 UNICEF undertook a water project to improve water access for people in Tanzania.

In the beginning we hoped to improve the lives of 16,000 people, however by the time the project was complete the lives of 65,000 people had been improved by the water project.

In a campaign that raised $500,000 and was matched dollar for dollar by Gareth and Jo Morgan, we were able to achieve:

  • 32 Sources of safe water – mostly wells.
  • Rainwater harvesting systems for 20 schools.
  • New toilet blocks and hand washing facilities for 12 schools.
  • Water tanks for 3 health centres.
  • Personal hygiene training for 13,000 school children.
  • 500 Community members taught how to maintain wells and rainwater systems.

Later this year Gareth Morgan and members of the UNICEF team will return to Tanzania to see first hand the difference the water project has made to lives of people in Tanzania.

quiz answers
Quiz Answers
  • When animals go to the toilet in the water they contaminate the water with bacteria that causes disease, making people who share the same water sick.
  • An open water source is unprotected. Anything can get into the water and cause it become contaminated.
  • Tanks and closed water bores are safe water sources because they are not in the open, they are protected so they are much harder to contaminate.
  • Waterborne diseases and illnesses are the second largest killer of children around the world. Many children become very sick as they are forced to drink unsafe or dirty water.
  • Collecting water means walking for hours and carrying heavy containers of water. It has to be collected in all weathers. It stops children from being able to go to school or women from being able to go to work.