Sri Lanka: Malteser International rain water harvesting - because every drop counts!
"This form of water supply offers new perspectives and possibilities in coping with water scarcity," says Dr. Juergen Clemens, Senior Desk Officer Sri Lanka of Malteser International: "The access to clean water is a basic need and basic right of every single person. By means of collecting and filtering rain water from their own roof, we can sustainably improve the quality of life of the families, especially of women and young girls who play a key role in ensuring the water supply of their families. The system provides up to 20 litres clean water per person per day." On the one hand, the rain water harvesting system serves as a supplement for the water supply that had been destroyed by the tsunami at many places. On the other hand, these tanks collect 5,000 up to 8,000 litres and, thus, help to bridge the seasonal water supply shortages the population in the south of Sri Lankahas to face each year after the monsoon.
The staff of Malteser International also trains the families in the proper use of the rain water harvesting system, especially how to clean it, and informs the population on general questions concerning health and hygiene. They distribute so called H2S test kits that enable the families to test their rain water on bacterial contamination. "Many people suffer from needless infections because of the inappropriate and unsanitary handling of water. Our aim is the sustainable improvement of hygiene and, thus, a decrease of the risks of infection. So far, the test kits are distributed for free especially among students who serve as multipliers", Clemens explains: "At the beginning, the families were sceptical of drinking the rain water and preferred the water from contaminated wells. With the help of the test kits they are now able to see for themselves that the rain water has a better quality than the water from the wells."
More than 40 percent of the world population already suffer from water scarcity. In Sri Lanka, only 30 percent of the population have access to improved piped water supply.
Immediately after the tsunami catastrophe, Malteser International in cooperation with local partner organisations took care of the water supply of nearly 90,000 people in Sri Lanka's GalleDistrict . The water supply and hygiene projects of Malteser International in the south of Sri Lankaare supported by UNICEF and implemented in cooperation with the local partner organisation "Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum".
Attention editorial offices! Dr. Juergen Clemens, Senior Desk Officer Sri Lanka, is available for interviews. Please contact: +49 221 98 22 155.
A picture is available for download: http://www.malteser.de/1.08.Aktuelles/1.08.01.Presse_Center/1.08.01.04.Bilder_Download/Bilder_Download.htm
For its projects in Sri Lanka, Malteser International appeals for donations:
Donation Account 120 120 120
Bank fuer Sozialwirtschaft, Woerthstr.15-17, D-50668 Cologne
Sort Code 370 205 00, IBAN : DE49 3702 0500 0001 0258 01, BIC: BFSWDE33XXX
For more Information please contact:
PetraIpp, Senior Desk Officer Communication,
Phone: +49-221-9822-155, Fax +49-221/9822-179;