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When I was thirsty ...

PETE WOODING reports on the desperate need for clean water in north-eastern Uganda …

PETE WOODING reports on the desperate need for clean water in north-eastern Uganda …

Today, the situation in Karamoja is desperate. Six out of 10 people lack access to clean water; every month half of the children suffer from diarrhoea, the third biggest killer of children under five years old.

I witnessed the terrible consequences of this situation when I travelled to the area in October 2014, with Simon Barrington, Executive Director of Samaritan’s Purse UK.

We visited the Napak and Nakapiripirit districts of Karamoja, and met hundreds of adults and children who drink dirty water and live with the effects of waterborne diseases.

The most upsetting sight of our trip was visiting a water source that was brown and green with algae. As we watched the women collecting water from the pond, a herd of goats arrived and began drinking from the same source.

Simon Barrington shared his thoughts at this harrowing sight: “It broke my heart to see that they were drinking this disease-ridden water without boiling it or using any filtration.

“We saw the effect of this when we followed one mother back to her mud hut and watched her use the dirty water for cooking and washing; we watched as her children drank the water straight from the bucket in which it had been collected.  

“That brings healthcare issues, children can’t go to school because they’re sick, girls are ill and the community’s livelihoods are broken apart.”

To help break these communities out of this vicious cycle of water poverty Samaritan’s Purse wants to rehabilitate 45 broken wells, drill five new boreholes in Karamoja and provide comprehensive sanitation and hygiene education.

With YOUR support, Samaritan’s Purse can eliminate water poverty for more than 20,000 people living in 50 communities in Karamoja, by raising £300,000 by the end of April 2015.

What’s more, in response to your generosity, your donation will be matched by the UK government, so that we can reach twice as many people.  

Do something extraordinary for World Water Day (22 March 2015). We have some great fundraising resources for individuals, churches and schools.

To order/download your resource pack visit:

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