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WaterCan Launches New Clean Water Projects to Change the Lives of Thousands of Students in Eastern Africa

37,000 girls, boys and teachers at 41 schools in eastern Africa to gain access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene education by 2012.

Ottawa, Canada, November 04, 2010 --( WaterCan is pleased to announce the launch of Phase III of its successful Clean Water for Schools program in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. WaterCan will work in these four countries with 13 African partner organizations to support the provision of clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene education. By 2012 over 37,000 students and teachers will be living better, healthier lives through access to new school facilities such as rain water harvesting tanks, hand dug wells, sanitary latrine blocks and health promotion materials.

Why is supporting clean water and sanitation projects at primary schools in eastern Africa so critical? Many national governments have adopted a policy of free Universal Primary Education (UPE) in recognition of the importance of an educated population to support local poverty reduction efforts. As a consequence, the number of students attending primary schools has increased dramatically. When a school does not have proper water or sanitation facilities, it can quickly become a place that causes sickness for both students and teachers.

Leslie Moreland, WaterCan’s Program Officer explains, “Hundreds of millions of school-aged children suffer from water- and sanitation-related diseases such as skin and eye infections, diarrhoeal diseases, and intestinal parasites which contribute to malnutrition and often hamper both physical and mental development, making learning even more difficult.” It is estimated that each year more than 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die from diarrheal diseases because of dirty water and poor sanitation conditions.

Since 2005, WaterCan has brought clean water and basic sanitation facilities like toilets and latrines to over 50,000 students and teachers at 85 primary schools in impoverished urban and rural schools in eastern Africa. The Head Teacher at Iraara Primary School in Uganda, a school previously supported by WaterCan, states that “due to the new water and sanitation facilities our enrollment has increased and we have noticed a decrease in diarrheal disease. This term we have not had a single pupil miss class because of diarrhea.”

The Clean Water for Schools program has contributed to tens of thousands of girls and boys leading healthier and more productive lives, and the impact is evident:
· More girls are attending classes and are staying in school;
· Grades have improved;
· Incidences of diarrheal diseases have decreased and
· Teachers staying to teach at the same school year after year.

For further information please visit

Contact Information
Andrea Helfer
613-230-5182, ext. 229

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