I am very happy to work with S.A.L.V.E International due to my own experiences as a child growing up on the street. As a home assistant working for the Drug Rehabilitation department, we used to face a big problem in accessing drinking water to use at S.A.L.V.E. We used to spend a huge amount of money transporting water to the land because piped water couldn’t make it to our site. Even then, sometimes not enough was transported and we had to be very careful about what we used water for to make sure it would last the week.
As those of you who have visited us will know, the S.A.L.V.E. land is on a big hill, and we also used to struggle getting the truck to reach the Drug Rehab centre at the top, and it also made it very expensive. Sometimes, staff and children had to go to neighbours looking for water, and it could take too much time. Yet water is needed for daily use such as cooking, washing clothes and bathing.
I would like to thank the entire management of S.A.L.V.E. for overcoming the challenge by installing reserve water tanks so that we at S.A.L.V.E. are able to access safe drinking water and overcome some of the challenges at the land, making sure children do not need to leave the land in the name of water and the costs were too high. Now the children at the land are able to access good, safe drinking water at any time. We appreciate the people at Drink Local, Drink tap for making the system for us and doing the follow up trainings.
We preserve water through a rain water harvesting system. We collect water by utilizing the available buildings at land and connecting water pipes to different buildings such as the drug rehab centre, half way home and then into our reserve tanks. This has has helped S.A.L.V.E. to reduce on the cost of transporting water and also reduces the challenges facing our children at drug rehab.
Our children at land now always have a smile on their faces while drinking safe, clean water for drinking, washing clothes, bathing and cleaning their rooms. Having water available at the land all the tine also makes us home assistants, both at the Halfway Home and Drug Rehab take good care of the water sources we have at land by monitoring them, and maintaining them by keeping them clean at all the times.
I think access to clean, safe water is very important to our health. We can promote good hygiene for our children by teaching them the importance of practising good hygiene by washing their clothes, bathing, brushing their teeth and cleaning our compounds so that we are free from germs. This is something that children on the street often find strange at first, and something they can learn to appreciate through time at the S.A.L.V.E. land.
We therefore thank the members of S.A.L.V.E. International for working hard to see that children at our land have access to safe drinking water. This helps us to ensure that there is no street called home for children in Uganda.