The importance of handwashing has taken centre stage during the last 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without water and soap we know how easily viruses can spread. Still, across Lao PDR there are homes, schools and even health care facilities with little or no access to water. To date, only 48% of primary schools and 25% of health facilities in the Lao PDR have access to safe drinking water and sanitation (World Bank 2019).
According to the Water Environment Partnership in Asia (WEPA) there is 270 billion cubic meters of water available in Lao PDR and yet only 5.7 billion is being used, predominantly in the agricultural sector. With such a large amount of water available, how is it possible that so many cannot benefit from it?
Surface water (from rivers, streams and ponds) is the most used source in Lao PDR, however is becoming increasingly polluted from inadequate sewerage systems and agricultural waste run-off. Furthermore, as climate change increases, the country is experiencing more and more droughts decreasing the amount of surface water available (UNDP- Sustainable Development Goals).
Groundwater is underutilised in Lao PDR. This source could provide many homes and communities with access to water. Globally, groundwater provides drinking water for 50% of the population and 2.5 billion people rely on groundwater resources for their basic water needs (The Groundwater Project). By tapping into groundwater, water can be accessed all year round and with the right resources, time and knowledge of how, when and where to dig, installing groundwater wells can “boost rural communities’ access to clean water for personal and sanitation use” (CGIAR, 2017).
Increased access to this vital source of water along with water saving technology, like the HappyTap, can improve sanitation and hygiene across Lao PDR and the world. Having a HappyTap not only means that people can have access to handwashing in their homes but because of the sprinkler system, it also saves water meaning less time for women and children having to walk, sometimes, long distances to fetch water. Without any need for plumbing or construction, HappyTaps can be placed anywhere. They are so easy to install, even school children can do it.
Email us today to see how you can help the Lao community gain access to handwashing facilities and improved sanitation, through HappyTap – firstname.lastname@example.org