The first thing you notice about the Namayingo District of Uganda is its beauty. Lush with green, tall grass, fields of maize and vibrant rolling hills. It’s how you’d imagine Hawaii in the 1950’s— a less-modern kind of paradise.
And it feels like a wonderful place to grow up. …
The Namayingo District is tucked away in the corner of the country. It’s as far south as you can go before running into the largest body of water in Africa, Lake Victoria. And if you didn’t know any better, the lake would only add to the charm.
Tiny purple flowers float with brilliant green lily pads clinging to the shore. Long, wooden fishing boats glide across the tropical lake water. Shadowy Kenyan mountains line the horizon.
But the people in the Namayingo District do know better.
Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old. The World Health Organization reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated.
Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives.
- 37,600,000 national population
- 24.5% live below poverty line
- 29% of rural lack access to water
- 66% of rural lack sanitation
Uganda is rebounding after two decades of civil war, when more than 1.6 million people were internally displaced (80% of which were women and children). Many remain far from home while violence continues to grip the northern regions.
But clean water projects can improve health, shorten the time spent walking for water, and even help define and rebuild communities returning to or looking for a home after years of displacement.
charity: water’s work in Uganda
- Started working in 2006
- 159,593 people served
- 260 projects funded
- $2,620,724 invested
The U-Pick Video Game Marathon for Charity is proud to be fundraising for clean water projects in Uganda for UPickVG IV – our fourth video game marathon for charity: water. With every donation, our donors are encouraged to name a video game that they’d like to see us play in a 48-hour-straight livestreamed marathon on June 12th, 2015.
Donations to UPickVG IV go directly to charity: water, who in turn will use 100% of the donations for clean water projects in Uganda. The suggested donation amount is $30 – enough to provide one person in rural Uganda with access to a clean water source, and change their life.
Sources and more information:
Medium – It Happened on the Walk for Water (Warning – may be disturbing to some readers, due to content relating to rape and violence.)