8th January, 2021

How Cotton On Foundation provides clean drinking water in Uganda

For many of us, clean water is a given, available day or night from the nearest tap! But for millions across the globe, clean water is a life-changer for a range of reasons.

Most importantly, access to clean, affordable and reliable safe drinking water can stop the preventable transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, hepatitis A and typhoid.

But the provision of clean water to children has an impact that reaches beyond the immediate health benefits; access to more water sources can increase personal safety by reducing the risky journeys to collect it, reduces health expenditure for families, and increases the productivity of both adults and children alike.

Access to clean water for kids is even linked to better school attendance!

For all these reasons and more, ensuring supported communities have access to clean, safe drinking water is one of Cotton On Foundation’s most pressing priorities.

To make sure each supported school in Uganda has clean drinking water, large tanks to collect and filter rainwater (called Rhino tanks) are installed. Each Rhino tank has a capacity of at least 200,000 litres, ensuring water is available to schools throughout the term and year round! A total of five litres of water is available to each student per day.

Why Rhino Tanks?

Initially, boreholes were used in the supported schools, but it was quickly found the underground water drawn was too rich in minerals, and without access to piped water, rainwater collection was decided on as a solution.

To fill the tanks, rainwater is collected from the school buildings roofs, delivered to the tanks through the gutters. The tank is fitted with a filter, ensuring no rubbish can get through.

From there, the lining of the tank is designed to treat the rainwater. The liner is black and the tank is sealed to deter light entry, preventing the growth of algae or other microorganisms that could make the water unsafe for drinking.

To make sure the water is safe for drinking, samples are taken and transported to the central water quality testing laboratory at the National Water and Sewerage Corporation in Bugolobi, Kampala. A water quality compliance certificate is then issued for each tank.

Addressing the basic needs of every child, including access to clean drinking water, is the very first stepping stone to ensuring kids can access a quality education and break the cycle of poverty. Cotton On Foundation is committed to fulfilling these needs, so that every child they support can be a happy and healthy one!

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