Aliseth lives in the rural community of Rancho Pando with her husband and their four children, ages 2, 5, 8, and 15 years old.
“We used to collect water from a nearby well, which is about half a mile away. We would drink our water directly from there, no matter how dirty it was. And, sometimes we had to drink from a river. I worried about this all the time because there was no way to know if an animal or something else could have contaminated the river or the well.
“I remember when we all had parasites at home. All of us got sick very often. Lab tests always showed we had several parasites.
“My husband and I couldn’t afford to buy a water filter on our own. We are poor, and our children depend on us. Sometimes, we would get chlorine to apply to our water, but there were many times we simply could not afford it. I felt so bad about that.
“But things are different now because through AMOS, we have a water filter in our home. I pour water into the top of the filter, and in just 30 minutes, we have water ready to drink.
“Life is so much better because we can drink safe and clean water. Now, we don’t have parasites. To me, having a water filter means health. And I am so happy that our health has improved.
“I thank everyone who has made it possible for us to have a water filter. This means better health for my family.
But there are still many households who cannot access safe drinking water. My mom is one of the many people who still need a water filter. Sometimes, our kids go visit her, and it would be better if they could drink filtered water there, too. And I hope other families in my community can also get a water filter. All of us deserve that.
Besides the filters, families need to learn about habits to stay healthy, and teach children about handwashing and other hygiene practices so we can reduce diarrhea and parasites. That is part of what good health means, too.
I also thank all of you because your support to the community clinic in Rancho Pando allowed us to get better when we were sick. Thank you for the medicines and for supporting our Health Promoter so he can be there for us.”
In 2010, AMOS started the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Program after finding out only 4.8% of families in the communities we served had access to clean water.
Over the years, we have partnered with mission teams, volunteers and supporters to address this critical need. And we thank each and everyone of them.
However, there is so much work left to be done. Thanks to the support of kind-hearted people like you, the WASH program has benefited over 1,700 families who could not access clean water, like Aliseth. But, that is only a small fraction and only a part of the solution.
Our Programs team has designed a plan to address the need of clean water and improved hygiene and sanitation in 23 rural communities that includes:
(1) installing water filters (prioritizing families with young children)
(2) training and equipping local leaders to become WASH Promoters to share health education with their neighbors and provide maintenance to filters
(3) creating educational materials on good hygiene and sanitation practices
(4) performing periodic water analysis of water sources and filtered water
(5) installing latrines in community clinics and other community spaces