KARAWA, DR CONGO (May 28, 2019) — A new Covenant Kids Congo (CKC) project could save a hundred lives each year by providing a consistent source of clean water to the local hospital. Currently the hospital only has access to clean water three hours a week.
The WASH Project (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) also will reduce deaths through the combination of clean water access and improved sanitation and hygiene, said Catherine Knarr, CKC manager. The project began last month.
Lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities has led to illnesses such as diarrhea throughout Karawa. In 2017, the Karawa health zone saw 10,795 cases of diarrhea in children under five years old and 125 deaths from the condition, according to a report by Etienne Mbewa, minister of the Congo Covenant Church (CEUM), a CKC partner.
Covenant Kids Congo (CKC) partners with World Vision, the CEUM, and local churches to aid in long-term community development.
The Karawa Hospital serves 1,400 people each month but only has access to water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The project goal is to improve drinking water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene practices in the hospital itself and the surrounding community.
New, clean-water taps in their communities will benefit 6,000 people in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital. In Karawa itself, 5 percent of the population have access to clean drinking water.
The project also will train 50 community hygiene promoters to raise awareness and promote good hygiene practices.
It is the first project CKC has partnered with the CEUM outside of Gemena. “While the CKC partnership is located in Gemena, the CEUM ministers all throughout northwest DR Congo, so this project is very significant for our partnership with the CEUM,” Knarr said. “The CEUM’s Karawa Hospital is well-known as the best hospital in the region, so this is a critical opportunity to support the hospital and its patients as well.”