Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 1:44 pm
By Thomas Fergusson, Water Engineer for Concern in Haiti
Boy is bathed at a Concern-supported stabilization center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, just before leaving for home. Photo: Megan Christensen, Concern Worldwide
The observance of World Water Day this year (March 22), with its spotlight on urban emergencies, comes at a time when many humanitarian aid and relief organizations are contemplating—in some cases, studying in-depth—the growing trend of large emergencies shifting from rural to urban settings.
Increasingly erratic weather patterns, which some link to man-made climate change, are causing droughts and floods that are driving millions to leave the countryside for cities.
In Haiti, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, Concern Worldwide had to tackle most of these issues in highly challenging circumstances, with Port-au-Prince qualifying as a highly impoverished urban setting experiencing a major emergency albeit in extraordinary circumstances. The city was one of the most challenging environments for water and sanitation before the earthquake; the massive disaster only made the situation exponentially more complicated. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 11:37 am
Hadija (left) pictured with her mother at new water point supported by Concern. Photo: Isla Gilmore, Concern Worldwide.
Water has always been readily available to me
As a city girl it’s hard to imagine life without clean water. Being in Tanzania I have had to adapt to not being able to drink it, and constantly being cautious about boiling, filtering and washing food in clean water. But I live in Dar es Salaam and I have access to all the water I need.
Life in rural villages in Tanzania is completely different
I visited Concern Tanzania’s water programme earlier this month. Biharamulo District is in Kagera Region, close to Rwanda. It looks a bit different to other parts of the country where we work because the villages are located in hills and valleys. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 at 3:06 pm
Evans, aged 24, surveys his destroyed home
We did another water distribution today. Standing patiently in the queue was Evans, a 24-year-old teacher whose house was destroyed during the earthquake: “You are the first agency to come and help us here. There are more than 2,000 people in this camp and we need more help.” Evans invites me to visit his house—or to put it more accurately, the remains of his house. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
Women in Tonkolili, Sierra Leone test out a new pump supported by Concern Worldwide
“How ‘de body?” – is the standard greeting in Krio, the lingua franca of Sierra Leone. Anyone who has been to Sierra Leone has almost certainly been initiated into the vibrant language of Krio upon hearing this phrase. And the standard answer is “‘De body fine!” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 10:27 am
Putting a newly constructed well and hand pump through their paces. Maconteh Village, Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone.
I have been “off the grid” blog-wise since Mozambique, nearly three weeks ago. In the meantime I have been to Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania, my point of departure.
In Ethiopia, my colleague, Foundation Officer Erin Sorce blogged about all the amazing education programs we were able to visit and document in Wollo and Amhara. Ethiopia is a truly remarkable and beautiful place, a cradle of civilizations and of humanity itself.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 at 9:07 am
MAPUTO MOZAMBIQUE – Before I leave Mozambique I just wanted to write a bit about the people of Mozambique. This country was devastated by a 17-year civil war that ended in 1992.
A snapshot of village life in Bento, Chinde District, Mozambique
That might seem time enough for a good deal of healing to take place, and it has — Mozambique is a stable, peaceful, forward looking nation. But the scars are still here.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 at 11:23 am
Mother and Child in Mozambique
MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE – Have you ever seen an 8-month old baby vigorously drink water from a jerry can? No nipple, just a wide opening through which water is slowly poured, falling over the baby’s lips, then that familiar rhythmic sucking reflex. There is no crying, his eyes don’t even open – all of his energy is concentrated on drinking in every last drop. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2009 at 11:45 am
My Concern guest house room, and everything I brought with me to the field.
DENVER, COLORADO - This is going to be an interesting trip: Denver to Washington DC to Rome to Addis Ababa. I arrived at my gate in Denver to find four other people travelling straight through with me to Ethiopia. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2009 at 11:10 am
Installation of solar-panel driven pump systems gets underway
CATAPU, MOZAMBIQUE - I spent two full days visiting three sites where Concern and its partner AKSM are completing the installation of three solar-panel driven pump systems. Read the rest of this entry »