"Children have the right to enough food, clean water and health
everywhere, but not a drop to drink Water is essential to human life.
We can live for quite a long time without food but without water we
would die in a matter of days. In Uganda there is not the sort of
drought that one sees on the television in reports from other parts
of the African continent. Although there is plenty of water, it is
often far away from where people live, and it often is not as clean
as one might like.
something we all have had, but in countries like Uganda it can be
very dangerous because it can cause malnutrition and even kill you.
It can be prevented by keeping clean, using clean water and by eating
Talk to the Beaver
Scouts about where we get our water from.
- Is it in a
well at the bottom of the garden?
- Do we have
to walk miles with a jug of water on our heads?
- Or does it
come out of a tap ready to drink?
Can the Beaver
Scouts think of other places where water can or cannot be drunk? Uganda's
cities and major towns have water on tap, although like in many countries
it isn't always reliably clean. (You might like to consider with your
Beaver Scouts how many families now use home filter systems or buy
bottled water for just the same reason.) In other parts of Uganda
water may have to be obtained from a village tap. Alternatively it
may be pumped from wells deep in the ground. Or it may involve a three
mile trek twice a day to collect water from the nearest river. In
some areas of the country clean water simply isn't available at all,
and then people use muddy and polluted water holes to provide their
essential water. In Uganda a lot of illnesses are caused by dirty
drinking water is hard to find in Uganda, an enormous amount of fizzy
pop is drunk by adults and children alike. Bottled water is virtually
unknown. The fizzy drinks include both well known Cola firms' products
and one specific to Uganda that is pineapple flavoured. The amount
of sugar in them means that they aren't the healthiest of ways to
quench your thirst, but they are probably the safest.
the Colony just what we use water for and how necessary it is for
life. Try running a Colony meeting without water and try planning
in some activities that would normally use it. You might run a very
tiring game but not have anything available to quench the children's
thirst. You might try painting, with no water to mix paints with or
to wash up. Try doing something messy without being able to wash your
hands. And as for needing to visit the lavatory. Well, perhaps water
is fairly important for Beaver Scouts.
It may be worth
discussing with the Beaver Scouts about the reasons for water becoming
dirty and unusable such as using dirty containers, washing in rivers,
playing in water, using rivers for toilets, animals in water, and
factories emptying waste into rivers.
Using the diagrams
which you can download,
(UNICEF - Caring for children everywhere) the Beaver Scouts could
discuss what they like and dislike most about water.
It is true that
water can get just as dirty and useless in this country as it can
in Africa. Often the harm we do to the environment here is much more
permanent than in the developing world.