Clean Water = Human Right
14 Wells and Counting.... The Bea Osome Clean Water Project
• To save lives by preventing water-born diseases such as typhoid fever
• To reduce times spent by school-age children to fetch water —
— time that could and should be spent learning in the classroom.
• To keep young girls safer in school, minimizing their risks for abuse.
Illustrating how 4 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are interconnected. Strategically working on one Goal also achieves related Goals at the same time.
“I want to say the teachers will agree with me there are no more risks for our children down at the river, especially the ‘endangered species’ — the girl child going for the water.” Official, Epang’a Primary School, Luanda, Kenya
Beatrice Osome — a Canadian / Kenyan retired nurse and activist — is devoting her time, since 2006, to digging as many wells as possible in her native Kenya. As of June, 2017, she has organized — with many different organizations and the support and encouragement of her husband Ben — to dig and manage wells at 14 different primary school sites in Kenya.
Bea says, “In a developed country such as Canada, there is no need to walk two or three kilometres to fetch water — mostly contaminated — in large buckets, basins and jerry cans carried on one's head. In developing countries like my own Kenya, this is an unfortunate reality, especially in rural areas.”
As there is no running water in their homes or compounds, women and children — especially girls — spend several hours a day walking long-distances — sometimes in harsh weather — to supply their households with much-needed but mostly dirty water from unsanitary sources.
This graphic on the right is derived from the feature article 'Well Wisher' about Bea Osome in the July 2012 Edition of the print magazine 'Rotary Canada.' Bea is a member of the West Ottawa Rotary Club.
Highlighted from this article is a photo of Bea at the first well she organized to be dug near her mother's home in Kenya.
To learn more about
supporting this project
contact: Beatrice Osome
33 Hadley Circle
Nepean, ON, K2H 6P1
As well, these young girls go to fetch water with containers weighing up to 20 kg to carry on their heads for long and steep distances back to their homes. They are thus extremely susceptible to back injuries, including scoliosis and curvature of the spine.
Additionally, many of the rivers where young girls go to fetch water are also used by Motorcycle Taxi ‘Boda Boda’ drivers to wash their motorcycles. This also leaves these young girls at risk as some of the drivers have ill intentions with the girls — to abuse, rape and impregnate them.
The Bea Osome Clean Water Project funds the construction of hand-dug wells on school grounds where students, school staff and neighbouring communities can conveniently and safely access clean water and maintain these wells, cooperatively, as a community resource.
School officials or community leaders requesting wells submit their proposals to Bea Osome for consideration. Once the wells have been approved and the funding secured, the wells are dug by hand, using locally-available materials, equipment and labour. Once the wells are completed, the users are trained and required to properly maintain them.
Also celebrating the life of Charity Osome and her legacy of compassion...
Bea and Ben Osome have also dedicated their work — to develop wells in their native Kenya — in memory of their daughter Charity Bernice Osome, who passed after a prolonged illness in October, 2010. The far left image indicates a special memorial in her honour dedicated at the same time the Epanga Primary School well was opened.
On July 21, 2017, Charity would have celebrated her 49th birthday and her sparkling smile and infectious energy will not be forgotten, nor will her love of children and passion for helping the disadvantaged.
Since 2011 — in celebration of Charity's life and legacy — her parents have hosted an annual BBQ & Silent Auction at their home on the Saturday closest to her birthday — to raise funds in support of the construction of water wells developed to provide clean water for a school and community in rural Western Kenya. For an invitation to this BBQ, please contact Bea Osome at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Videos featuring six schools and wells developed from this project...
Image Credits: Upper left: A young girl at Mudoba village in Funyula, Kenya, quenches her thirst at a newly drilled water bore hole, installed as part of a Voiceless Children project. Previously, women and children walked for long distances to fetch unsafe drinking water from streams. © Felix Masi, 2006, Courtesy of Photoshare ID # 292-146 / The SDG logos — featured on the upper middle & right — are used with attribution to the United Nations. Middle left: Ben & Bea Osome taken in Prescott, Ontario, in September, 2006, Photographer Randy Nixon, used with permission. Middle left: Wikimedia, African girl with water jug, Author: Alto Vicky; used with Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License. Lower left: Charity Osome Memorial Plaque cropped from the above Epanga Primary School Video; Lower middle; Charity Bernice Osome, from the Osome family files, used with permission.