Water is such a basic human need. None of us can survive for more than a few days without it. Despite this, obtaining enough water for household hygiene and clean water for drinking is a continual struggle for millions of people. Two-thirds of the world’s population live in areas where water supplies are limited. The World Health Organisation estimates that over one billion people lack access to clean water. Water has become such a political issue that, in some regions, conflicts are likely over access to water supplies.

Improving access to water supplies is the subject of this issue.   

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 51 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 51 click here (807K).

  • Design of hand-dug wells

    by Daniel Schotanus. There are several ways to design and build hand-dug wells. In many societies there are local experts with knowledge and expertise developed through years of experience. In the Borana area of Ethiopia, for example, traditional hand-dug wells have been reported with depths of over 100 metres.

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  • Hand-drilled water wells

    by Dr Richard Carter. Many people walk long distances to obtain water that is often contaminated. However, there may be clean underground water within 30–40 metres, below their communities. This ground water has great potential to save time, reduce inconvenience and improve health.  

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  • Ideas for purifying water

    by Paul Dean. Many water and sanitation projects focus on making more water available to people and encouraging good personal hygiene practices. The quantity of water used for bathing, cleaning and other household tasks may prove more important for good health than its quality. However, the quality of drinking water is very important.

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  • Letters

    Dental news I live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working in five health zones in Ituri and Uele districts in the eastern province. As part of our work with oral health, we carried out a survey and found these results:

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  • Resources

    New Footsteps CD-ROM Do you lend out issues of Footsteps to friends and then never see them again? Have you lost issues of Footsteps? Are you a new reader and wish you had earlier back copies? We now have a new CD-ROM available with issues 18–50 of Footsteps in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. You can search for issues or topics and print out the information you need. We also have copies of the earlier CD-ROM (Issues 1–40) still available. Both CD-ROMs cost £10 each (US $15) to ...

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  • Treatment for HIV?

    HIV/AIDS is a serious problem in Thailand. It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million people – around 2% of the population – are infected with HIV.

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  • Water collection and storage

    by Rachel Blackman. It is important to use good methods for collecting, transporting and storing drinking water. There is a high risk of water becoming contaminated between the water source and the home. This is because it may become exposed to harmful bacteria or germs, either when it is transferred between different containers or when different people come into contact with it.

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  • Water for the urban poor

    by Richard Franceys. Good access to water supplies is a growing problem around the world. Where do people living in the slums and shanties of the world’s growing cities get their water? How do they find good sanitation for safe excreta disposal?

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