|Title||Training manual on good water, sanitation and environmental hygiene practices for primary schools|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Shafeeqa, F, Shazna, M, Glen, E, Henderson, R|
|Pagination||80 p.; ill.; 7 refs.; tab.; fig.; photographs|
|Publisher||Live and Learn Environmental Education|
|Keywords||access to water, health education, maldives, maldives male, water, water quantity, water shortage, water supply, water use|
Water is essential for life. We are all aware of this fact, and yet it is all too often taken for granted. The Maldives is a unique island nation surrounded by the Indian Ocean and wherever we look we see water. But ironically, the Maldives has very limited freshwater resources that can be used to sustain human life. Traditionally we have relied on rain water and the thin and fragile layer of freshwater that forms a ‘freshwater lens’ just beneath the ground. However the freshwater lens is thin and highly at risk to pollution that can seep in through our sandy soils, from inappropriate waste disposal or leaking septic tanks. If we take too much of the freshwater out of the lens it very quickly becomes salty. So our freshwater supplies are very vulnerable. Water is also linked to our health, general well being and even to our ability to get an education and make a living. Contaminated water supplies are a major cause of illness such as diarrhea and dysentery. As well as the general dangers of the illnesses themselves, they cause children to miss school, adults to miss work, medical expenses and general unhappiness. Therefore, on our islands with such limited sources of freshwater, all community members, including teachers and students, need to understand how to protect and safeguard our water supplies from contamination, so that in turn we can safeguard our health and our environment. This area of teaching is called Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).