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Apr 6, 2017

Clean Water Can Save Lives

Oxfam India

Kunja Das, 35, from Malaupan Balikuthi village in Jorhat district showing the traditional sand filtration system for water purification and the water purifier received from Oxfam (below) Photo Credit: Kaushalya Gupta/ Oxfam India

Kunja Das, 35, from Malaupan Balikuthi village in Jorhat district showing the traditional sand filtration system for water purification and the water purifier received from Oxfam (below) Photo Credit: Kaushalya Gupta/ Oxfam India

Eight months since the devastating Floods in Assam which affected more than 1.6 million lives, many communities have found relief in accessing safe drinking water due to Oxfam India’s efforts.

Kunja, a mother of 3, describes how she struggled and overcame during the floods and learnt lessons for a lifetime. 

“We cannot fight the floods from taking place in the future, but Oxfam came to our village and showed us that we can fight diseases that can arise from drinking dirty water during flood times”, says Kunja.

Kunja and her family had lost almost everything during the floods and had to resettle at the Relief Camp for a month before she could return home. Kunja says this is the first time she has been involved in a Public Health Promotion Awareness Campaign. 

“When Oxfam’s Public Health Promoters came and spoke to us, I learnt about disease prevention, hand-washing and safe water storage.”

Prior to the floods, Kunja used a traditional process for purifying water by pouring the water through sand to remove the iron content. But now due to the Emergency Relief Hygiene and Shelter Kit from Oxfam, she is using the water filter.

“What I really like about the water filter is that I can see how the yellow water on the top layer turns absolutely clear once it reaches the bottom. We have also been given chlorine tablets which we can use in emergency situations.”

Kunja feels that the assistance she received from Oxfam has not only helped her meet her immediate needs, but the knowledge and awareness about Public Health and Hygiene Practices will remain for a lifetime.

“Our district, Jorhat, faces floods year after year, so it is always good to be prepared for the worst. This was the first time we have been introduced to chlorine tablets and this water filter. Not only were they of great help to us during the 2016 floods, I believe these will protect my family’s health in the floods we might face in the years to come.”

 

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