Together Mitsubishi Corporation and AMAR bring access to safe drinking water and provide Water & Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) lessons to hundreds of schoolchildren in Basra, Iraq.
Having the time and health to go to school starts with access to safe water.
Up until a few weeks ago, students at the al-Quds and Midean schools in Basra had little to no access to fresh drinking water. Rural public schools in Iraq often lack facilities to provide safe water on campus. Instead, students are forced to bring their own bottled water from home – which is expensive and hazardous for their health, particularly in the hot summer months when temperatures reach 110°F (43°C) or more.
Today, with the support of Mitsubishi Corporation, access to clean drinking water is the new normal for these boys and girls. New Reverse Osmosis units pump safe water to fountains right outside the classroom. With plenty of clean water to go around, students can spend less time being thirsty and more time learning.
In addition to the installation of the RO units and water fountains, students will also be participating in WASH training courses. These water and sanitation hygiene lessons will teach the children about everyday techniques that reduce the incidence of water and sanitation-related diseases.
These water projects will have ripple effects throughout the lives of the students at al-Quds and Midean schools, extending to their families and into the larger community. Mr. Masakazu Shinkai, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation, Basra Liaison Office, agrees. He sees this project as an investment – not only in today’s children and communities, but also in the future prosperity of Iraq.
“We are very pleased to see the installation of the drinking water supply units here today,” Shinkai said at the opening ceremony. “[These units] can provide the school children with clean drinking water any time. Children should be treasures for further prosperity of the country of Iraq.”
Ms. Yuko Kanada, Assistant General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation, Basra Liaison Office, expounded these comments by reminding attendees at the opening ceremony that access to safe drinking water is a basic human right.
“We shall try our level best to never let children suffer from basic needs such as clean drinking water,” Kanada said. “Let the children be children.”
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Ali Muthanna, AMAR’s General Director in Iraq, also commented on the impact of clean water on education – especially in a developing region like Basra.
“Providing clean drinking water is in fact the first step to building a healthy body and a healthy mind,” he said. “Healthy minds lead to education – and by education, nations rise up from their setbacks and recover from their illnesses.”
AMAR is proud to ensure safe water for the students at al-Quds and Midean schools and will continue to work with communities throughout Basra to rebuild lives.